Le Bal des Débutantes (or the Crillon Ball, as it’s known to many of us Americans) has been one of high society’s biggest events for years now. Located at the storied Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, the ball celebrates the “coming out” of young debutantes from around the world. The ladies, who are the daughters of some of the world’s most elite families, make their debuts in French couture gowns and basically waltz around the room with their fathers to mobs of flashbulbs. There’s no denying that it’s one of the stuffiest, most elitist traditions around, but there’s something so classic and elegant about it, which might explain why average Joe’s the world over are pretty obsessed with it. Below, we break down everything you need to know about this year’s Crillon Ball which took place on November 24.
20 Years: The first year of the event was 1992. While previously it had been an English tradition, it was slightly modernized by the French who decided they wanted to bring couture fashion houses in to dress the girls and show off their creations. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the ball.
1758: The year the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, the site of the ball for the past twenty years, was originally constructed. It’s located at the foot of the Champs-Élysées, which pretty much makes it the most glamorous and exclusive address in the world.
$763: The starting price for a room at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, where the girls stayed in groups of three during their debutante weekend.
22 Ladies: There were 22 lucky ladies chosen this year. They were all from a wide variety of backgrounds, but they generally tended to be daughters of celebrities, political figures and wildly successful business people.
2 Movie Stars’ Kids: Sophia Rose Stallone (daughter of legendary action movie star Sylvester Stallone) and Zoe-Bleu Sidel (daughter of Rosanna Arquette) were among this year’s debutantes. Last year, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s daughter Tallulah Willis attended. Other high profile debutantes this year include Christa B. Allen (star of ABC’s “Revenge”), Isabella Mattos (daughter of the President of Hyundai Colombia), Bronwen Carter (daughter of Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter), and Filippa Brandolini d’Adda (daughter of Count Nuno Brandolini d’Adda).
$30,000: Although it’s hard to put a price tag on Christian Dior Haute Couture, which Christa B. Allen wore, a glamorous gown from the collection would probably run you upwards of $30,000. Other ladies like Sophia Rose Stallone wore Elie Saab Haute Couture and Zoe-Bleu Sidel wore Jean Paul Gaultier. Check out more photos of the glamorous gowns here.
$44,000: Everyone wore a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes (the designer was also in attendance), which can cost around $2,000 (and far beyond). So for 22 girls, we’d guess the footwear in the room totaled somewhere around $44,000—and that’s not including the mothers, who surely wanted to get in on the red bottom action.
$7,750: Obviously baubles were the true stars of the night. Thanks to billionaire hedge fund wife Fiona Druckenmiller, everyone sparkled in items from her swanky vintage jewelry store on the Upper East Side of New York. A pair of vintage Cartier diamond earrings in 18 karat gold can sell for $7,750, which is the type of item that you would find in Druckenmiller’s store.
365 Days: It takes Crillon Ball debutates about a year to prepare for the festivities. Someone from the Crillon committee needs to come to your house to take a photo of you with your family. Then there are dress fittings to consider with the world’s top designers. And of course you need to find a date or a “Cavallier.” It makes prom preparations seem relaxed in comparison!
$309: The average price for a magnum bottle of Grand Siecle Laurent Perrier costs around $309, and it was one of the lavish menu options served at the ball. For a full menu, look below.