Grand parties in the history
If you thought Gatsby’s extravagant lifestyle and event parties and entertainments were the only wildest party in the history, then you might be mistaken.
- Russia, 1903 – In February, Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra threw a grand party in their official residence, Winter Palace, St. Petersburg. The theme was the 17th century, and guests arrived dressed as Russian, French, Spanish monarchs and some as musketeers. Precious stones and artifacts were brought from the Kremlin for the guests to wear them. The hosts were dressed as Tsar Alexis I and Maria Miloslavskaya. To entertain the guests, a concert was held in the Hermitage theater in the palace, followed by Swan Lake, and Russian dance. The dinner was held in 3 big rooms – Italian, Spanish and Flemish. The bars served liquor; tea and wine were available on every table. The Baroque music was played by court orchestra and for the last time, photographs were taken with all the Russian nobles.
- France, 1911 – Paul Poiret was a Parisian fashion designer who emphasized on drapery instead of corsets for women. On June 24, 1911, he introduced a new fragrance line, Parfums de Rosine, by throwing a party in his own villa in Paris. The theme for the evening was Persia, where 300 guests were dressed in Persian style. Poiret was dressed in fur dapper ankle length dress, jewelled turban. His villa was decorated like a sultan’s harem with palm trees, tents with food, and gold.
- Paris, 1923 – Sara and Gerald Murphy, friends of the Beaumonts, threw a party on July 1 for Igor Stravinsky after the successful premiere of his ballet Les Noces at the Théâtre de la Gaîté on June 13. The party was all about food, drinks and decor. Chefs from the best hotels in France were hired to cook on-site with an overflow of champagne. The venue was filled with toys, clowns, dolls, stuffed animals. The guests included Pablo, Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, and others. The party went all night on a flat-bottomed boat on the Seine River.
- Paris, 1924 – Beaumont were known for their lavish parties in Europe and North America. The masquerade ball held at their mansion in the summer of 1924 was known for its bizarre theme – the guests had to dress like a car. The performers ran around in the banquet hall, making the sounds of the vehicle. The party became so popular that the French cuisine and continuous flow of wine and champagne in the party soon became part of the Raymond Radiguet’s novel. Another wild party of theirs was hosted in the 1920s where guests had to expose a part of their anatomy that he/ she felt interesting.
- New York, 1966 – The success of Truman Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood’ found him basking in the money and the next three months were spent planning a masquerade ball and hired a event entertainment company. The theme was black and white and held at the Plaza Hotel, New York. Selected friends were invited to the party, such as Henry Ford Jr., actress Candice Bergen, sister of Late John Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Vivien Leigh. The fare comprised of his favorite dishes scrambled eggs, spaghetti and meatballs, chocolate, pastries, to name a few. There were water and 450 bottles of Taittinger champagne for the guests.