The event, which honored Katharine Graham, the former publisher of the Washington Post, was a coveted invite. And the guests, who included Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra, were, according to The New York Times, “as spectacular a group as has ever been assembled for a private party in New York.”
The series depicts the ball through imaginary footage shot by the Maysles brothers, the documentary team. It suggests a cattier side to the bash, with humiliated party crashers, scorned ex-wives and an inebriated host.
Ahead of the third episode, members of the Styles desk discussed the gowns at the ball, designed by Zac Posen; the hair; and what made the party so good.
GUY TREBAY How much does everyone wish that the Maysles brothers had actually made that movie?
VANESSA FRIEDMAN Then we would really know what happened at Capote’s famous Black and White Ball — and exactly what everyone wore.
TREBAY The costuming for the party scene came pretty close to approximating what people wore to that ball, judging by contemporary photos.