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In the hunt for misplaced balls

In search of lost balls
In 2019, Jeff Bezos attended the Met Gala in New York City wearing a classic tuxedo and was flanked by Kendall Jenner and Jared Leto who were dressed in elaborate costumes. Photos by Kevin Tachman courtesy of MG19/Getty Images for The Met Museum and Vogue

NARRATIVE – Whether they were costumed or themed, these parties brought together socialites and fashion designers, and they roiled Parisian high society until the 1970s. Gone forever?

When we think of a masquerade ball, Versailles immediately comes to mind as the location of the event. Even in modern times, the Grands Appartements remain the gathering place for a distinguished clientele from all over the world for the Fêtes galantes that are hosted annually in June by the castle. “The participants are diehard fans who deck themselves out in expensive outfits. According to Laurent Brunner, who serves as the director of entertainment at the Palace of Versailles, they are identical to the ones that can be found at the carnival in Venice. For a fee ranging from 170 to 580 euros, you can give yourself the experience of being immersed in the world of what was known as the great balls at the court of Louis XIV or Louis XVI. The exclusiveness of this one-of-a-kind event is enhanced by the participation of a baroque music orchestra, dancers, and actors, and by the fact that guests have overnight access to the Hall of Mirrors. “Somewhere between 600 and 700 individuals, all decked out, rejoice in this remarkable setting… but with moderation.” The administrator of the show explains that “it’s not about leaping on the king’s bed either.” [Case in point]

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