This list explores moments of Black fashion history as they appear in documentary film. These moments include archival footage of Trinidadian Carnival from the 1950s and also 1980s New York City, from drag balls and queer nightlife, to the street fashions of b-boys and girls during the early days of Hip-Hop. Also included are backstage and on-stage moments from the so-called “Battle of Versailles” of 1973, during which American designers — including Stephen Burrows — showed their special collections on a cast largely comprised of Black models who sashayed down the runway to disco hits and simultaneously made global history. Formidable former Vogue editor André Leon Talley is also profiled on film, where notable moments of fashion history are intertwined with personal narrative, spanning from the 1950s through to the present.
About The Author
Kai (they/them) is an aspiring cultural and fashion historian. Their work centers the body politics of beauty, clothing, identity, glamour and style and their interactions with the meaning-making functions of the fashion system. Their work also attempts to decolonize exclusionary historical discourses by centering the histories of queer and Black peoples who have been systematically obscured from collective memory. Kai is a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where they received a BA in Art History and the Cultural History of Dress and Fashion.