LONDON cabbie’s daughter Lauren Marbe was among guests at the annual Paris débutantes’ ball; the first time a girl from an unprivileged family has been invited, out of merit.
Ms Marbe walzed on the dance floor with her taxi driver father, along with other guests like aspiring fashion designer Kyra Kennedy and her father Robert Kennedy Junior, son of the late president and British royal Lady Amelia Windsor.
Anthony Ghosn, son of Renault president Carlos, was also there, among young men acting as chevaliers servants – escorts to the debs.
Ms Marbe became famous for her IQ test score of 161, one point higher than Einstein.
The event at the Automobile Club of France in Paris is based on the debutantes’ balls that were once an established part of the British upper class's social calendar – to launch them into “Society” and hopefully help them find a husband.
The original debutante balls were last held in the 1950s – the Queen abolished them – but there have been copies, including the current Paris balls, which have been held since 1992.
They link high society and fashion, with around 20 young women dancing and dining in dresses loaned by haute couture houses.
Now in her 21st year, organiser Ophélie Renouard aims to attract as many big names as possible to the event, known as Le Bal, which also has a charitable aim.
The débutantes’ families donate to Children of Asia, which funds underprivileged girls through school in South-east Asia. Each year the gifts fund a year of school for about 900 young girls.
The ball is usually at the Crillon hotel, but it is closed for restoration this year.
Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP