Bal de la Rose : bringing back la belle époque

When Karl Lagerfeld gets involved as the architect of a ball, you know it’s going to be off the grid stylish. So when word came out he was going for some kind of modern Belle Epoque theme for Monaco’s annual Bal de la Rose du Rocher, I was extatic to see the first pictures of the visual orgasm he was going to create.

The Bal de la Rose is held annually in Monaco to benefit the Princess Grace Foundation and is known to be the social event of the year in Monte Carlo.  Lagerfeld took the 150th anniversary of the Société des Bains de Mer, the company that owns and manages Monaco’s legendary Casino, Opéra and the luxurious Hotel de Paris, as an inspiration for the theme of the event.

Belle époque brings to mind the Paris of Gigi, Honoré and Gaston: cabaret, salons, Parisian bourgeoisie, nouveau-riches, socialites, and the wonderful rise of light entertainment. It was also a magical time for the arts. People experimented rather freely with literature, music, fashion and graphic design. The wildly decadent and decorative Art Nouveau (and in Germany Jugendstil) drawings that illustrate the era still never stop to fascinate and are prominently featured in all kinds of details in the decorations of the event (eg. the place settings).

But of course Lagerfeld would not be the creative genius that he is if he didn’t bring his own edge to the whole concept. He did not just bring the belle époque back, he updated the entire era by making the theme “belle et pop”.

Lagerfeld came up with the ball’s “Belle et Pop” theme, his playful spin on the famous Belle Epoque era and introduced music and imagery from the French “Golden Age” with the latest in rap, hip-hop and soul. As part of the evening’s entertainment, the performer Rita Ora stripped down to a fetching Chanel corset-like costume while Caroline de Maigret wore blue tweed Chanel couture when juggling the role of party DJ. –

The Paris of the “Golden Age” is still a world most people can only visit through their television screens and books. A damn shame if you ask me. So here’s my plea to Karl Lagerfeld: “Oh please mister Lagerfeld, keep on bringing us more glimpses of la belle époque…” 


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