Hannah Husain became the first Pakistani contestant at the prestigious Le Bal des Débutantes, held in Paris recently. Le Bal, an annual debutante dance and fashion event that takes place every November in Paris, brings together between 20 and 25 debutantes aged 16 to 22. It stands out as the only invitation-only debutante ball.
This exclusive event features contemporary royals, young socialites and philanthropists from Europe, Asia, Africa and the US, accompanied by their parents. Representing Pakistan at the event, Husain is the great-granddaughter of Sir Fazle Husain, a prominent lawyer, education minister and founder of the Unionist party in India. Her great-grandfather served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Beirut, Lebanon, according to Harpers Bazaar Arabia.
Accompanied by her brother Harris, Hussain presented striking designs by Georges Hobeika and Elie Saab. The star-studded event took place at the Shangri-La Paris, the former residence of Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew. This year’s event featured six Asian debutants, including Advaitesha Birla, great-granddaughter of GD Birla, founder of the Aditya Birla Group, and Skye Wong, founder of Bank of East Asia and Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong.
The ball, organized by Ophélie Renouard, aims to raise funds for Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital’s ARCFA cardiology research unit, which specializes in caring for children with heart defects worldwide, and the World Central Kitchen, which provides meals to vulnerable communities during global crises. .
Beginning as a social gathering in 1958 at the legendary Château de Versailles, the ball faced a hiatus in 1968 due to labor uprisings in France. Ophélie Renouard revived it in 1992 as an invitation-only fashion event. From 1992 to 2012, the iconic Parisian hotel, Hôtel de Crillon, hosted the ball, which is often referred to as the ‘Crillon Ball’.
Previous debutants include famous names like Ava Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe’s daughter Lily Collins, as well as Hollywood members like Ella Beatty, Viola Mikkelsen and Sophia-Rose Stallone. Notable among them is Jen Li, daughter of Huawei’s founder.
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