Gowns, jewels, and aristocrats make up the yearly Bal de Paris, the extravagant débutante ball of the global elite.
One would think débutante balls are things of the past. After all, the archaic tradition of introducing a lady into society sounds awfully Jane Austen-like for the 21st century – but the Le Bal de Paris proves this incredibly wrong. Every year, the exclusive invite-only affair takes place in Paris, gathering some of the most noble young ladies of society together for a night that feels fit of a Bridgeton episode.
Designer gowns, jewels and up-dos make up one of the most aristocratic nights of the year. Hosted in a grandiose baroque venue in Paris, this year’s event was the first ever since 2019, halted because of the pandemic.
How it works
Willingness to participate does not suffice if you’re wanting to attend Le Bal. You need to face Ophélie Renouard, the event’s organiser, first. Once her approval is out of the way, you are then expected to pay a hefty 100,000 euros fee – all destined to charities like Enfants d’Asie or Seleni Institute – to secure a place on the table.
Débutantes of course, do not go alone to Le Bal. Each and every one of them is accompanied but what is known as a ‘cavalier’, young men selected by the very debutante, or by the organisation itself. The couple meets at the Hotel Shangri-La, inside a building once belonging to Napoleon, where débutantes have to dance a Valse with their father followed by some other courteous dancing with their respective cavalier. As the event comes to a close, the ladies rid themselves of their princess-like gowns and suit up for a more standard 21st century night out, often in the banks of the river Seine.
This Year’s Débutantes
Débutantes join the Bal from all over the world. Royal descendants and socialites alike make up the exclusive invite list, with members of the Spanish and Norwegian royal family headlining the act.
The following are just some of the 19 participants from this year’s event.