Ava DuVernay to Direct 'The Battle Of Versailles' Movie for HBO

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Paley Center For Media
Ava DuVernay

The film will center on the 1973 Palace of Versailles fashion show that pitted five top American designers against the best French designers.

Selma helmer Ava DuVernay has signed on to direct and co-write a film for HBO about the 1973 Palace of Versailles fashion show.

DuVernay will co-write the project with Michael Starrbury (The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete), adapting the book The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled Into the Spotlight and Made History by Robin Givhan.

The 1973 event was put on to raise money for the famed palace. It pitted five American fashion designers — Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Halston, Bill Blass and Stephen Burrows — against the five major French designers: Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Hubert de Givenchy, Emanuel Ungaro and Marc Bohan of Christian Dior.

At the legendary event, each designer submitted eight designs to show in from of the world’s elite. The American show featured 11 African-American models from the era. The American team's work broke racial barriers and led to the birth of American fashion.

Karen Glass and Angela Mancuso are executive producing the pic.

DuVernay has lined up a slew of projects since Selma, including Disney's A Wrinkle in Time and Intelligent Life with Lupita N’yongo, plus her TV series Queen Sugar at OWN. She is repped by CAA and Del Shaw.

Starrbury wrote the upcoming Comedy Central series The Legends of Chamberlain Heights, and is writing Disney’s Ed Terrestrial. He is repped by CAA and Circle of Confusion.

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