“I just wanted to give a party for my friends.”
It was a night shrouded in mystery.
Thrown in honor of Katherine Graham, his friend and publisher of the Washington Post, Truman Capote chose the striking Grand Ballroom at New York’s Plaza Hotel as the setting for his 1966 Black and White Masquerade. Dubbed the “Party of the Century” by the public and press, Capote’s ball remains one of the most celebrated parties ever thrown.
Harkening back to this scene of ages past, the Ocean House, in collaboration with the Westerly Chamber of Commerce, recreated a present-day incarnation of the iconic party Capote unknowingly made famous. The sold-out party of some 670 attendees netted more than $100,000 for the Chamber’s “Bring Back the Beach” fund, $55,000 of which was raised from admissions alone.
As masked guests ascended the Ocean House steps, they set foot into a bygone era of timeless elegance and an exciting, salubrious atmosphere. Zipped and buttoned into their finest gowns and tuxedos, visitors were ushered toward a gilded floor-length mirror for photographs, a nod to Capote’s very own masked portrait taken moments before his own ball. In Seasons, crowds sipped cocktails, sampled a variety of artisanal cheeses and dined on fresh selections from our raw bar.
Downstairs in the Gallery Foyer, guests were greeted by an expansive display of sweet temptations created by Executive Pastry Chef Adam Young and his team. After passing beneath a coating of black and white balloons guests followed the harmonies of High Definition Band into the Seaside Ballroom, where the black-and-white checked floor begged to be danced on.
As the clock neared midnight, guests reluctantly made their way to cars, homes and beds. The party was ending but, like Capote’s own masquerade, the enchantment of the evening will remain forever with those who attended.