Reese Witherspoon’s daughter Ava Phillipe got the full princess treatment on Saturday (Nov 25) while attending the ‘Bal des Debutantes in Paris.
Escorted by her ‘ cavalier’, the Maharaja Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur, India, Ava wore a Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Spring 2017 gown.
America’s fascination with the wealth and traditions of the ‘Old World’ – namely Europe – has been well-documented since the novels of Edith Wharton and Henry James, whose protagonists often traveled to Europe to meet aristocratic husbands or do a ‘Grand Tour’ to refine themselves in high society. Deb balls were one of the traditions transplanted across the Atlantic and still take place today, with the most expensive being the International Debutante Ball in New York, which regularly attracts foreign royalty and the daughters of dignitaries and ambassadors. In popular culture cotillions (as they’re often called) were the focal point of standout episodes of hit TV shows The OC and Gossip Girl, bringing the tradition to a whole new generation.
So, why the continued obsession? Well, old-fashioned ideas about marriage aside, it’s a great excuse for a lavish, OTT party, with the Bal des Debutantes named by Forbes as one of the world’s hottest 10 parties in 2005. Plus, who doesn’t like getting dressed up in haute couture aged 18? Now that the cotillion is less about finding a husband and more about celebrating becoming an adult