On the 28th of March I had the privilege to attend my first “Monaco Rose Ball” (Bal de la Rose), a magical Charity Event held in Monaco since decades, not to mention one of the most glamorous nights of the year. Let me tell you some more about this event and my preparation …
It all started at the Hermitage Hôtel, one of my favorite Hotels in Monte Carlo, a cozy and elegant place, the perfect location to get ready before a big night out. Such a classy occasion requires all attention to detail, particularly with regards to the selected outfit. I wanted to truly respect the dress code and arrive with a classic, traditional look for men. It came so naturally to choose a sleek, black tuxedo by Brooks Brothers Monaco.
Brooks Brothers has its store located in Yacht Club de Monaco and it is the oldest Fashion Brand from USA, founded in New York in 1818. It has been an honor for me to wear a creation from such a historical brand that has almost 2 centuries of existence, and has been worn by numerous Statesmen and Celebrities. The brand actually outfitted 39 of the 44 American Presidents Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Obama, just to name a few.
So my set up was perfectly on point, as I adjusted my Fit shirt – a unique creation boasting a special wing collar and removable ‘mother of pearl’ button strips and stud set … the perfect touch for a well dressed man, combined with equally striking cufflinks.
As I got out of the Hôtel, walking towards the car, I felt the buzz and realized that my perfectly tailored, pure wool Tux was in fact the true confidence accessory, boasting a luxurious and clean-cut shape.
Now, the fashion protocol doesn’t exactly approve of wearing a watch with my dinner jacket, but I must explain why I simply could not resist putting a timepiece on my wrist.
Just for the anecdote, do you know why it is usually not on point to wear a watch with a Tux? It is a tradition, dating back to the old days, which implied that wearing a watch was a mark of disrespect for your host, as if you were looking at the time so as to indicate boredom!
But the timepiece I had was way too special, way too incredible not to be worn. Known as the “Clé de Cartier”, a piece that is not even in stores yet and one that I had the privilege of wearing as a premiere.
At first glance the 40 MM, 18K gold rose case seems to be simple, in its allure and aesthetic. But having a closer look at the timepiece with deeper attention to detail, made me realize I had a truly iconic timepiece on my wrist – with bold lines and a whole new distinctive form. But it comes as no surprise, that a Maison like Cartier, which has been mastering the art of counting time, in a precise way, with talent, century of experience, passion and creativity, has combined all these values in one – “Clé de Cartier”. A watch that feels as good as it looks, respecting and embracing all that Cartier style is.
Above all, it is the innovation behind The Clé, meaning Key, which really impressed me! It brings a new gesture to the world of watchmaking, by the sole act of resetting time as if you were turning a key to wind up a clock. The Clé is easy to handle and is adorned with a pure Sapphire – an exquisite finish for effortless design and pure elegance.
So lastly, let me adjust one of my best accessories, my bow tie, the ever-delicate yet essential finishing touch for a gentleman and I am all ready to jump in the car for the best Ball Night ever. And let me tell you – jumping in the car has never had such a literal sense!
The car, dating back to 1957 was brought into the Principality by “Riviera Classic Car Hire”, a company offering the possibility to hire a Classic car for a few days for those wanting to simply live the driving dream.
What can I say? Turning on the Key, was an attention-grab in itself: the engine roaring powerfully, reminding me that despite its refined look, I am at the wheel of a race car. And with all the lights, glitz and glamour, it was time to embrace the “James Dean” moment and fly around the streets of Monaco rebelliously.
After all, what would be a tour in Monaco without passing by the Casino Place and the notorious “Hotel de Paris”?
The entire style… of the streets, the attire, the car itself and its tubular design so typical of the Porsche signature, it was all perfectly on point and aligned!
After roaming the streets and admiring the beauty of the Principality in this Classic Porsche Cabriolet, with that “wind in my hair” attitude, it was time to go into the shiny lights of the event!
The Rendezvous at “Salle des Etoiles” for the annual Bal de la Rose, had officially begun – a charity event created in 1954 by Princess Grace – it was an honor to be here Under the Presidency of H.S.H. The Prince Prince Albert II of Monaco and H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover.
For this 61st Rose Ball, H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover, President of the Princess Grace Foundation, had invited her friend Karl Lagerfeld to design the overall interior and aesthetics of the Ball. They came up with the “Art Deco” theme and transformed the hall into a fantasy world splashed with hundreds of fresh pink roses.
The décor itself was nothing less than utmost perfection – impressive and soft at the same time, evolving with light effects across the walls and a colorful touch with the 9,000 roses dispersed across the tabletops.
The vast dining area was oriented toward the center stage where we enjoyed a great entertainment line-up, especially a dazzling guest performance by the talented Lily Allen, dressed ‘head to toe’ of course in Chanel designed by Mr. Lagerfeld.
Not long into the spectacle, the guests jumped on the dance floor in good spirits, further adding to the great energy already present in the Salle des Etoiles, making for truly magical and unforgettable moment.
That was my Rose Ball – gathered among the Royal family, international celebrities and renowned guests for a glamorous evening and above all, one amazing charitable cause.
Special thanks go to Brooks Brothers Monaco located in the Yacht Club de Monaco, Quai Louis II, where you should definitely pass by to check out their great fashion collections (for him, for her, even for the kids). Visit www.brooksbrothers.com to discover all the collections.
Thanks to Cartier as well for giving us the opportunity to showcase the exquisite Clé de Cartier. Visit www.cartier.com to find out more about their timepieces and accessories.
And last but not least, thanks to Riviera Classic Car Hire for having brought the amazing classic Porsche 550 Spyder that I drove for the week end. More info about how to get a classic car on : www.rivieraclassiccarhire.com
Last but not least, thanks to Monte Carlo SBM (Société des Bains de Mer) for being such a great host, more info on www.montecarlosbm.com
Executive Producer, Director, AuthorTom Claeren
Photo Credit Bal de la Rose© Le Palais Princier / Pierre VILLARD / SBM
Photo Credit Bal de la Rose© Le Palais Princier / Luc CASTEL / SBM
Photo Credit Bal de la Rose© Le Palais Princier / Gaetan LUCI / SBM
Photo Credit Bal de la Rose© Le Palais Princier / Frederic NEBINGER / SBM
Text editorAna Krndija