Something Surreal

Hurry up and bid on this Hélène Rochas Surrealist headpiece!

January 4, 2024

A great hostess strives to create a memorable evening, Marie-Hélène Rothchild didn’t want to create a memorable ball but a legendary one. She invited the who’s who of 1972 and instructed guests to dress in surrealist attire making each guest an endless subject of conversation. Julien’s Auctions will be offering a headpiece worn by Hélène Rochas to the legendary ball, lot 93, designed by Hector Pascual. The unique piece is a fitted skull-cap with a victrola-like horn that becomes an arm with the index figure resting on the record needle. Maybe Rochas had the foresight of mobile music devices: Walkman, iPods, and smartphones?

Taking place December 12, 1972 at the Rothchild Chateau Ferrières in France, the surrealist ball attendees included fashion forward thinkers such as Salvadore Dali, Audrey Hepburn, and Baron Alexis de Rede. To avoid awkward silence or worse the deadly yawn, dinner party fatality, Elsa Maxwell, a well-known gossip columnist, said, “Serve dinner backward, do anything but for goodness sake, do something weird.” Rothchild sent invitations to her guests typed backward so they would have to use a mirror to read the invite.

The party has become iconic because of the haunting images of the decor, abstract outfits, and tacky excessive decadence. The front of the house was lit as if it were on fire, almost as if the guests might be entering purgatory. Upon entering the home, guests would enter a maze of cobwebs and ribbons, and if someone were to lose their way, they could call for help and a footman dressed as a cat would help them find their way out. Fur cover plates would set the table with dismembered baby doll center pieces and taxidermy turtles decorated the tabletops.

So, if you are searching for the next hash tag-worthy accessory to wear to your next dinner party hurry up and bid on Hélène Rochas surrealist headpiece, you will be the subject of conversation and trending the following days afterwards.

1972 Rothschild Surrealist Ball, Helene Rochas Head Piece

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