Hong Kong Tatler - - Features -

“When a deb wants us to find her a cav­a­lier, we look at the ages, the lan­guage they speak, their heights and pos­si­bly their back­grounds and usu­ally it works,” says Re­nouard. “We cer­tainly do not plan ro­mance, but the beauty of it is that it of­ten hap­pens un­ex­pect­edly. One Ger­man debu­tante mar­ried her cav­a­lier and they now have a young daugh­ter who I will cer­tainly in­vite to the ball as soon as she turns 16. It re­ally is a very ro­man­tic night.”

As I ar­rive at the Palais de Chail­lot the fol­low­ing evening, I can see why the Bal is a breed­ing ground for young love. The dining room and dance­floor are dom­i­nated by the view of the Eif­fel Tower just out­side the bay win­dows, and huge vases of white roses scent the room. As princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, film stars and CEOS min­gle in the cav­ernous hall­way, I slip down­stairs to see the debu­tantes and their dates be­fore their mo­ment in the spot­light.

“I’m a bit ner­vous, but mainly re­ally ex­cited. And luck­ily my cav­a­lier is su­per nice,” says Lam, who has been paired with Vis­count Emil­ion de Ro­que­feuil. “I met him at the waltz re­hearsal. It was def­i­nitely awk­ward to meet some­one and then have to hold their hand for two hours, but he was su­per charm­ing and kept say­ing ‘look into my eyes’ be­cause I was a bit shy. Ev­ery­one has been swoon­ing over him and say­ing how much he looks like Chuck Bass from Gos­sip Girl.” Is­abel Beatty, the wil­lowy, dark-haired daugh­ter of War­ren Beatty and An­nette Ben­ing, is also rather taken by her cav­a­lier, Bran­dolino Gritti. “We’ve only just met but he’s lovely and we’re good friends al­ready,” she says. “He’s Ital­ian and it’s so nice to get to know some­one a bit dif­fer­ent. I feel a mil­lion “I IMAG­INE THIS IS WHAT GET­TING MAR­RIED FEELS LIKE, GET­TING TO LOOK BEAU­TI­FUL AND BE THE CEN­TRE OF AT­TEN­TION ALL WEEK­END”


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