We Tried It: Attending the Ultra-Glam, Debutante Viennese Opera Ball

PEOPLE.com | 2/9/2018 | Staff
Click For Photo: https://peopledotcom.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/gettyimages-913648300.jpg?crop=0px,0px,2000px,1050px&resize=1200,630

party like a habsburg ✨🇦🇹 #vienneseoperaball

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What is it: The Viennese Opera Ball, a white-tie debutante ball in New York City with Austrian flair.

Difficulty: 2/10 — The only thing that’s challenging about attending a glamorous white-tie event is lasting the entire night in heels.

Lot - Philosophies - Life - Always - Order

I have a lot of philosophies in life. Among them: Always order the side of fries, naps are important to mental health, and if life hands you the opportunity to get over-the-top dressed up, take it.

So when an invitation to the Viennese Opera Ball landed in my inbox, I quickly read up on the event. Held annually in New York City, it’s the American counterpart to the world-famous Vienna Opera Ball that has taken place annually in Austria since 1814. (The two aren’t formally connected.) Twelve young women were set to make their “debut” at this year’s ball, including a real-life archduchess who is descended from Austria’s now-defunct royal family, the Habsburgs.

Gown - Prom - Years - Opportunities - Gown

I haven’t worn a floor-length gown since my prom nearly eight years ago. As opportunities to wear a formal gown seem to come along once a decade in my life, I knew I didn’t want to buy something that would inevitably sit in the back of my closet for the next 10 years. (Sorry, prom dress.) Instead, I elected to rent a dress, which led me to Armarium, a high-fashion rental site who recently named celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger (she dresses my favorite, Michelle Dockery!) their fashion director. I filled out their online survey, called the Armibot, which asked me a bunch of questions ranging from my style icons (Kate Middleton, obviously!) to the silhouettes I prefer. Less than 24 hours later, a few options landed in my inbox.

My final choice was a (gorgeous) high-low Prabal Gurung feathered gown with pearl detailing, which arrived the day before the ball. And for a...
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