Last week the Justin Timberlake of young socialites, Hadley Nagel, came out — in the good ol' straight American sense — at New York's 56th International Debutantes Ball held at the Waldorf Astoria. The event should be the Culmination of Classy for those 28 young, well-to-do women ranging in age from 17 to 21. With the requisite white dresses, it's like a wedding without the marriage (which, hey, may be what every girl really wants). But like a wedding, someone — okay, multiple people — are bound to say and do the "wrong things."
The night's emcee, Ivan Obolensky, chairman and chief executive officer of the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club, called out the ladies "in the manner of a sports announcer," according to WWD. When it came to Nagel, he couldn't resist bringing the attention on her back to himself, sentiments one imagines may not have been much different from the others in attendance:
“It has come to my attention that one of our debutantes has had a lot of press,” Obolensky bellowed to a crowd of several hundred revelers. “I think this is hot stuff. Fantastic! She had an ancestor sign the Declaration of Independence? Well, so did I. Stand up if you had an ancestor sign the Declaration of Independence. Stand up. Represent America!”
Not one of the white-tie-clad guests rose from their tables at the command, though the master of ceremonies’ remark had been surely aimed at debutante Hadley Nagel, who, as a recent press blitz has made abundantly clear, traces her lineage to two signers.
But America was represented. One escort told WWD, "I’ve never been to the Waldorf before. It’s nice. My dad’s a cop I never thought I’d be doing something like this." And he wasn't the only one to do some good, down-home American representing. WWD writes, "It was unwise for guests to leave their allotted Champagne bottles unattended for long, as a few escorts purloined several from neighboring tables."