We have ardour for great escapes. F. Scott Fitzgerald gave us endless tales of gilded nights in costume that set the lights of the night on fire. We require these constructed dreams to survive and to exist for a moment in the starry spotlight to keep us warm. We turn our gaze to legendary fêtes that still leave their mark as guidance on how to motivate the night to glimmer. Take a breath and become your own muse. Suit yourself in beautiful wares that change the light in your eyes, if only for a few precious hours of escape.
In 1972, Marie-Hélène de Rothschild hosted the Surrealist Ball at her family’s Château Ferrières. Guests wore costumes fashioned after Surrealism, the current art movement that had turned the world, including high society, on its head. Legendary guests like Salvador Dali, the Father of Surrealism, Audrey Hepburn and the wealthiest patrons and royalty of the era flocked to the soirée in daring attire. They were clad in elaborate masks, gilded face paint and one-of-a-kind gowns. The charger plates were fur and the castle itself was awash in orange light to appear as if it was ablaze. The hostess herself wore a stag head mask with real diamond tears. Centerpieces were elaborate sculptures of floating shoes, floral mannequins and antique bird cages. A gala still imitated to this day but never replicated in its original stun.
In 1965, Andy Warhol threw a party called the 50 Most Beautiful People. As the artist was exacting in his pop science, there were precisely 50 carefully plucked guests. Accordingly, they were the most captivating faces of their era and all legends in their own right. It was largely an affair of standing and gazing upon each other which is the concept Warhol handed to us on his signature silver platter. He instructed guests to come out for fifteen minutes of limelight and not to disappoint.
The ecstatic favorite came in 1966 when Truman Capote threw a lavish Black and White Ball to celebrate his recent novel, In Cold Blood, that was hailed for genius. A 500 person party was held with arguably one of the most coveted guest lists in history. Politicians, writers, musicians and actors all showed up in the strict black and white dress code including a mask. The images of a young Mia Farrow siping bubbles next to her then husband Frank Sinatra is the stuff of legends kept forevermore in the banks of unrivaled glamour.
There is a certain magic in inspired tales. We create beautiful dinner parties to grand galas as we love to dress up and escape into a fantasy world for a night. We delight in that sacred moment of true glow and synchronized perfection. For this keeps our dreams fresh and the stars alight in our eyes.
- Brit Parks
“She was a sun, radiant, growing, gathering light and storing it—then after an eternity pouring it forth in a glance, the fragment of a sentence, to that part of him that cherished all beauty and all illusion.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald