Who were the hugely tacky snobs at the International Debutantes Ball in New York last night? Many were from Texas. One is Arianna Huffington's daughter!

Of the 47 debutantes at the Waldorf Astoria, celebrating their privilege against a backdrop of economic catastrophe, at least one clutch came from Texas, according to AP's captions. But there were also plenty of girls from states less enthralled with the antebellum South, including New York (yes, Mahattan specifically), New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

California made its contribution, too: Christina Sophia Huffington, daughter of Arianna, was there. The internet publisher didn't return AP's calls (see link up top), but as Lauren Collins' New Yorker profile reminded everyone, the Stassinopouloses are historically a socially ambitious family. In her younger days, Greece-born Arianna set tongues wagging in both London and New York ("Arianna Stassinopoulos has become, in record time, a fixture in East Side social life," New York wrote).

At least we know one reason the Huffington Post needs so much outside money! (UPDATE: Huffington's daughter is in last pic (screenshot) below.)

UPDATE 2: Various mothers provide hilarious rationales for attending the ball to the Times:

  • "The director of the ball, Margaret Hedberg, brushed off the $14,000 cost of a table - 'Watches cost more,' she said."
  • " Armstrong Himelrick said, 'It is extravagant. But I felt it was important for my daughter, and things might get worse.'"
  • "Ms. Tufts noted that the event raised money for charity, adding, 'The planning was done a year ago, so you don't renege on your support.'"
  • "'There are a lot of waiters working tonight, so it's doing something for the economy.''"

Take in the ill-advised extravagance in the gallery below.

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels

Guest of a Guest has Christina Huffington debutante pics:

Debutantes Indulge As Nation Reels