the stylist’s notebook | a masquerade ball
Dear La Couturier,
For the past couple of months I have been reading your fantastic blog – you are such a talented writer! I will be attending a masquerade party in a couple of weeks and was wondering if you could possibly give me some ideas or tips. I am quite tall, have a curvy figure and like simple, classic, feminine looks. I would be very grateful for any help!
In reading darling Meg’s e-mail I was immediately overcome with jealousy – a masquerade party? I have only longed to attend such a themed ball since The Phantom of the Opera was made into a movie (I am quite obsessed with it)! Imagine – masks of the most elegant proportions, bejeweled and befeathered; ladies and gents alike sights to see in gowns and tuxedos.
It seems as if we are quite the same – a curvy hourglass body shape with a love for the simple but elegant (I, sans the height…). The first ensemble I had in mind – well, what I would wear if I were so lucky to be able to attend such an event – a fitted black dress in jersey with a peacock feathered mask. Mm. Oui.
Classic femininity calls for a dress of simplicity – sans the embellishments, the sequins, the embroidery, etc. Leave all details to your mask: pick a mask of feathery ornamentation, or bejeweled with sequins and/or rhinestones – the possibilities are endless with such an accessory. Your dress, on the other hand, should remain simple in jersey, chiffon, or some light fabric to maintain breathability and avoid a potentially “stuffy” look.
Depending on the formality of the event, the length of the dress should differ. A long jersey or silk gown with a low v-neck is especially lovely for any body shape or height, so long as it is paired with heels to elongate the legs. Anything with simple drapes and open v-necks, a la Donna Karan S/S 2009 is perfect for such an occasion; do remember to keep the fabric and the dress itself as minimalistic as possible for the elegant-sophisticate aura. If the party was much more casual, then a short, mini- to knee length- cocktail dress would surely suffice. Strapless, low v-necks, off the shoulder options in either fitted or Grecian empire waists are beautiful options. Or, be unconventional; wear the unexpected yet still look utterly chic in a wide-legged jumpsuit a la Daria Werbowy.
Personal preferences, color-wise, would include black (of course), shades of red (femme fatale red to maroon-burgundies), white, and nude. These hues truly are the classiest of the classy, nearly impossible – nude being the only difficult shade to wear – to do wrong in any occasion or on any dress. I would suggest that the shoes worn with the dress are either black or nude; again, two of the most versatile yet sophisticated colors of the palette. The aforementioned colors look stunning with black (once again, nude seems to be quite the troublemaker in that black may look too harsh with it) in grounding the color. Strappy platform sandals (like these) are, once again, preferable, for that sexy, femme fatale with killer legs ensemble.
Accessorizing is, perhaps, the most enjoyable part of the entire process of dressing up. Finding (or making!) the perfect mask is of course the highlight of accessorization (yes, I did just make a new word, dahlings!). A word (or words, plural, rather) of advice: avoid statement necklaces. The top half of you is already over-accessorized by way of the mask; thus, focus more upon the bracelets and rings adorning your arms. Think cuffs, unique bracelets, cocktail rings, the likes. And do find an interesting clutch – rhinestoned, bejeweled, metal, or simply adorned with, well, adornments – to finish the ensemble. A touch of McQueen in the bag is quite sensual.
Masquerade, Hide your face so the world will never find you…