PARIS — Shyness is hardly an issue for celebrity offspring, as a handful of debutantes proved at the Hôtel de Crillon’s annual ball on Saturday.
Consider Molly Flattery, the 18-year-old granddaughter of Steve McQueen. During a fitting at Christian Dior’s couture atelier, she turned up her nose at a demure white confection, preferring a more revealing green gown. “It’s fun not to be safe,” she explained.
“I was very excited to show off the dress,” agreed Rainsford Qualley, 16, the daughter of actress Andie MacDowell, who chose a slinky black number by Jean Paul Gaultier. The prospect of hitting the dance floor wasn’t causing any concern, either. “She’s skipping her senior year to attend professional dance school,” explained her mother, who busted a few moves herself — to “Sex Bomb” no less.
“She’s so cute!” Lauren Bush gushed about her little sister, Ashley, 17, who livened up the soiree with a cautionary tale of voluminous dresses, recounting how another debutante got tangled in her custom-made Ralph Lauren gown during a photo shoot.
Meanwhile, some fashion offspring proclaimed their devotion to couture. “I love Valentino,” cooed Bianca Brandolini d’Adda, the 18-year-old daughter of Georgina Brandolini. “There she goes,” said Brandolini as her daughter and the other debutantes were whirled around to Strauss on the Crillon’s marble floors by Europe’s most eligible bachelors.
“The waltz is pretty simple. I learned it this morning,” said Brandolini d’Adda with a shrug.
Yuki Mori, the 19-year-old granddaughter of the recently retired couturier Hanae Mori, said she’s as comfortable in an elegant gown as jeans. Good thing: She’s currently taking time off studying at Parsons School of Design to work at Los Angeles-based denim label True Religion. “I’m really a tomboy at heart,” she remarked.
But when the clock struck midnight, the belles of the ball were anxious to dance to a different beat and hit some Parisian nightclubs. Budding actress Yasmin Kerr, 20, daughter of Jim Kerr of Simple Minds and singer Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, shed her Vivienne Westwood gown for slim-fitting jeans and boots to hit a local boîte. “It was fun, but it’s a whole new world for me,” she sighed.