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Jean-Gabriel DOMERGUE through parties, society events and festivities

Jean Gabriel DOMERGUE à travers les fêtes, mondanités.


“My husband was a born organiser but also a hard worker.”

Jean-Gabriel DOMERGUE:

“Parties allow one to live beyond the confines of time, beyond the ordinary… a clean break from everyday life where, for a few hours, everyone becomes ‘another’ and can live without constraint…”

Créateur-magicien de fêtes grandioses : citons-en quelques unes…

Magical creator of lavish parties. To name a few…

On June 24th 1922, he organises the 18th Century Venetian themed ‘Ball of a Thousand Beauties’ at the Paris Opera House. He decorates the edge of the boxes with antique tapestries and large gold shawls. He lines the huge stage entirely with black velvet…He both designs and executes the decor.

On November 24th 1922, he organises the Festival of Saint Catherine in Montmartre.

On May 29th 1923, he recreates the atmosphere of the Second Empire for the Gavarni Ball at the Paris Opera House.     

On June 8th 1923, he organises the 1830 Ball at the Palais Royal.

He then organises another ball to bring the parasol back into fashion – the elegant automobile contest in the Bois de Boulogne  and also the bathing costume contest at the Molitor swimming baths on June 18th 1934.

On July 6th 1935, he creates a firework show for the grand night at Longchamp entitled ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. On May 6th 1936, the Red Cross commission him to organise a grand flower ball. In 1947, he presides at the house of CARVEN’s Festival of Saint Catherine.

For the theme of each party he designs costumes for the women and the men and helps the couturiers realise them. Thus he became a valued friend to all the grand couturiers of the time but above all to Paul POIRET.

Carnaval, circa 1920


Jean-Gabriel Domergue’s parties in the town were famed and remembered long afterwards. Notably: In honour of Maurice Chevalier in 1929 and the Venetian Gala in 1931. In the Winter of 1922-23 his energy is boundless: On January 20th he recreates a Moroccan souk in which all the traditional costumes are represented, from that of the beggar to that of the richest Fasi, and North African dances punctuate the entertainment. January 27th marks the Festival of Seville in Spanish costumes. February 3rd is the enchanted garden where flowers and fruit abound. On February 10th the ‘Snow Queen’ arrives. White and ermine fur coats could be seen among all the polar animals. The 17th February is lit up by the Festival of Light where the costumes illustrate all manner of lighting.

On February 24th is the Festival of the Far East with Chinese porcelain, Buddhas, dragons and pagodas. On the 3rd of March is the couture gala where new designs from the Parisian grand couturiers are presented. Four grand balls are also held: on February 13th, Shrove Tuesday, is the grand Venetian ball; the 8th of March marks the middle of Lent with Robinson from 1840 to 1860, the Orphéon band, Veronique and the donkey, students and grisettes; March 10th marks the Nautical ball where corals, shells and imaginary sea monsters could be seen. Finally, on March 17th, to finish on a royal note, the party is held beneath the trees at the Trianon with marchionesses, shepherdesses and costumes from the 18th Century.

What a fertile imagination and what energy he had!





Over the years Jean-Gabriel DOMERGUE and his wife held dazzling receptions at their villa, the Fiesole, with its enchanting surroundings, which, undoubtedly contributed to Cannes’ success.

The ball at the Carlton.



As a fine connoisseur, in 1937, he organises the ‘Coiffure de soirée’ gala, dedicated to one of the most beautiful female attributes. Gifted with communicative joy and a striking sense of humour, Jean-Gabriel DOMERGUE, who organises society’s most fashionable festivities in France, is in demand abroad: He creates the ‘Goya ball’ for the Spanish court in Madrid.





The Principality and its prestigious Opera house had to wait until 1925 in order to enjoy Jean-Gabriel DOMERGUE’s creativity with ‘the Golden Ball’, ‘the Enchanted Garden Ball’ and the ‘Arrival of Spring’. All of them were in heavenly settings and had a considerable success.




For the inauguration of the ‘Train Bleu’, Monsieur Cornuché called upon Jean-Gabriel DOMERGUE which resulted in the unforgettable ‘gai voyage’ in 1923, on the 29th and 30th June.

On Whit Sunday in 1932, he organises ‘the ball of the frogs”

On 14th July, 1936 he organises the ‘Petits chapeaux’ gala. 




In 1922, the ‘Grand Ball of the Second Empire’ at the Hôtel du Palais was honoured with the presence of King Alphonse XIII and his wife, Queen Victoria and the Shah of Persia as well as many dignitaries of the era. In the following years, Jean-Gabriel DOMERGUE would organise the entertainment at the Casino de Bellevue.

“Costumes for the Second Empire Ball”