Mardi Gras Costume and the Ultimate Hat

A couple of years ago I attended the most magnificent and incredible evening of my life-it was a Venetian costume ball serving as a fundraiser for orphanages in Nepal. It was 5 blissful hours long and every moment was filled with entertainment: live music, fashion shows, acrobatics, jugglers, burlesque, and so much more.

No one was able to enter without a masque. Some were available for purchase but it seemed that most arrived with full-on intent to impress, regale, and strut. I experienced strangers coming up to me asking for my photograph and to be photographed next to me.  “But it’s only me,” I thought….no grandiose celebrity. But honestly  it felt like that and I admit I was flattered.

The movie, Camelot, came out when I was in high school (saw it 5 times)  and I was inspired by it so much, I made a teal colored velveteen empire gown. As I still had it, I used it for inspiration for the color palette which screamed peacock feathers. For ease of construction, I used a hat I had and simply added regal purple dupioni fabric, feathers, purple glittered rose petals, butterflies, beaded wire embellishments, peacock feathers, and sequin fashion accessories.

When I searched on-line for  Venetian costumes, I noticed that not much skin showed: long sleeves, high collars, gloves. Since the neckline on my dress was low, I took a long runner of  organza which was wired on the sides (kind of like a 24″ wide ribbon) and folded it over twice  and gathered it loosely with a basting stitch then used a coordinating ribbon to hold it and tie it around my neck, creating a puffy ruff. Stunning. It really was Cinderella at the ball.

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