Thrilled to be an angmoh in context for once, Cool Britannia was the original theme for the party. It later changed to (and stayed as) Britain Throughout the Ages. We only got the memo about the first theme…and in a way, thank goodness; had I known it was Britain Throughout the Ages I think I would have been sorely tempted to eschew all style and go as a Victorian scrubber/char maid.
Safely writing this a day after the event, I boldly envisage myself in a raggedy, coarse dress coupled with a was-once-white pinny, my hair tied up in a knotted white headscarf and a smear of boot polish across my face. I doubt the Ritz-Carlton doorman would have waived me towards the lift down to level 1 as willing as he might otherwise.
Anyway, as it was, my Cool Britannia dress (pic above) was bought from a shop in London called Traffic People, who’d run it up in honor of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. I had nothing at all to do with its purchase and have to thank H (H for husband) for both finding it and buying it, and in the right size too. Although a huge gimmick, it’s actually been a real value for money purchase and this is its third outing.
My ‘clutch’ bag was from Lulu Guinness. My big style secret that I managed to keep under wraps all night was that it wasn’t a proper clutch. What it was, was actually one of her big red totes that you can fold away in to itself and somehow zip inside the hot British lips that adorn the front and back. It was a bargain at £45 ($90) versus her Union Jack Snakeskin Lips Clutch at £475 ($950) that, at a glance, looked almost identical. I am proud to be British…but up to a point (the point of £475 it would seem).
The decor was sensational and included lit, ‘proper’ tube signs,
a tiled, spray painted graffiti wall just like you’d find in any self respecting London tube station,
a wall of growing graffiti for you to contribute to, complete with a marker pen (much more organised than London)
and my personal favorite, very realistic (apart from how they opened, but that’s a detail) tube doors that lead out on to the smoking terrace:
Throw in lots of flags, red phone boxes, fish and chips and two unsmiling Queen’s Guards…
…and it was almost like being back in Blighty.
Costumes ranged from Edwardian (someone came in a bowler hat, suit and black, cane handelled umbrella) to punk.
This one (above) was my hands down fave. She owned the punk look with giant safety pins styling her Union Jack flag skirt, spike heels, quiff, wosh of black eye liner and tight fitting, studded leather jacket.
Frivolities, food and decor aside, what made the night even better was that this was a ball held in aid of a very worthwhile cause: KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The Kidz Horizon Appeal which is the overall charity for KK has raised a staggering $17,000,000 since its establishment 8 years ago.
Oh, and did I mention the music? Brilliant Brit tunes were belted out til dawn to a packed dance floor (normally people are much more reticent about dancing but here they started before pudding was served). There was a live band as well as a DJ and everything they played, rocked.
‘Tube Crush’ and ‘ER Changmoh Girl’ pictures courtesy of MS
Lulu Guinness Foldable Red Tote bag with Union Jack lips, courtesy of Lulu Guinness
London image via The Guardian