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Bal des débutantes

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Vanity Fair photo shoot with the 2011 Debs

Le Bal des Débutantes, also known simply as 'le Bal' (or, previously, the 'Crillon Ball')[citation needed], is a fashion event held annually in November that brings together 20–25 girls aged 16 to 22 from about a dozen countries.

Since 1992 le Bal has been organised by Ophélie Renouard as an invitation-only couture event.[1][2][3][4][5] The young women don gowns from haute couture and couture designers,[6] as well as foreign fashion houses. They all wear jewelry from the same jeweler.[7][8] The débutantes usually come from famous families, known for the contributions to arts, politics, business, and more.[9] The organiser of Le Bal claims that money is not a criterion for selection.[9]

The event raises money for one or more charity organizations while celebrating the French way of life.[10] Since 2009, le Bal has supported Enfants d'Asie, which provides education for girls in Southeast Asia.[11] In 2015 it also supported Seleni, a non-profit that finances research in healthcare for adolescent mothers.[2]

In 2005, Forbes cited it as one of the world's 10 hottest parties.[12]

Fashion houses

In 1993 the International Herald Tribune stated that "the show itself was central casting's idea of Paris couture – all unswept Carita chignons, solid makeup and the girls plodding out in drop-dead gowns. Yet all seemed as thrilled as Cinderella that someone had waved a mascara wand to give them old-fashioned glamour."[13]

For many of the débutantes, le Bal is their introduction to the world of high fashion.[14] For example, in 2008, French actor Jean Rochefort's daughter Clémence, who wore Nina Ricci, said that it was her first time in haute couture.[15] Anna Cleveland van Ravenstein, on the other hand, had been modeling for Chanel for years before "Uncle Karl [Lagerfeld]" helped her pick out a vintage gown for le Bal.[14]

Some couture houses have produced special gowns for the event, for instance Carolina Herrera in 2003 for Diana Mellon, and, in 2014, Danish designer Jesper Hovring for Viola Mikkelsen.[16]

The Event

Deb Sokhna N'dour dressing for le Bal in 2008

Planning and preparations include inviting the débutantes and their cavaliers and meetings with the debs and their families.[17] From 1992 to 2012, le Bal was organized at the Hôtel de Crillon.[18][19] The Hôtel Raphael was the hotel of le Bal in 2013 and 2014[20] and the event was held in the Palais de Chaillot in 2015, overlooking the Eiffel Tower.[21] Le Bal was held at its partner hotel The Peninsula Paris in 2016 and 2017.[22]

Friday, or the eve of le Bal, is when the débutantes come together for the first time. The makeup and hair styling sessions start at 9:00am. Then the débutantes don their dresses, shoes,[23] and jewels, and the individual and group photo sessions[24] last for the rest of the day.[17] On Friday evening, the débutantes' fathers and cavaliers take part in a waltz class with two teachers.[17]

The debutants have sessions with M.A.C. Cosmetics for makeup and Alexandre de Paris for hair.[25]

Debs dance and talk at the 2009 Ball at the Hôtel de Crillon.

The débutantes are introduced in alphabetical order on the arms of their cavaliers[17] by journalist and author Stéphane Bern.[26] Then the dinner is served.[27] After dinner, the débutantes who are the most followed by the media open le Bal, followed by all of the fathers with their daughters.[27][28]

Opening dance

Each year since 2005, there has been a débutante who opens the dancing with a waltz, led by her father or the evening's MC[citation needed]:

This opening dance is followed by a waltz with all of the fathers and débutantes. The fathers then cede their daughters to the cavaliers, and the waltz is replaced with contemporary music with a live band. The debs then return their dresses and their jewels. The débutantes and their cavaliers finish the evening out clubbing.[47]

The debutantes

The criteria for invitation are looks,[18][48] brains, and famous parents.[18][23] They often come from families known in entertainment, business, or politics.

As le Bal is also a couture event, the gowns are fashion show dresses and le Bal's team endeavors to find the most suitable ones.[18]

From 2000 to 2003, le Bal welcomed a winner from a contest held by the French magazine Jalouse each year. Each one was chosen based on a submitted application.[49]

The majority of the participants must undergo a bit of a transition in wearing haute couture dresses.[27] Rory Ross of The Daily Telegraph described the débutantes' transformations as: "Trading fashionably frayed jeans, trainers and fruit-scented lip gloss for heels, tiaras and haute couture gowns worth up to £30,000 each, they undergo a semi-Cinderella transformation ('semi' because most of these girls already have a head-and-shoulders start on Cinderella)."[18]

In interviews, the débutantes usually speak of the pleasure of wearing couture dresses, the charity aspect of the event,[11] and the opportunity to meet girls from different countries.[50][51]

The cavaliers

Each débutante is escorted by a cavalier. He may be by a young man of her own choosing, such as a brother, cousin, friend, or boyfriend. However, nearly half of the débutantes, particularly those travelling from abroad don't bring their own cavaliers; they rely instead on the organizers of le Bal to find a cavalier.[52] The organizer, Renouard, told Malaysia Tatler, " When a deb wants us to find her a cavalier, we look at the ages, the language they speak, their heights and possibly their backgrounds and usually it works.[14]

Media coverage

The 2011 Debs photographed at le Bal.

Coverage often emphasizes the cachet of the event and its elegance.[53] It has been claimed that "Le Bal has really maintained its exclusivity; all the top designers participate, and there have never been any sleazy photographs of the débutantes."[54]

References

  1. ^ "Social Diary 1/4/06 – Social Safari in Paris, France". www.newyorksocialdiary.com. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  2. ^ a b "Le Bal des Débutantes 2015 perpétue la tradition". www.journaldesfemmes.com. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  3. ^ "Le Premier Défilé des Débutantes". Point de Vue: 26. September 1992.
  4. ^ "TWIGG Melissa". Hong Kong Tatler. February 2015.
  5. ^ Nikkah, Roya. "New elite come out". Telegraph. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  6. ^ Zan, Jean-Claude (1992). "Paris Match". Les Plus Belles Débutantes du Monde.
  7. ^ "Les coulisses haute joaillerie du bal des débutantes avec Bucherer – Précieux Webzine". Précieux Webzine (in French). Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  8. ^ a b "Le Bal des débutantes, haute société et haute couture". Madame Figaro (in French). Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  9. ^ a b "Le bal des débutantes comme si vous y étiez". Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  10. ^ "Bal des débutantes – Kyra Kennedy. Une américaine à Paris". Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  11. ^ a b Popple, Shauna Jay (February 2010). "The Ball Issue: Making her Debut". Philippine Tatler: 131.
  12. ^ "World's Hottest Parties". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  13. ^ Menkes, Suzy (23 November 1993). "International Herald Tribune". Haute Couture and the Upper Crust. pp. 1–9.
  14. ^ a b c "Exclusive: An insider's view to the annual Bal des Débutantes in Paris". Malaysia Tatler. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  15. ^ Lutaud, Léna (26 November 2011). "Le Figaro". Le Grand Retour du Bal des Débutantes.
  16. ^ "En coulisses du Bal des débutantes – L'officiel de la mode". Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  17. ^ a b c d Johnson, Rachel (8 January 2012). "Swishly Ballroom". The Sunday Times.
  18. ^ a b c d e Ross, Rory (26 November 2004). "Fairy Godmother to the New Debs". The Daily Telegraph.
  19. ^ Du Eugénie Adda et Karen Rouach (1 December 2014). "L'officiel de la mode". En coulisse du Bal des Débutantes.
  20. ^ "Bal des débutantes – Le premier pas". Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  21. ^ Carbone, Suzanne (14 November 2015). "Invitation-only debutante ball in Paris summons 25 ladies to have le Bal". The Age. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  22. ^ "Presentation". Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  23. ^ a b "Bal des débutantes – 25 jeunes filles du monde qui font rêver". Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  24. ^ Methven, Charlotte (9 November 2008). "The Woman Who Reshaped High Society". You: 51, 53.
  25. ^ "So you wanna look like a debutante? M.A.C takes us behind the scenes at the Crillon Ball in Paris". FASHION Magazine. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  26. ^ Dutour, Edouard (2 December 2011). "J'y étais ... au Bal des débutantes". Elle (in French): 42.
  27. ^ a b c Bureau, Eric (30 November 2008). "Le Bal des Débutantes les fait tous rêver". Aujourd'hui en France (in French).
  28. ^ Lauriot Prévost, Marie-Etudes (3 December 2008). "Un casting de rêve". Point de Vue: 36.
  29. ^ "Bal des Debutantes: A Cinderella Moment | AnybodySomebodyNobody". anybodysomebodynobody.com. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  30. ^ "Social Diary 1/4/06 – Social Safari in Paris, France". www.newyorksocialdiary.com. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  31. ^ "Paillettes et jeunes filles en fleur au bal des débutantes". leparisien.fr (in French). Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  32. ^ "Lady in Red: 'Princess' Chen Xiaodan casts a mysterious spell|WCT". Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  33. ^ News, Bloomberg. "Heirs of Mao's Comrades Rise as New Capitalist Nobility". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  34. ^ "Bal des débutantes – les étoiles éternelles". bondieumxj.canalblog.com. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  35. ^ "Stéphane Bern ouvre le bal – Les débutantes entrent dans la danse sur Journal des Femmes People". www.journaldesfemmes.com. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  36. ^ "Anouchka Delon – La biographie de Anouchka Delon avec Gala.fr". Gala.fr. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  37. ^ "EXCLU : Regardez le magnifique et féérique Bal des débutantes... avec un débutant "fils de" !". www.purepeople.com. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
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  39. ^ "Le Bal des Débutantes in Paris – Vogue.it". www.vogue.it. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  40. ^ "RFK Jr.'s Daughter Kyra Kennedy Makes Formal Debut at Debutante Ball". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  41. ^ "Kyra Kennedy, great niece of John F Kennedy, opens Paris debutantes ball". NewsComAu. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
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  43. ^ "Le bal des Débutantes : Iman, la sublime fille de Vincent Perez fait sensation". www.puretrend.com. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  44. ^ a b "La photo souvenir des vingt participantes du Bal des débutantes de Paris". leparisien.fr (in French). Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  45. ^ "Gloria de Limburg-Stirum au Bal des Débutantes 2015". Noblesse & Royautés. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  46. ^ http://people.com/celebrity/ava-phillippe-paris-debutante-debut/
  47. ^ Galy-Ramounot, Marion (25 November 2012). "Figaro Madame". Bal des Débutantes : J'y étais.
  48. ^ de Amézaga, Abraham (24 November 2007). "El baile del año". El Mundo (in Spanish). Yo Dona section.
  49. ^ "Jalouse – n°52 de 2002 – page 1 – Cendrillon sans les larmes un deux trois participez au bal des". patrimoine.editionsjalou.com. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  50. ^ "Vogue Flash Moment: Having a Ball". Vogue. February 2008.
  51. ^ Morosi, Marie-Christine. "Froufrou au Bal des débutantes". Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  52. ^ "Beatty, Belmondo, Mountbatten : la relève tourbillonne au bal des débutantes – People – MYTF1News". MYTF1NEWS. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  53. ^ Cardoso, Cíntia (7 December 2008). "Folha de S.Paulo". Cinderela em Paris.
  54. ^ Fraser-Cavassoni, Natasha (February 2010). "Philippine Tatler". The Ball Issue: Having a Ball.

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