“I’d like to be president of Spain,” declared one deb.
The tradition of making one’s debut in society may seem like the ultimate throwback, but the 23 well-born young ladies presented at the annual Crillon Ball in Paris seemed eager to prove they were a thoroughly modern bunch. “I’m working on a new program for Nickelodeon, but ultimately I’d like to have my own show,” said Lily Collins, daughter of musician Phil.
“I’d like to be president of Spain,” declared Cosima Ramírez Ruiz de la Prada, daughter of designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada and Pedro Ramírez, founder of Spain’s El Mundo newspaper group.
Other notable progeny included Kathleen Kennedy, granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy; Beatrice and Josephine Bradlee, granddaughters of Benjamin Bradlee, former executive editor of The Washington Post; and Olivia Pei, granddaughter of I.M. Pei. Even for such sophisticated youngsters, however, the elaborate couture dresses often proved challenging. “I’d like to know how to manage the ladies’ room in this,” joked Comtesse Anna de Pahlen, of the Agnelli family, as she smoothed down her elaborate Versace frock.
A few weeks earlier, it was women of a different generation who turned out for the opening night of the exhibition “Nancy Reagan—A First Lady’s Style” at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Most of the clothes on display were straight from Nancy Reagan’s closet. “She put American fashion on an international level,” said Diane von Furstenberg of the former first lady.
“Tonight is so reminiscent of the Eighties, which was a special time,” said Betsy Bloomingdale wistfully. “Today we live in a blue jeans era—not that I don’t wear them to go to the hairdresser.”