As black tie bonanzas deservedly take a bashing, we ask: “What’s next for Britain and America’s party paraders?”
Last May, the acerbic Spectator columnist Taki wrote a brilliant opinion piece bemoaning the ghastly affair he believed New York’s Metropolitan Museum Gala had become. It perfectly summed up the vulgarity of an age where Kardashians have replaced Vanderbilt Sloanes and where Anna Wintour and her condescending ‘club’ have seized the mantle. This week, Primates of Park Avenue author Wednesday Martin took the debate one stage further and asked: “Is it time to say bye-bye to the black tie charity ball?” in an article for Town & Country magazine.
Whilst Martin quoted a “titan of finance” as saying: “No one really wants to attend a gala”, she also suggested that “showing up feels somehow retro, tangible, genuine”. Society is still forced into the routine of putting on black tie and parading out in both America and Britain yet in reality, everyone would most likely rather be down their local spit-and-sawdust.
Aside from the rubber chicken (and vomit inducing wine), the likelihood of being stuck with nine crushing bores and the inevitable raffle of rubbish, such affairs are now mostly the preserve of a club of Z-listers and desperados. At such gatherings, you’ll find trolleyed trailer trash like Dawn Ward of The Real Housewives of Cheshire clucking with titleless tosspot twits like David Furnish and each and every Friday’s ES Magazine bears testimony to this fact. The black tie bash deserves to come to its natural end, but what on earth will replace it?