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The Real Life of Viviana G: ‘Bal De l’Eté,’ The Inside Story!


 'Bal De l’Eté,' The Inside Story!

By Viviana G
(The Creatot of Petit Pois) 


Fellow readers and fashionistas–here’s the inside story and Part II of Bal de l’Eté, the Monte-Carlo adventure! This wonderful event takes place every year and was created by the beautiful Princess Catherine de Stigliano in the mid-nineties and she has since dedicated herself to philanthropic causes.


The Bal de l’Eté and the Bal des Etoiles are the sole benefit of the Sovereign Order of Malta of Monaco and Pain Without Borders in Paris. Both galas are favorite of the rich and famous and continue being on the top social agendas of jetsetters.

I’m bringing you my inside story— though I can only show you what pictures I am allowed to share since the privacy of the event continues to be a must.

 'Bal De l’Eté,' The Inside Story! by Viviana G

My journey started travelling through the Zurich airport which is practically a shopping mall. It’s filled with fashion and restaurants—it wasn’t hard to keep myself entertained while waiting to board our next plane out for Nice, France. From Nice, it was just a car ride away until we arrived in Monte-Carlo.
 'Bal De l’Eté,' The Inside Story! by Viviana G

We always arrive a day early to adjust to the new time zone and of course to spend it by the famous pool at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel. The inside of this pool has a sandy bottom and goes from shallow to deep, mimicking the ocean floor. The view from our room of the French Riviera was so beautiful and perfect for breakfast on the terrace.


 'Bal De l’Eté,' The Inside Story! by Viviana G
Each elevator in the hotel was a different color inside and each had their own ‘couch’ — bottom right photo.
The French Riviera at The Real Life of Viviana G
The French Riviera.

The 3-day event started with a cocktail reception, this year’s theme was ‘Chicago Fizz’, at the Monte-Carlo Beach Club pool. The evening provided stunning views all around. Our drinks went bottoms-up and the bites were chow-down and later the party continued at The Sea Lounge Club.


My husband, Rafael Gabeiras, in head-to-toe Hugo Boss Black Label; my friend Rachel Virghis, an art dealer from London, wearing Pucci, and I wore a dress by  Ema Savalh
My husband, Rafael Gabeiras, in head-to-toe Hugo Boss Black Label; my friend Rachel Virghis, an art dealer from London, wearing Pucci, and I wore a dress by  Ema Savalh.

Saturday we soaked up the Monte-Carlo sun and went on an adventure– we patrolled the beaches for a restaurant recommended by the concierge. Appropriately enough, the restaurant was named Miami Plague—which translates to Miami Beach. On our way back we stumbled upon the Memorial for Princess Grace.


The Real Life of Viviana G: 'Bal De l’Eté,' The Inside Story!

The night of the Ball, ‘American Dinner’  was under the stars at the Salle des Etoiles, I let my “James Bond”, a/k/a my husband, pick out my dress for the night. My choice would have been the red off the shoulder mermaid tail dress; he loved the deep v-back python sequin dress (pleasing him was more important!)


The Real Life of Viviana G: 'Bal De l’Eté,' The Inside Story!

In my dress and my “James Bond” in Versace (suit) and Hugo Boss Black Label (button down shirt)
In my dress and my “James Bond” in Versace (suit) and Hugo Boss Black Label (button down shirt)
From top left: My friends Firuze Hariri and Rachel Virghis; the reception on looking the French Riviera; Jimmy’z Nightclub; Yoshi Ohmura and his skull shoes; the pass way to the reception.
From top left: My friends Firuze Hariri and Rachel Virghis; the reception on looking the French Riviera; Jimmy’z Nightclub; Yoshi Ohmura and his skull shoes; the pass way to the reception.
The evening was spectacular! The atmosphere was electric —tv’s playing black and white films, a DJ cranking out tunes and a dome overhead that opened up to show us the heavens and all its bright stars.  From the Ball, we all went to Jimmy’z Nightclub and danced all night long.

From top left: the DJ; Vanessa Sterling and her husband; Thomas Stromstedt from Sweden, his friend and Nenad Marovac.
From top left: the DJ; Vanessa Sterling and her husband; Thomas Stromstedt from Sweden, his friend and Nenad Marovac.

The Bal de l’Eté is a charity event and that evening Thomas Stromstedt, the man who climbed Everest, showcased his charity, dZi Foundation, which is still currently raising money to build a school in Nepal.


The dress code for women was ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ Audrey Hepburn, and a lot of the ladies were wearing the famous long satin gloves. Ladies watch out, because this is one of the biggest trends coming!
The dress code for women was ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ Audrey Hepburn, and a lot of the ladies were wearing the famous long satin gloves. Ladies watch out, because this is one of the biggest trends coming!

Of course in such an event, I expected the powder rooms to be nothing but amazing; however, my expectations were far exceeded. When you walk in, you had several small vanities with 2 chairs at each, the sinks and mirrors were off to your left and the restrooms were private, individual, stalls from ceiling to floor. It was definitely one of the most exquisite powder rooms.

The Real Life of Viviana G: 'Bal De l’Eté,' The Inside Story!

The last day in Monte-Carlo, Sunday, we had the ‘New York’ Brunch at the Hotel de Paris. The theme was very ‘Americana’; the dress code as well as the food. It is tradition for the ladies to sit at the terrace of the Hotel de Paris and have brunch.


The Real Life of Viviana G: 'Bal De l’Eté,' The Inside Story!
Inside the Hotel de Paris for brunch; outside on the terrace with my friend Firuze Hariri, a fashion designer from San Francisco and my husband, Rafael Gabeiras.
Inside the Hotel de Paris for brunch; outside on the terrace with my friend Firuze Hariri, a fashion designer from San Francisco and my husband, Rafael Gabeiras.
After brunch, our Sunday afternoon was spent overlooking Monte-Carlo fashions and visiting the Metropole Hotel. 

From top left: the Metropole Hotel; Christian Dior widow; Hotel de Paris; and inside the Metropole Hotel
From top left: the Metropole Hotel; Christian Dior widow; Hotel de Paris; and inside the Metropole Hotel

We finished up the day with a sunset at The Sea Lounge at the Monte-Carlo Beach Club.

The Real Life of Viviana G: 'Bal De l’Eté,' The Inside Story!
The Real Life of Viviana G: 'Bal De l’Eté,' The Inside Story!

To sum up the Farewell to Monte-Carlo, I wanted to share some great words from the Princess and one of the most important guests which were sent to us as a welcome back greeting after we all arrived home. 

From Princess Catherine:

“Dear Friends, I hope this message finds you basking in the much anticipated Summer. We were delighted you were part of our mob of ‘Men in Black’ at the “Bal de l’Eté” in Monte-Carlo.

Although the ball is behind us, happy memories abound, some of the most intense undoubtedly include our man Thomas Stromstedt’s presentation of his Mount Everest climb, scaling the heights for a noble cause. We look forward to turning up the volume once again at the “Bal des Etoiles” in Paris this November 1st 2nd 3rd!… Wherever you are, wishing you Happy Trials, Catherine Colonna de Stigliano”

From Thomas himself:

“Dear participants at the “Bal de l’Eté, I hope you had an amazing time at this year’s ball – I did for sure. Here is the link to the Everest web site, where you can find the video I showed at the “Bal de l’Eté”, as well as information and pictures from the Everest expedition, the dZi Foundation, as well as the school project I am specifically fundraising for: www.Thomas-2013-Everest.com www.Thomas-2013-Everest.com/charity-donations/ 

Kind regards, Thomas” 

Thank you for being part of this experience and allowing me to bring you once more my real life.

Your Designer, Viviana G.


The Real Life of Viviana G: 'Bal De l’Eté,' The Inside Story!


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