Fashion & Beauty

Debutantes: When Glamour was Born

When the golden age of high fashion and high society converged, and glamour was born. A debutante’s dress is anything but a minor detail, and this sumptuous volume delights in one stunning look after another: lace bodices and silver sequins by Chanel; Vionnet’s luxurious silk brocades; the signature white satin gloves and ubiquitous feathers of the ’30s; fluid frocks by Schiaparelli; the heiress-worthy designs of Claire McCardell and Valentina, especially popular with the ladies of the Whitney and Vanderbilt families; tulle and chiffon gowns by Dior and Mainbocher; sleek, one-shoulder styles by Norman Norell; and the one-of-a-kind, custom-made gowns donned by countless celebutantes, such as Jackie Kennedy and Brenda Frazier (whose custom frock earned her the cover of Life magazine). Debutantes celebrates the timeless tradition with gorgeous photography from high-society and fashion documenters such as Cecil Beaton, Toni Frissell, and Slim Aarons as well as never-before-published pictures culled from personal collections. Traversing winter cotillions at the Waldorf, summer coming-out soirees in Newport, and bourgeois banquets in Paris, Debutantes marries high fashion and society with an eternal allure to be coveted by all ages.

About The Author

Diana Oswald has spent over two decades working with publications such as Marie Claire, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Elle, and Domino. World-renowned fashion designer Oscar de la Renta launched his eponymous ready-to-wear line in 1965. Today, the house produces a bridal collection, fragrances, home décor, childrenswear, and accessories, in addition to its signature ready-to-wear. David Patrick Columbia is the founder and editor of New York Social Diary.

  • Publish Date: October 01, 2013
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Design - Fashion & Accessories
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9-1/2 x 11
  • Pages: 158
  • US Price: $55.00
  • CDN Price: $55.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-3787-8


Debutantes is full of beautiful photography bys some of the greatest photographers of a generation…along with many we haven ever heard of. One of the most appealing details of this scrapbook is that the process is exposed—warts and all.” ~NY Journal of Books

“The visually rich coffee table book provides insight into society’s ultimate right of passage—the Debutante Ball—particularly as it merged with high fashion in the twentieth century.” ~The Daily Beast

“Our fascination with the coming out parties of the glamorous and privileged young women of yesteryear has not waned, even though many of the traditions surrounding those events have changed. Taking a nostalgic look back at winter cotillions at the Waldorf, coming-out summer soirees in Newport, and bourgeois banquets in Paris, Debutantes celebrates the golden age when high fashion and high society converged…” ~Weston Magazine

"Inside these pages...Oswald celebrates the golden age when high fashion and high society converged, and all eyes were on the young women in long white gloves....featuring gorgeous photography from high society and fashion insiders of the day....Debutantes offers a look at many never-before-published pictures....this book the must-read of the season." -Palm Beach Magazine

Author Bookshelf: David Patrick Columbia