IN THEIR PRIME

Hong Kong Tatler - - Features -

re­ferred to as the Cril­lon Ball), but it was re­cently ac­quired by Rose­wood Ho­tels & Re­sorts and is be­ing ren­o­vated ahead of a grand re­open­ing later this year. In the in­terim, the Bal is be­ing held at the Palais de Chail­lot in Tro­cadéro, and the debu­tantes stay at plush Hô­tel Raphael near the Arc de Tri­om­phe.

It’s in this old-world Parisian build­ing where the young women, daugh­ters of aris­to­crats, film stars, politi­cians and bil­lion­aires, meet for the first time. Walk­ing into one of their richly dec­o­rated sit­ting rooms, I pick my way over a sea of dis­carded Louboutin shoes and am hit by a wall of sound. Teenage laugh­ter mixes with mo­bile phone ring tones, the whine of hairdry­ers and ex­cited chat­ter in a med­ley of lan­guages.

There are three Asian debs this year: from Hong Kong, Elly Lam, the daugh­ter of Peter Lam and Lynn Hsieh, and Alexan­dra Louey, daugh­ter of Wil­liam Louey and MarieChris­tine Lee; and from the Philip­pines, Emily Madri­gal, daugh­ter of Vin­cent and Ann Madri­gal. “I am hav­ing so much fun,” says Lam. “I love do­ing photo shoots and I re­ally feel like this is my mo­ment to shine.” Louey agrees, say­ing, “I imag­ine this is what get­ting mar­ried feels like, get­ting to look beau­ti­ful and be the cen­tre of at­ten­tion all week­end.”

Lam, in­spired by her sis­ter’s wed­ding dress choice, is wear­ing Dior Haute Cou­ture, Louey is re­splen­dent in a pur­ple Ge­orges Chakra gown, and Madri­gal wears a full-skirted pink dress by J Men­del. “It was so ex­cit­ing get­ting to talk to J Men­del and work out ex­actly what suited me,” says Madri­gal. “This dress is like some­thing out of a fairy tale.”

But for many of th­ese young women, in­ter­act­ing with cel­e­brated de­sign­ers is no rar­ity. Princess Larissa of Windis­chGraetz lives in an an­cient palace off the Pi­azza Navona in Rome with her par­ents, Arch­duchess So­phie of Aus­tria and Prince Mar­i­ano Hugo of Windisch- Graetz, and looks

CLOCK­WISE FROM BOT­TOM LEFT: NAOMI SCHROEDER; ELLY LAM AND ALEXAN­DRA LOUEY; GINEVRA FONTES WIL­LIAMS AND VIC­TOR BEL­MONDO; IS­ABEL BEATTY, VI­OLA JA­COB­SEN MIKKELSEN AND ELLA MOUNT­BAT­TEN; TOM­MASO CRIMI, LODOVICO GRITTI, SIXTE DE L’ESPÉE, EMIL­ION DE RO­QUE­FEUIL AND OC­TAVE LE GOU­VELLO

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