Cameron Silver Packs for Cannes to Promote 'Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution'

Cameron Silver Nicole Miller Met Gala - P 2012
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Cameron Silver Nicole Miller Met Gala - P 2012

The L.A.-based Decades retailer/fashion historian narrates the doc on the Battle of Versailles, which pitted upstart U.S. designers against French couturiers.

Cameron Silver knows how to make an entrance. The Decades retailer accompanied designer Nicole Miller to the Met Gala Monday night. Silver was the boy of the ball wearing a brightly colored suit made from Miller’s vintage “ticket print” fabric. He also carried an amusing original Elsa Schiaparelli blowfish walking stick that he snagged at auction in New Hope, Pennsylvania, where he was being taped for his Bravo show, Decades, that premieres this fall.

“Nicole and I were laughing," he explained to THR. "She usually takes a famous actress or a model to the Costume Gala and she takes me -- not famous and a guy --  and receives more press than anyone she’s ever gone with."

“I was going to wear something vintage and Nicole, who started out designing men's shirts and ties, said, 'I have a menswear licensee.' So we went through her archives and found that very early print and it even had a Met ticket stub [Metropolitan Opera, not Museum] in the design."

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Having just returned from New York, Silver is packing again for the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France. But he's only packing American designers, including Calvin Klein, and we found out why. 

Silver has narrated a fascinating documentary called Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution, which details the events leading up to the iconic fashion face off at Versailles on November 28, 1973 between American and French designers. Coffee Bluff Pictures will screen the doc about the legendary 1973 fashion showdown on May 19, 2012 at the Marche du Film at the Cannes Film Festival.

The fashion show was intended to be a fundraiser to help restore Versailles. But it turned into a fierce competition between the old guard of French couture -- Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, and Emanuel Ungaro -- and upstart American ready-to-wear designers -- Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and Halston.

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The audience of royalty, jet setters and icons such as Princess Grace of Monaco, Andy Warhol, Christina Onassis, and Josephine Baker watched in awe as U.S. designers put stunning black models, including Billie Blair, Pat Cleveland and Alva Chinn, on the runway to help them pull off their coup.

"I’m very excited to be going to Cannes with a project for the first time and also really excited to see the final cut," says Silver. "This is an important film, not only because it’s the story of American designers getting international attention for the first time and kicking ass over the French. But it also has important political overtones, because this show actually broke the color barrier on the runways."  

We can't wait to see the film, which includes archival footage and current interviews with several of the models who were part of the American fashion revolution in France almost 40 years ago.