Patrick Kelly: The American in Paris

by Rashidi Natara Harper


Filmed in New York City and at the de Young museum (San Francisco), this short documentary celebrates the life, career, and legacy of Black fashion designer Patrick Kelly (1954–1990). Kelly’s evolution from “little young American from Mississippi to a grand master of fashion in Paris” is captured in vintage footage, as well as accounts of his friends and close collaborators, including business and life partner Bjorn Amelan, supermodel and friend Pat Cleveland, Kelly’s right hand Elizabeth “Ms. Liz” Goodrum, “Paris Match” photographer Gilles Decamps, runway show coordinator Audrey Smaltz, and cofounder of the Kelly Initiative Kibwe Chase-Marshall. The film also features an interview with Laura L. Camerlengo, associate curator of costume and textile arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and offers a look into the “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love” exhibition at the de Young museum.

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