Mad about the Ball

Themed parties are tricky. There is always that aching fine line between kitsch and costume. Cross it and you look like a glorified parody on Halloween. The Young Patrons Ball of the Museum of Arts and Design on May 19th would present a significantly similar dilemma. Redesigned by Bettina Prentice as a time traveling gala, artists McDermott & McGough transformed the beautiful Beaux Arts James Burden Mansion in a 1920s immersion experience. As a member of the hosting committee (with luminaries like Zani Gugelmann, Indre Rockefeller and Lauren Remington Platt) I was coaxed firmly but friendly to take the 20s theme seriously and go all out.

No problem! I thought. Until I started looking for a dress. I didn’t want beads. I didn’t want flapper. I didn’t want feathers in my hair. It had to be subtle and cool. Just a wink. And the accessories would have to bring the theme. So I called Alessandra Rich in London and picked a dress from her SS14 collection. It’s easily interpreted as 1920s even though it’s quite modern and way too sexy for that era! But that’s never stopped me before. I was also amazed at how the other guests conceived their costumes. Like the last-minute string of peonies and top hat Taylor Tomasi Hill came up with. Or the old Galliano Lauren Santo Domingo found in her closet. And the blonde wig Sofia Sanchez Berrenchea bought because she didn’t have time to do her hair. It was a gay old time…

Cream lace and crepe dress by Alessandra Rich; Bracelets, ring and earrings by Lulu Frost; Minaudière by Rafe New York; Vintage Rhinestone headpiece and feather boa at New York Vintage; Pink satin mules by Sportmax; Make-up provided by Chantecaille; Hair by Valery Joseph Salon at Barney’s New York.

Photos by Hannah Sider. Many thanks to my dear friend Lara Backmender for helping me find the perfect jewelry, and Lex Kendall for being the best – and I quote – “man-ccessory”.

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May 22, 2014

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4 Responses to “Mad about the Ball”

  1. avatar
    Cardigan Blog - Reply

    Love it! You look amazing and the head piece is great! Photos are fabulous too-you have a wonderful life!

  2. avatar
    Natashya - Reply

    I think the 1920’s would have winked right back at you Natalie. What a perfect adaption of an era into modern elegance. Love it! x

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