While France has much less of a charity gala or red carpet culture, there are nevertheless several noteworthy social events that happen in Europe every year that high society Parisians attend. Here is a social events calendar to browse and keep an eye out for the best upscale red carpet French fashion. You might even want to try your luck at attending one of these glamorous affairs!
Notable Social Events Around the World
These are the most noteworthy social galas and events happening in France and abroad (attended by the French) each year. This list is roughly in chronological order.
Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week
The only notable event during January in France is the Paris Haute Couture fashion week. During the last week of January, designers based in Paris come to showcase their latest creations. If you’re lucky enough to be invited to one of the shows, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of the fashion world.
The César Awards are the French equivalent of the Oscars and are held every February. The awards ceremony is a star-studded event and is one of the most prestigious cinema ceremonies in the French social calendar. From film stars to directors, everyone who’s someone in French movies is present at the Césars.
Paris Fall/Winter Fashion Week
In February, Paris comes alive with fashion again, this time for the Ready-to-Wear collections. From the end of February to the beginning of March, the biggest names in fashion present their latest lines. If you’re not lucky enough to be invited to the shows, you can still see the collections on the catwalks, which are open to the public.
The Met Gala is one of the most exclusive events in the international social calendar, attended by more and more French celebrities each year. Held every first Monday of May, it is a fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York. A-list celebrities from France, models, and socialites attend the glamorous gala, which is known for its outrageous and over-the-top fashion. A specific theme is chosen each year which attendees must adhere to when selecting their outfits for the evening soirée.
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most distinguished film festivals in the world and is held every May in the French Riviera town of Cannes. The festival attracts Hollywood A-listers, as well as the biggest names in international cinema. If you’re lucky enough to get an invitation, you’ll rub shoulders with the biggest names in the film industry.
The amfAR gala is one of the most high-profile charity events in the French social calendar. Held every June during the Cannes Film Festival, the gala raises money for AIDS research. The event is attended by some of the biggest names in the film industry, as well as models, socialites, and other celebrities.
Roland Garros / French Open
The French Open, also referred to as the Roland Garros, is a major tennis tournament held every June in Paris. The event attracts the biggest names in tennis, as well as celebrities and socialites. The semi-finals and final matches are when the most public figures attend. From Marion Cotillard to Jeanne Damas, the French tennis tournament is a key social event in France that attracts high society Parisians.
Monaco Grand Prix
The Monaco Grand Prix is a world-famous Formula One race held every year in May or June in the principality of Monaco. The event attracts the cream of the crop when it comes to both drivers and celebrities. You might rub shoulders with Monegasque royalty if you attend the Monaco Grand Prix.
Gala Grand Prix de Monaco
The Gala Grand Prix de Monaco is a major social event that takes place during the Monaco Grand Prix. The evening event is attended by celebrities, socialites, and racing drivers. If you can snag an invitation, you’ll enjoy a luxurious evening of high French cuisine, champagne, and dancing.
Art Basel is an international art fair that takes place every June in the Swiss city of Basel. However, the event has a strong French presence, with many French galleries and artists exhibiting their work. If you’re an art lover, this is the event for you. You’ll be able to see some of the world’s most famous artworks and meet the people who deal them.
Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week
In July, Paris plays host to the Haute Couture collections. This is a major event in the French social calendar, attended by celebrities, Parisian socialites, and luxury fashion professionals. If you’re lucky enough to go, you’ll be able to see the latest collections from the biggest names in fashion.
Monaco Rose Ball
The Monaco Rose Ball is one of the most glamorous events in the French social calendar. Held every year in Monte Carlo, the event raises money for the Princess Grace Foundation. The ball is attended by celebrities, socialites, and members of Monaco’s royal family. Charlotte Casiraghi and Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi are regular attendees.
Dîner de la Mode / Sidaction Gala
The Dîner de la Mode is an annual gala held in Paris to raise money for AIDS research. The event is attended by French celebrities, socialites, and fashion industry insiders. The gala is usually held in the spring or summer months.
Fight Aids Monaco Gala
Founded by royal Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, the granddaughter of Grace Kelly, the Fight Aids Monaco Gala is a charity gala held at the end of July to raise money for the Monegasque charity organization. It was recently held at Salle des Etoiles.
The Unicef Gala is an annual fundraising event held in either Capri, Italy or Cannes, France. The summertime event, typically held on one of the last days in July, is attended by celebrities, journalists, influencers, and sometimes even royalty. The gala raises money for the Unicef organization, which helps children around the world. It is often sponsored by a big company, most recently Luisaviaroma.
Venice Film Festival
The Venice Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Held every September in Venice, Italy, the festival attracts celebrities, film industry insiders, and socialites from all over the world.
Deauville American Film Festival
The Deauville American Film Festival is a film festival that takes place every September in the northern French seaside town of Deauville. The French-American film festival is attended by the French and international elite, who come to watch the latest American and French films. Many notable figures in French cinema have attended over the years along with a host of American actors, directors, and film professionals!
Paris Opera Ballet Opening Gala
The Paris Opera Ballet’s opening gala is one of the most important social events in the French capital. The gala, which takes place every year in late September, is attended by celebrities, socialites, and French high society. It’s a chance to see the opening show of the best ballet in France. This is the event to see and be seen if you’re interested in ballet, opera, and the performing arts.
Paris Spring/Summer Fashion Week
In late September, the Paris spring/summer ready-to-wear fashion week takes place in different locations around the city. The week-long event is attended by celebrities, socialites, fashion journalists, international buyers, and influencers. It’s a chance to see what the latest fashion trends will be for the next season!
FIAC Art Fair
The FIAC art fair is an annual contemporary art fair that takes place in Paris in October at the central Grand Palais. The event is attended by art dealers, collectors, artists, and enthusiasts from all over the world.