3. The Black and White Masquerade Ball Thrown At the Hotel by Truman Capote in 1966 Made Masquerade Balls Fashionable Again
One of the most famous high society balls of 1960s New York was thrown in the Plaza Hotel’s Grand Ballroom by author Truman Capote, then at the height of his fame and success following the release of his novel, In Cold Blood. Capote, having long dreamed of throwing a lavish ball for his rich and famous friends, in his words, chose a guest of honor, publisher of The Washington Post, Katherine Graham, and spent $16,000 (worth about $120,000 today) on a single night.
The ball, with its black and white dress code, scarlet tablecloths, and midnight dinner of scrambled eggs, sausage, chicken hash, and meatballs, went down in history as one of the most lavish balls ever thrown in New York. Following Capote’s Black and White Ball, attended by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow, masquerade balls grew quickly in popularity, to the point where wealthy people in ballgowns and masks has almost reached literary cliché.