“If paradise is on Earth, the ‘Bal des Princesses’ is its garden.”
On June 14th, 2014 the notorious The Ball of the Princesses from Paris took place at the Capitale in New York City. For the very first time, Le Bal des Princesses came upon us when we least expected it.
There was no advertising, no promotion, and no press coverage of any kind and the only way I knew about this event was because of my friend, who has recently moved back to NYC after many years of living in Paris, where she happened to attend these balls, who told me about this event.
All I knew about this ball is what I could get from their website that offers the videos and photos of their lavish parties in Paris, taken place, usually, at a castle with thousands of Parisians in attendance, dressed head to toe in the French period pieces so well familiar to us from the times of Marie Antoinette and the royal French court. At first I panicked, where in the world am I going to get the tower long white wigs and the ball gowns, because dressing down was not an option. Just from reading the invitation alone: “In the proper vanity order: precious Marquise, Duchesses, Countesses Coguette, Courtesans in silk bottoms and adventurers in flannels…” I somehow understood that my New York evening attire would not do and that I should not let my friend down who told me that everyone dresses up for this ball in Paris.
I’m reading the invitation further: “The royal court will honor its visitors from horizons afar: Capitalist Maharajahs, Princes, Manchus, Oriental Sultans, Czars in furs and Sovereign Uzbeks, Majesty from the islands and Caliphs…” Pretty much all kinds of royalty were expected to be in presence - just as I thought I could get away with a long skirt and a French twist.
“Unique and imperative protocol recommendations: right from the humble staff to Nepolean in perfecto, everyone will partake in the happenings of the radiant soiree and adorn themselves according to its theme…” Even reading the description and introduction to the ball, I could almost hear the French accent.
“The dizzy-like sounds and other electronic tambourines will be displayed by our Mozart’s French touch.“
According to its previous events in Paris, the Ball of the Princesses “boasts of the most prestigious and beautiful crowd that the night life has to offer," so at this point my expectations were pretty high, so was my anxiety.
Having been to many balls and festivities around the world, this has been the first time I’ve attended such a lavish event – judging by the costumes alone. Other things were great too and didn't seem to cease to surprise the guests: great music – the live DJ spinned the latest dance hits from around the world and the entertainers of the evening – jugglers and Go-Go Girls and Boys kept the crowd on the dance floor all night long. But it wouldn’t have been a great event if it wasn't for the great fun crowd in attendance. The attendees went out of their ways to wear the most elaborate clothes from the French period they could find, and some. Let's just say, it's good that the very first place to host this Parisian event was New York City, where it's known to have the public that would pull all the strings to 'match' the expectations of the hosts who have seen it all and beyond.
At the ball we got to meet the founder of the event, who told us that this event is nothing in comparison to the size and indulgence of the Parisian ones, but it’s only the beginning of the ball’s American history and we got a pretty good preview of it to know what to expect next year and more. With a little bit more advertising and public awareness and the word-of-mouth, one day the American versions of the Parisian Ball of the Princesses would be as much talked about as its mother event in France.
Next ball is expected to take place in Los Angeles and the following year it will be back in New York City, so keep your eyes peeled and start looking for your courtesan dress now, or go as the sheikh's mistress - anything goes at the ball! And just when the men thought they could also get away with a dressing down to their regular evening attire, guess what - the male guests are as responsible to look up to their lady guests as the lady guests are responsible to look as amazing and intriguing as the French creators meant the ball to be. So, dear gentlemen, no slacking here if you want to be able to enter the gates of the paradise.
And, if you think that you could pass the gates of Parisian ‘Eden’ wearing the nicest dress in your wardrobe, think again: “All nobility dressed up insufficiently will find themselves refused entrance to the festivities.”