Reese Witherspoon and Steve Harvey brought their respective daughters, Ava Phillippe and Lori Harvey, to Paris this week for a traditional “coming out” prior to officially presenting them in society at Saturday’s 25th annual Bal des Debutantes.
Leading up to the “Le Bal” debutante presentation at the Peninsula Hotel, both families celebrated Thanksgiving in Paris — going shopping, visiting museums and taking in the local sights in the City of Light.
Witherspoon, 41, and Phillippe, 18, once again looked like twins when they were photographed wearing identical matching mother/daughter black outfits while catching a mix of Paris’ haute couture and boutique shopping (with stops at Chanel, A.P.C. and Gucci). Being in Paris, they also made an Eiffel Tower visit (natch).
On Thanksgiving Day, Phillippe accompanied Witherspoon and husband Jim Toth to the Centre Pompidou before taking a walk through the Tuilieries Garden, posting a photo of 5-year old brother Tennessee on a carousel.
On Friday, the mother/daughter duo attended the Bal des Debutantes’ traditional “day before” breakfast and run-through, with the teen trying her designer gown (she’ll wear Giambatttista Valli reportedly) while Lori, 20, practiced wearing a creation from Elie Saab — telling Madame Figaro, her nightmare “was probably falling.”
“My dress is very long, so I did a couple of try-ons this morning just to see that I didn’t get caught in the fabric,” she said.
After a few trials, Lori expressed confidence in her dress and had begun looking forward to Friday evening’s two-hour waltz rehearsal with her brother Wynton, 20, who’ll serve as her escort.
The dance instruction was also attended by Ava and her escort, Padmanabh Singh, the 19-year old Maharajah of Jaipur.
A polo playing acquaintance of Prince William, Singh’s dashing presence at Le Bal has attracted considerable press attention in Paris. Known to friends as “Pacho,” he’s a member of India’s national polo team — who told journalists he’d only asked friends show him the steps for the waltz (the ball’s traditional opening dance) in just the past few weeks. Besides Ava, he has a ready-made dance partner in his sister the Princess Gauravi Kumari of Jaipur, who is also making her debut this season.
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Inspired by the traditional “coming out” parties of centuries past, the annual white-tie and tails event has been held in Paris since 1992. Previous debutantes have included the daughters of Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood and Bruce Willis. Last year’s class included Ella Beatty, the daughter of Annette Bening and Warren Beatty.
Others making their debut this year include British model Stella Tennant’s daughter Cecily Lasnet, 17, (wearing Chanel) and Belgium’s Princess Natasha d’Arenberg, 20, who’ll dress in Belgian designer Frederic Luca Landi. Americans represent a third of this year’s 20 selected debutantes. Among them Lily Webster 17, (wearing Alexis Mabille) of Spartanburg, South Carolina; Charlotte Bell, 17, of New York City and Los Angeles, Jeanne Malle 16, (wearing Viviane Westwood) of New York City, and Laila Blavatnik 18, of London and New York City.