Canalis’ breast slips out at Opera Ball

The Vienna Opera Ball proved to be a glitzy occasion on Thursday night, with star guest Elisabetta Canalis dancing so enthusiastically she had a wardrobe malfunction, and supermodel Naomi Campbell turning up as a surprise last-minute guest.

Canalis' breast slips out at Opera Ball
Hoppala! Canalis' dress proved a little impractical. Photo: APA/Hochmuth

Canalis was there as 82-year-old billionaire Richard Lugner’s guest and she chose to wear a daring red Vivienne Westwood dress, which left her with an exposed breast (NSFW) after too many twirls on the dance floor.

Canalis, an Italian model, famously dated Hollywood actor George Clooney for two years before they split in 2011.

Lugner pays vast sums to have a glamorous celebrity on his arm at the annual Opera ball. The pair were also joined by the construction tycoon’s new wife, former Playboy model Cathy Schmitz, who is 25.

Canalis laughed off what's being referred to by some Austrian papers as "nipplegate" and seemed to be having a good time, telling reporters that it was “really beautiful and the singers are wonderful. It’s something you have to experience.” She said she had no trouble conversing with the heavily indebted Lugner, who is not known for speaking very good English.

Over 5,000 guests turned up to the sold-out ball in Vienna’s State Opera. Austrian actor Helmut Berger appeared in a wheelchair, with his toenails painted red and Naomi Campbell came with her friend Kathrin Glock (the wife of firearms company founder Gaston Glock).

Tickets to the ball start at €270 and a box in the Opera House costs more than €20,000.

It is one of the most exclusive events in the Viennese social calendar and is always kicked off with 186 debutantes and their partners dancing the opening waltz.

Vienna hosts more than 450 balls every year, including a magician’s ball, a confectioner’s ball and a coffee makers ball.  

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Lugner invites Goldie Hawn as his date to Vienna Opera Ball

American actress Goldie Hawn will be billionaire Richard Lugner's celebrity guest at the Vienna Opera Ball on February 23rd.

Lugner invites Goldie Hawn as his date to Vienna Opera Ball
Goldie Hawn at the Berlin Film Festival. Photo: Siebbi/Wikimedia

Her long-term partner Kurt Russell will not be accompanying her, as he is having an operation this month.

Hawn (71) won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her 1969 film Cactus Flower.

Lugner (84) said that it was his daughter’s idea to invite Goldie Hawn to this year's Opera Ball, and that he “likes her very much” and thinks she’s a great choice.

Hawn now runs a non-profit foundation dedicated to giving children around the world access to a good education.

The annual Vienna Opera Ball is a highlight of the European social calendar and Lugner always pays a (usually much younger) celebrity to be his guest at the event. Last year he invited American actress Brooke Shields.

Lugner’s 2014 guest – Kim Kardashian – made headlines after complaining that she experienced racism whilst in Vienna and labelled the whole trip a “nightmare”.

She was confronted by an Austrian comedian in full 'blackface' during the ball, who pretended to be her husband, rapper Kanye West.

Lugner later said that Kim was “annoying” and that he regretted inviting her as she kept stopping to film her reality TV show.

Lugner’s previous guests to the Opera Ball have included Harry Belafonte, Joan Collins, Sophia Loren, Sarah Ferguson, Jacqueline Bisset, Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton.

Last year Lugner – who made his money in the construction industry – made an unsuccessful attempt to run for the Austrian presidency, saying he was inspired by fellow building magnate Donald Trump's campaign in the US. 

In November Lugner divorced his fifth wife after just two years of marriage. He and TV presenter and former Playboy model Cathy Schmitz, 26, wed in September 2014.

He had previously sworn off marriage forever after his fourth divorce, but admitted that Cathy managed to change his mind.