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Le Bal des Debutante: The World’s Most Exclusive Debutante Ball

Le Bal des Debutantes is captivating everyone’s attention this year. Here’s a look into the most exclusive debutante ball in the world!

Le Bal De Debutante
Credit: Still from @lahautesociete/TikTok

Le Bal des Debutante is catching everyone’s attention this year with its eccentric and extravagant gowns and customs. As royal and noble debutantes present themselves to society, a grand display of fashion comes together in Paris. Here is a look into the real-life fairy tale ball where prominent socialites make their societal debut!

On November 25th, Le Bal des Debutante took place at the Shangri La Hotel in Paris, France, as it continues old aristocracy traditions. Ophelie Renouard organizes the ball to raise funds for the cardiology research unit ARCFA at Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital and World Central Kitchen. The ball brings together the most notable men and women from around the world as they dress head to toe in the most extravagant gowns.

The event is so exclusive that one needs to get approval from Ophelie Renouard herself. Renouard only invites those who she finds interesting and who they can tell a story about. Although, the stories focus more on the debutante’s family rather than the debutante. Here is a look into this year’s Le Bal des Debutante.

The Debutantes – Le Bal des Debutante

This year, Countess Lara-Cosima Henckel von Donnersmark captivates the world and social media at Le Bal. The countess wore a lavish silver-lilac Jean Paul Gaultier gown with bold golden motifs. Donnersmark also wore a magnificent diamond crown, which completes her whimsical debut outfit.

While she opts for a more fashion-forward dress, she also pays homage to debutante traditions with a regal tiara. The diamond tiara is the Couteulx Floral Diamond Tiara, which comes from Parisian Jewler Guillot. It was originally commissioned by French banker Baron Jacques-Jean Le Couteulx and his wife Genevieve-Sophie Le Couteulx.

Donnersmark is an intern for Dior, and this year, she fascinates society through the lavish extravagance of Le Bal shown in her TikTok videos. However, there is a mix of reactions from most that range from awe and amazement to criticizing the rich. While Le Bal raises funds for research, many criticize the event as most of the families of the debutante’s wealth came from exploitation and the lives of others. On the other hand, others are unable to comprehend this real-life fairytale.

The Debutantes

This year, Hannah Husain makes headlines as the first Pakistani to debut at Le Bal. Husain is the great-great-granddaughter of Sir Fazle Husain, a prominent barrister, Education Minister, and the founder of the Unionist party in India. Her great-grandmother also serves as the Pakistani Ambassador to Beirut, Lebanon.

Husain attends Le Bal wearing a white floor-length ball gown with intricate floral details on the bodice made by French designer Elie Saab. Adorning her neck is the Orleans Emerald Necklace, which was worn by Princess Helene D’Orléans at last year’s Le Bal.

Another debutante is Archduchess Ildiko of Austria, Princess of Hungary, the daughter of Archduke Georg of Austria and Duchess Eilika of Oldenburg. Ildiko Von Habsbourg-Lorraine wore a regal petrol blue Alexis Mabille gown, which has a style that reflects more traditional gowns. The dress is a floor-length gown with long sleeves and a high-collared neckline.

This year, Angelina Jordon, a favorite of Renouard, wears an emerald and diamond tiara from V Muse Jewelry. The jewelry at this year’s Le Bal des Debutante come from V Muse Jewelry. The Norwegian singer wears a turquoise blue Dolce & Gabbana dress and, later in the night, performs a song in a deep plum strapless gown.

The Event – Le Bal des Debutante

The Friday before the night of the ball, debutantes spend the day taking both individual and group photoshoots. This gives them a glimpse into how their makeup and dresses will look the night of the ball. This year, the makeup team for Le Bal glam each debutante up with NARS Cosmetics. In regard to hair, stylist Alexander Von Trentini, who owns La Biosthetique hair salon, styles each girl’s hair for the big night.

A night that one will never forget begins as guests arrive at the hotel, where paintings and artifacts decorate the walls. Up the stairs, terraces provide a breathtaking view of the Siene and the Eiffel Tower. Young women from all around the world, as far as China and India, come together along with their families. A few hours before the event starts at 8 pm, the debutante’s families, guests, and the press arrive. All of them eagerly awaiting the arrival of the debutantes.

The Night

Guests indulge in small hors d’eouvres of bite size foie gras, which is duck or goose liver. Accompanying the foie gras, guest also receive glasses of sparkling wine. Guests mingle with each other, and soon after, the dinner bell rings, signaling everyone to move into the banquet hall. The banquet hall glimmers with several chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and intricate gold cornices.

Round tables with white cloth tables fill up the banquet hall. Each table is perfectly set as grand white and pink floral arrangements decorate each table. For the starters, guests receive a chickpea and quinoa salad, avocado and fish roe, and chicken and tuna. For dinner, either a vegetarian option or non-vegetarian option are given depending on the guest’s preferences.

During the dinner, a master of ceremonies gives an introduction about Le Bal and the charity it sponsors, World Central Kitchen. He also introduces each debutante as he gives a short description and of each debutante and their cavalier. The cavaliers are the male escorts to the debutantes. Most debutantes have cavaliers who they are either related to or just met that night.

At midnight, each debutante took on the traditional waltz with their fathers as one of the last events of the night. Prior to the night, every debutante and their family were given dance lessons at the Shangri-La Hotel. Each debutante starts by dancing with their father before their cavalier steps in and takes the father’s place.

While we may never be able to experience this extravagant event ourselves, we can always imagine the grand spectacle of the ball. To read more about Le Bal des Debutante, click here!

Written By

Hi, I am a second-year student at the University of San Francisco with a major in English and minor in Psychology.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Linda Bischopink

    December 10, 2023 at 12:57 am

    Great article Kara!!!!

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