In 1966 Truman Capote, the acclaimed writer of Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood was at the height of his popularity as a darling of New York's society and also of Hollywood. For months he wrote and rewrote the 540 names that would make the final guest list for his Black and White Ball, an event of the utmost importance for him, assembling the most glamorous and fascinating people from the worlds of fashion, society and art.
In November of 1966, the creme de la creme of the beautiful, the rich, and the famous gathered at the Plaza Hotel dressed up in black and white, hiding their faces behind bespoke masks. Spurned socialites mortified at the prospect of other people becoming aware of their misfortune insisted that they had received an invitation but had obligations elsewhere, in cosmopolitan and exotic destinations, that prevented them from attending the party.
Capote may have wore a 39-cent domino mask but his guests gave it their all. The bespoke masks were adorned with everything from jewels, feathers, flowers, glitter, fur and pearls.
Candice Bergen's Halston bunny mask was made of white mink fur
Frank Sinatra in a black cat mask and Mia Farrow as a white butterfly
Billy Baldwin in a unicorn mask
16 year old Penelope Tree as a goth Pierrot
Gianni and Marella Αgnelli
After the party, the media had a ball of their own, printing party reports and photos for days. The unforunate who had gone without an invitation yet insisted they had been invited were punished by the New York Times who published the official guest list. Capote denied having anything to do with this, according to the newspaper however, he had been quite cooperative.