Masked Ball attire: skirt/bodice, armlets and belt

When invited to a Masked Ball with a swing dance theme, one can imagine so many unusual costumes and feather displays that it may seem easy to accept without much thought! Well, I decided to prepare early – 6 weeks in advance to be precise – since my ideas of what I wanted to wear began to spiral from Tiepolo paintings into the ludicrous!

I originally started out  digging out bits and bobs that may be useful for the garb I wanted to put together. I thought about  integrating a Lineo uClinux DragonBall processor board, some blue LED circuits and a clitoris pump into the whole thing, as a homage to silicon-punk (try to imagine steam-punk in 2050)!  I also wanted to keep the attire lightweight – to dance freely and not be weighed down by anything, including the cumbersome handbag!

Without any guidance,  I began to cut up a gorgeous green satin dress… then I found a black satin Lycra corset dress I bought ages ago (and wore only once!) and started stitching and gluing it together, like a seamstress in a Tim Burton cartoon… then came the computer cabling, wide leather belt and glass beads… The design just appeared before my eyes as I worked in the evenings. As expected, some odds and ends just never made it beyond the drawing board.

Masked Ball mini vintage riding hat

One of the first accessories I made was the structure for a mini vintage riding hat; like any good Blue Peter show, this comprised of a plastic bottle, a paper plate and clear elastic, which were transformed from their domestic banality by using Powertex fabric and Pretex fabric hardener, W&N Galeria Acylics and Gloss, Marabu metallic liners and a wired fabric rose stem! I fixed the hat into my hair using a comb and clips, which nestled close to a netted bun made up of my hair, red hair pieces and magenta-coloured ribbons.

The goggle case bag was a product of surrounding myself with so many bits and bobs for inspiration! With some basic requirements, such as lightweightedness, security features, capacity for lipstick and cash, with a fixture that would leave me limbs free all night for dancing (and not dancing around a handbag!!), the design could be absolutely anything!

Masked Ball bag and belt

The jewelry was a joy to make; I sourced my beads and findings from a local art/crafts warehouse and developed the design on a bead tray, just playing with ideas until I found what I liked!

Masked Ball jewels

The mask was the final accessory to create and paint, using W&N Galeria Acrylic paints and gloss, Marabu metallic liners, as well as emerald green and black feathers, stringed cream pearls and green glass beads. I glued the mask onto some old silver Gucci frames, for comfort whilst wearing all evening. The mask is shown in a related article.

Beneath the mask, I adorned my face with a very pale foundation base and powder, on top of which I applied a gorgeous green lipsick, wonderful emerald eye colours and sculpted the cheekbones in deep rose, all provided by SobeBotanicals.

Masked Ball boots

For strutting, I bought the Becca boots from Irregular Choice (and replaced the buttonholes with hard duty Velcro for quicker fastening) and some very delicate lace-up hosiery.

Now, I’m ready to start over for the next ball or party!

Originally published: Monday, September 26th, 2011 at 23:32 in Atelier, Inspiration


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