The 2009 Debutante Ball
Where have I been for the last couple of months?
The 2009 Debutante Ball, which has totally consumed all of my time was on Friday night here in Bowral. In this beautiful country town that I live in, my son's school has some very 'old fashioned and lovely' traditions and one of them is the annual Debutante Ball. With 150 children being presented on the night, it is like a wedding for the masses. The girls all dress in a long pure white gowns (I will explain the rules in a future post), the boys in their formal suits and we the guests come in formal black tie for a very long, long night of good old fashioned traditions , fabulous food and lots of dancing to a big brass band. A very successful night and lots of fun had by all, especially the Debutantes.
My son begged me to be in charge of the decorations over a year ago, to display and theme the ball for the night. From the hall, to the table settings, stage display, entrance foyer, stationary and bling. I have been working away for the last couple of months with a hand full of other mums creating the decorations and buying and sourcing all the materials needed. My theme for the night was designed around one lovely old vintage silk fan with a little hand painted bird sitting on blossom and bamboo. Everything else just came straight out of my head as I went along.
I also created the design and decorations for the ball two years ago, so I knew what was involved and how much work hours were ahead of me. Above are some images of the hall before I started and a few of the hall while we were draping. I shouldn't really call it a hall, it's a school gymnasium, enormous and very ugly. It was in need of a total cover up. The ceilings were draped with white cotton, the walls were covered with black fabric and the timber floors were waxed and buffed hours before the ball.
We had 600 people attend, 140 year eleven children being presented, over 100 tables were joined together and set with white damask tablecloths, a bright lime green table runner, dark pink and light pink blossom filled with little bird cages and tiny blossom lights and baby birds on wire attached to the blossom. My table settings had a napkin folded as a oriental fan, (I know, a little old fashioned, but it actually worked). 600 birds nest that we made from wood wool with feathers and a little pink sugared almond egg inside. The name tags had little twigs glued to them and the stationary had the bird and blossom theme as well. I know, I'm just in love with birds and blossoms, I have been forever.
I also made sixty Cymbidium orchid bouquets for the girls (below) each with glass style beads and camelia leaves. There is also a very funny story there that I will tell you about soon.
Nothing ever goes to plan, oops.... never spray fresh leaves with hair spray!!!
I needed lots of decorations for the ceiling, I had hundreds of lights and lanterns hanging through the draping. Then I made hundreds of large tissue flowers that I grouped together, (as seen above - my silly friends modeling my flowers before they were lifted to the ceiling.) Do you remember when I said months ago, don't throw your dead Agapanthus flowers away, I stored mine in my garden shed and made these paper petals around them. They featured up on stage either side of scenery of hundreds of little cut out birds flying across the stage. The debutantes walked onto the stage then down the stairs to the red carpet. Yes, all very formal. There was even the official carpet rolling, I say!!!
I plan to show each and every detail in my future posts, there is so much I just can't fit it in this one story. Where I bought everything, how I made the decorations, how to design this large setting on quite a small budget and how to keep your cool through the many months of preparation.
Above: My two wonderful children on the night - growing up far too quickly....
I also designed and created two ball gowns with help of my dear friend Sue who did all the hand sewing for me as my eyes are fading the older I get. One gown for my daughter above, black organza and velvet and one for my my son's Debutante partner, Melissa. My next post will be on Melissa's gown, ruffles and all. You can spot her above in some of the images with the very full skirt.
Oh, I also tried to create a gown for myself and with a big smile on my face as I write this, it didn't quite go to plan, it looked fabulous on the dressmakers dummy, not so good on me. So I quickly added some beautiful black feathers to the bottom of straight black skirt. I looked a bit like a big black bird. It's silly you know, but I had to match to my theme somehow, that's just what it's like being a stylist.
STOP PRESS: Also, I have only just realised this afternoon that this is my 100th published post, (a few posts did go in the bin) I think I might have to crack open a bottle of bubbly tonight to celebrate a little. Cheers to blogging, wonderful blogging and to all my wonderful blogging friends who make my day so special.
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JULIA'S HOOKED ON HOUSES - FRIDAY PARTY
EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HOUSES - I KNOW YOU WILL ENJOY YOUR VISIT
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Have a fabulous day and I have many more stories to come soon over the next couple of weeks on this ball.
Don't forget - please leave a comment or ask me questions, ask away, ask me anything....... I love to share my ideas ... xxx Coty