Another American epic fête, given by author Truman Capote
in honour of The Washington Post
publisher Katharine Graham
, has gone down as one of the most lavish celebrations in history.
On the night of November 28, 1966, 540 of Truman Capote's nearest and dearest turned out for what the writer insisted on calling his "little masked ball for Kay Graham and all of my friends
." He had planned it all summer long and challenged the still strict social codes of the day by inviting people both famous and unknown.
He invited people from the Kansas town where he had researched a novel, along with royals like the Maharani of Jaipur
and cult artists like Andy Warhol. Graham's secretary was invited; so was one of the hotel's doormen. But so were Lady Bird Johnson
, the First Lady at the time, and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt
The party cost $16,000 to throw—the equivalent of over $120,000 in modern dollars. But the main attraction was not the decorations, the orchestra or the 450 bottles of Taittinger champagne
—it was the guests.
Even a half-century later, the party retains its dreamlike aura, supported by photographs and newsreels that show the guests in black tie, monochrome couture dresses and masks by Adolfo.
To find out more about this iconic party, read the fabulous "Party of the Century" by Deborah Davis
, illustrated with photographs and drawings of the guests, It's the perfect portrait of the swinging sixties for anyone interested in American popular culture and the lifestyles of the celebrities and influencers of that era.