Ava DuVernay is not one to rest on her laurels. Since directing the brilliant Selma, she has lined up directorial jobs on A Wrinkle in Time and Intelligent Life and is also developing a drama series alongside Oprah Winfrey entitled Queen Sugar. DuVernay now has another project in the shape of The Battle of Versailles.
No, this is not a period piece with a The Lord of the Rings-sized battle. The battle which the title refers to occurred in 1973, and the participants wouldn’t be caught dead in chainmail; that was so last year.
The story follows the true story of a fashion show at the colossal French Palace of Versailles which was held to raise funds for repairs to the mammoth building. All the big French designers of the day are to contribute: Yves Saint Laurent; Hubert de Givenchy; Marc Bohan; Pierre Cardin and Emanuel Ungaro.
Also putting on a show are 5 unknown American designers going by the names of Ocsar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Halston, Stephen Burrows and Anne Klein.
With the French designers going up against the Americans, The Battle of Versailles is about the American fashion industry’s struggle for respect in the world of houte couture.
It culminates with a spectacular show in which the French designers kick off, displaying their stunning designs with the accompaniment of a classical orchestra. However, their American counterparts steal the day with a 35-minute convention-breaking show accompanied by Al Green.
As well as directing, Ava DuVernay will also be co-writing it alongside Michael Starrbury, the talented writer behind The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete, and intends to release it via HBO Films.