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the stylist’s notebook | a masquerade ball

27 June 2009
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!
Meg (Australia)

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.

daria 2

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.

daria 3

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…


La C.

40 Comments leave one →
  1. Airam permalink
    27 June 2009 12:30 pm

    Oh, I love that movie, too, and the masquerade scene is a definite favourite! I’ve given up hopes that anyone will throw a masquerade up here, so the only option left seems to be to arrange one myself – which I intend to do as soon as school’s back on and everybody returns to the city. Great advice, by the way, especially on the accessorization 😉

    ♫ Painted faces on parade – Masquerade! ♫

  2. 27 June 2009 12:42 pm

    Ahh who do I have to befriend to be invited to a masquerade ball? I always see them in movies and television (most notably, Gossip Girl). I’m so jealous!

    • 27 June 2009 12:47 pm

      Alllie: My sentiments exactly! I am determined to throw a masquerade ball one day…


  3. 27 June 2009 1:04 pm

    So fun, darling!
    Love this post!
    And I am adoring your new profile pic too!


  4. abdcforever permalink
    27 June 2009 1:27 pm

    wow u def shud have a masquerade ball & invite all of us! itd be sickk.

    and u always giv the best advice!

  5. 27 June 2009 1:32 pm

    I’ve never attended a masquerade ball ..i think that must be great and fun!
    i would wear one like in the first pic… so cool

  6. 27 June 2009 1:51 pm

    so inspritas…so unique…

    Have a great weekend, Honey!

  7. Clare Brown permalink
    27 June 2009 2:57 pm

    Oh wow, I want to be invited to a masquerade. I love the white look! Beautiful!

  8. 27 June 2009 3:32 pm

    I love Phantom of the Opera! I’s a beautiful movie…I want to see it live in the Opera!:)

  9. 27 June 2009 3:39 pm

    wow! i love the second picture 🙂

  10. 27 June 2009 3:41 pm

    Great advice as always. Sigh, it is rather funny how a neutral like nude can be difficult to wear!

  11. 27 June 2009 9:15 pm

    That’s such a fabulous advice! If only we have fun and cool events like that here. xxoxoxoxxo

  12. 27 June 2009 9:21 pm

    Ooh! I love masquerade parties, my sisters & I are huge fan of dress-up parties, so have thrown at least 3 masquerade parties…I love costumising my own masks, and added black lace and several fabric rosettes on to my last one…
    Gorgeous post! 😉

  13. 27 June 2009 11:35 pm

    we’ll have a masquerade ball of our own when we have some themed parties ;D men have to come shirtless though.

    i kid.

  14. 27 June 2009 11:40 pm

    Oh, how I love this post – such a fun idea! It reminds me so much of the episode of “Gossip Girl” where they all attend that divine masquerade ball. This post makes me want to attend one myself.

    By the way, love the new header…gorgeous! 🙂

  15. 28 June 2009 12:24 am

    I have always wanted to go to one also. You’re right, Phantom of the Opera makes you want to attend. I want a mask like the Phantom.

  16. 28 June 2009 2:50 am

    Suddenly I want to go see Phantom again!

  17. 28 June 2009 3:28 am

    That’s so cute! Ever since I’ve seen one in GG, I so badly want to go to one.

  18. 28 June 2009 4:04 am

    The masks are very wonderful

  19. 28 June 2009 5:59 am

    Great tips! I have always wanted to go to a masked ball!! Lucky Meg 😀 x Sushi

  20. 28 June 2009 6:40 am

    a masquerade party sounds amazing indeed!!

  21. 28 June 2009 6:53 am

    Oh i love masquarade balls! Its all so fabulous!! For my textiles class I made a mask to go with my Marie Antoinette inspired Lingerie.


  22. 28 June 2009 8:37 am

    beautiful!thanks for linking me, will link you back!

  23. 28 June 2009 12:02 pm

    completely in love with these pictures<3

  24. thebaglady permalink
    28 June 2009 1:03 pm

    If only I was able to attend these type of things… As always, beautiful advice. I love that you love nude, red, black, white. They’re my favorites too!

    LC you should hold one for your 18th birthday!!! 🙂

  25. kristine permalink
    28 June 2009 1:13 pm

    ooo i agree with thebaglady!!!

    invite us all (;

    and i love nude at the moment. but i’m too pale to pull it off!

  26. 28 June 2009 1:19 pm

    I’m so jealous! I want to attend a masquerade ball! Especially after the Gossip Girl episode in season 1. I even spent 20 euros on a masque in Florence so that if I ever went to one I could wear it.
    Hmm I love the choices. Actually I do have a birthday coming up…. A masqued ball would such a fun theme….

    • 28 June 2009 1:22 pm

      S. Elisabeth: I think a masquerade themed party would be such a lovely idea! I do wish I can throw one for my eighteenth birthday! Do let me know how yours plans out (:


  27. 28 June 2009 1:35 pm

    Darling, you give the most fabulous fashion advice! Now I’m dying to be invited to a masquerade party 🙂

  28. 28 June 2009 3:49 pm

    Balls are always cool=) Costumes and such!=)

  29. 28 June 2009 4:40 pm

    people should throw masquerade balls more often! i would so go! 😉

    click here to visit me at mode junkie!

  30. 28 June 2009 5:24 pm

    I just need to be invited to that kind of ball… On the second picture, the girl looks almost naked, but it’s beautiful!

  31. 28 June 2009 5:24 pm

    Last year, the End of Year ball at my University was a masquerade ball. I was so sad I couldn’t make it! I really do think your advice of letting the mask be the main embellishment is important. You need a simple but stunning dress, and the mask adds that final flair. I hope you’re weekend is going well dear 🙂

    • 28 June 2009 1:50 pm

      Alize: I loved your drawing, darling! (: Twitter is quite addicting! And I do adore your latest post! bisous!

    • 28 June 2009 6:04 pm

      dapper kid: Oh la la, that must have been fantastic! My school (high school, at that) has never thrown such a thing; I should only hope that I can attend one some time soon! And my weekend is going quite well, thank you! I do hope yours is fantastic!


  32. 29 June 2009 5:17 am

    Sorry darling for not stopping by recently, having had to move to a new condo suddenly, fur baby got sick..etc etc..

    Change my site url..etc hehe “wink” As for the ball, I’ve never attended such a fab event, I hope they have one soon, will you post photos of the event.. can’t wait to see them.

  33. 29 June 2009 9:51 am

    You should throw one for your graduation party. That would be awesome. 🙂

  34. 29 June 2009 5:59 pm

    I so hope that I get invited to one, one day!

  35. 1 July 2009 12:04 pm

    She’s so lucky ! I wish I could attend one… but my school is totally post-woodstockesque and not exactly gossip girl like ! ;D

    But your advices are amazing !


  1. what to wear: a masquerade ball

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