I've never really expected much from my school, it's not the kind of place where all your high school dreams come true and it's never like it is on television. So I was quite surprised when I received a shiny envelope containing quite an elegant looking invitation. Of course it lacked the personal touch of my name being written on the front of the envelope but we won't focus on the negatives too much.
I had always felt my school ball was years away but then all of a sudden it seemed to be just weeks away and I was desperately rushing to get all the last minute essentials. I honestly did not realise how many embellishments there were to getting ready for a school ball. You have the coursage which has to be kept fresh in the crisper and picked up on the day on the event. There's the ring which has to be not to obtrusive to get in the way of your clutch but not too small that it goes unnoticed. Plus there's the matching earrings. You must then trawl through magazines to find a suitable hair colour and choose a hairstyle, something worn by a celebrity, of course. Next you have to find a decent hairdresser and book in appointments carefully timed so that your hair colour won't fade and so you won't have to wash your hair on the day and so that it will last the night. Next comes emailing makeup artists for samples of their work and booking that in around all the other engagements booked in for the big day, such as having your nails painted but not buffed because your manicurist forgets to do so.
Do you know how ridiculously hard it is to find a decent looking ivory clutch? Prior to searching I was not aware of this fact so I had assumed a couple of accessory store's worth of window shopping would do the trick. Perhaps if I had been searching for a black clutch or even a bright orange clutch things would have been easy but because I had already chosen ivory shoes I had to have my clutch match. After two shopping centre trips, a look in the city and several hours on etsy I discovered you can find the perfect one for less than $20 including postage on ebay in about 15 mins. Well, where there's a will there's a way - and there definitely was a strong 'will' involved.
I do think my dress was quite stunning if I do say so myself, but it was a tight squeeze to get the final alterations done in time. Just four days before the extravaganza the dressmaker had cut my floor-length dress in two pieces!
Things went fairly smoothly the day of the ball, except for the fact the first time I had my makeup done I looked like a ghostly porcelain doll. After going back to this salon to get it re-done it still didn't look a whole lot better as the beautician just caked on an extra layer of product, so much so that it was starting to crack. A tissue to wipe 50% of it off did the trick though.
Once I'd been dropped off at a friend's house for the 'pre-ball' I knew I could relax. It was lovely to see so many girls who'd normally be in bland school uniforms, dressed up like princesses in floor-length ensembles. I hardly recognized one friend who I'm used to seeing with straight hair and no makeup, have her hair curled up around her head and wear beautifully blended eyeshadow. It's nice to feel special every now and again, sipping fizzy pop and nibbling cupcakes while have 3 people take your photo at once. It may sound contradictory but seeing everyone all dolled up really makes you appreciate the fact that everyone is and can be beautiful and it's amazing how a fancy dress and a dash of makeup can do that.
5 o' clock came and with that so did two limos, one black and one white. I couldn't wait to get inside, I'd have time for my feet to rest; I haven't worn proper heels in years! After a quick stop at the city foreshore to have one photo snapped before realising that a couple of minutes more and our hair would be swept up with the wind- no matter how much hair spray one used- we drove to one of the city's major hotels for the gala event.
A huge commotion errupted as we arrived at the entrance and I can truly say that we all felt like celebrities as we stepped out of the limo, all eyes on us. It almost felt daunting walking up the steps to the other magnificently dressed belles and beaus, everyone looked so sophisticated. The classic tuxedos, the ridiculously puffed-out tulle skirts, the voluminous hair , the iridescent makeup and matching clutches- it was the definition of eye candy. And with each new group of students rolling up in their classic, vintage or modern hummer-style limos, the discussions got louder and necks were craned to take a peek at who was arriving next and to see the transformations that had occurred with each individual's new attire.
The ball itself was something I'll never forget, there was I unity I felt between these 300 plus young people that made you feel connected to those you had never uttered a word to prior. I guess that's what happens when you're surrounded 360 degrees on the dance floor by your peers who all seem to be having the time of the lives(many of the beaus seemed to enjoy crowd surfing and wrapping their ties around their heads while the belles swished around gracefully as much as was possible in dresses that fit as if made for statues).
A huge Eiffel tower replica and old-fashioned lamp posts really made the ballroom feel like a "Night in Paris" - the theme of the evening. The addition of a mime who went round to tables with imaginary salt and pepper grinders seasoning our dishes and who somehow managed to set off a huge game of tug-o-war with all the beaus, really heightened the theme. Not to mention the tealight candelabras at each dinner table(which was a twist of fate as the event coincided with Earth Hour) as well as the 'frenchy' circus-style music. smoke and balloons that flooded the ceiling as the door to the ballroom opened at the evening's commencement.
This fabulous evening cannot of course be relayed in words, so to emphasise the sheer splendor of the night I shall let the photographs do the rest.
(photo credit: all year 12 students at Woodvale Senior High School)