Jun 19, 2013


This is the book on my nightstand now, Bals.
(courtesy of the library) 
Actually, it's so big it's taken the place of my nightstand.
True to its name, it's a sort of pornography.
But no one is nude. 
(thank God)

 It's kind fabulousity overload....I just may end up with a hangover.
 But I'm not complaining.

Here's a short film from the publishers about it.  (Books have trailers now? I didn't realize.
I guess books that cost $195.00 do. I better not spill any diet coke on it.)

(Oh, and not to namedrop, but that's Princess Radziwill at the Black and White Ball of 1966 on the cover, btw)

Here's the inner cover, with the Baron and Baronne de Rothschild at their Surrealist Ball of 1972
Table of Contents


                                               At the Baron de Redé's Oriental Ball in 1969.

 About de Redé (in black), we hear this tidbit:
"This remarkable change in his fortune was effected by a bisexual, party loving antique collecting, multimillionaire Chilean guano baron, Arturo Lopez Wilshaw"   who snatched the young  de Redé up and set him up in high style. "This remarkable menage a trois survived over 20 years...and Redé and Lopez-Wilshaw's widow remained close friends after his death."

a "Bisexual Chilean Guano Multimillionaire"

 Now there's a phrase we don't hear nearly enough nowadays, do we?  
 Well, I don't at least.

                                                   Brigitte Bardot at the Oriental Ball

                          Jacqueline de Ribes and her identical handmaidens at the Beistegui Ball in 1951.
                                                  (I just love  this photo....so fabulous and creepy)

                        Leonor Fini looking like a figure in one of her paintings at the Beistequi Ball

                             The dashing John Jacob Astor IV.... before his death on the Titanic

The Grand Duke Alexandrovich at Czar Nicholas 2nd's Romanov Ball
Camel riders at the Cuevas Ball in 1953

                                        Frank and Mia at Truman Capote's Black and White Ball in 1966
Warhol at the Black and White Ball

Marisa Berenson as Marchesa Luisa Casati for the Rothschild's Proust Ball in 1971.    That, by the way, must be one the most fabulous sentences I've had the joy to type.
La Liz at the Proust Ball

My favorite part of the book so far is from Cecil Beaton, (about whose sex life I learned more than I ever wanted to know a few months ago) in regards to this (his) photo:
"I have always loathed the Burtons for their vulgarity, commonness and crass bad taste, she combining the worst of US and English taste, he as butch and coarse as only a Welshman can be. She wanted compliments. She got none. I felt I must be professional and continued, but not without loathing at this monster. Her breasts, hanging and huge, were like those of a peasant woman suckling her young in Peru. They were seen in their full shape, blotched and mauve, plum. Round her neck was a velvet ribbon with the biggest diamond in the world pinned on it. On her fat, coarse hands more of the biggest diamonds and emeralds, her head a ridiculous mass of diamond necklaces, sewn together, with a snood of blue and black pom-poms and black aisprey aigrettes. Sausage curls! Alexandre, the hairdresser, had done his worst. And this was the world's biggest draw! In comparison everyone else looked ladylike." - via The Unexpurgated Beaton Diaries, 1970-1980

What a bitch!
How I wish I had been there next to him.


Anonymous said...

oh Beaton is just mean. I bored with his Diaries.

mistress maddie said...

Oh honey, this is what the Casa affairs were made of!

mrpeenee said...

I just think all the good Bisexual Chilean Guano Multimillionaires have been taken.

MJ said...

I got lost for awhile on their website, browsing their $50 candles.

Raina Cox said...

Interesting fact - Capote stole the Black & White idea from a party of the same theme thrown two years earlier by Dominick Dunne, then a major player in Hollywood. That took Bals.

Andrea said...

I am now officially obsessed with holding my own ball...I suppose I'll have to wait till I come home to NOLA. Houstonians Aren't really the
"ball types".