61st Vienna Opera Ball & ‘Blue Danube’ Tiara

Today marks the 61st annual Vienna Opera Ball (Wiener Opernball) at the Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper).

This year also marks the 150th anniversary of the premiere of ‘The Blue Danube’ (An der schönen blauen Donau, Op. 314) by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899). It was first performed on 15 February 1867, complete with lyrics by Joseph Weyl. Although the beloved waltz is now considered as the unofficial national anthem of Austria and is renowned worldwide, the public’s reception of the lyrical ‘Blue Danube’ was considered a ‘flop’ at the time (at least for Strauss since it only received one encore). Thankfully, the premiere of the orchestral version in Paris at the EXPO later that year made it a hit.

The beautiful *blue* Danube. It looks blue in this photo but I can assure you it also looked brown in other photos!

Le Beau Danube Bleu Tiara by Karl Lagerfeld

Each year, Swarovski – which has been creating tiaras for debutantes of the Vienna Opera Ball since the 1950’s – teams up with an international designer. Who better to choose for this year’s special anniversary than Karl Lagerfeld, the head Designer and Creative Director of Chanel.

This year’s debutantes will be wearing ‘Le Beau Danube Bleu’ (The Beautiful Blue Danube) diadem. The combination of 394 Swarovski clear and sapphire crystals topped with five Swarovski crystal pearls makes this diadem not only elegant and timeless but regal as well. According to Lagerfeld, this tiara is his “vision of the coronation of the Danube.”

Bottom: Karl Lagerfeld’s design

I am certain it will be treasured by all 144 debutantes!