Bill Blass was one of the American designers invited by Eleanor Lambert to show at The Battle of Versailles on a chilly November 28th nearly 40 years ago...an evening that I consider the greatest Fashion's Night Out. For those not familiar with the legendary evening, five American designers were pitted against five French designers. The Americans were pretty much sabotaged by the French, but a fashion revolution occurred as the freshness of the American designs matched with the exuberance of the American models (most of which were models of color) not only opened the doors for American fashion to have a global presence, but also broke the color barriers on the global runways. The French seemed demimode. The Americans triumphed. How I wish I had been there to cheer on Blass, Halston, Burrows, de la Renta, and Klein. Imagine the frenzy that occurred when Pat Cleveland pirouetted down the stage? Fortunately, Deborah Riley Draper has captured the story behind Versailles '73 in her new documentary. I may just be the narrator of the film, but I am honored to be part of celebration. This Bill Blass black jersey dress with long strands of fringe emerging from the neck and wrapped seductively around the body of the dress is an ideal example of the freshness of American design. As a matter of fact, this dress seems so current that I could picture it on a runway today as if it were designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Perfectly body conscious, yet with covered arms, this dress is testament to the possibilities of American design and is ready for a fashion battle. Pick your battles wisely and wear sensible shoes, but not necessarily to the local premiere of Versailles '73 when it comes to your cinema!
Bill Blass black jersey long sleeve dress with fringe detail, c.1970's. Modern size 4
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