Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dionysus and debauchery at the Artists' Ball

Remember this dress? Of course you do! In blog time, it is just a moment ago! Well I remade it and wore it again recently to the Artists' Ball.

The Artists' Ball was an annual event put on by the Artists' Society in New South Wales from the 1880s. In 1898 they became fancy dress balls and sounds like pretty spectacular affairs. I just love the accounts of the weird and wacky costumes people wore. Like Dulcie Deamer in 1923, Miss M Dawson 1927, and the 'Freak Hats' of 1928. There is a great entry about it on the Dictionary of Sydney here, with details of the particularly scandalous ball of 1924.

This year's ball was put on by the History Council of New South Wales, recreating a little piece of the past to open History Week. I love the idea of recreating history in this way. It was held in the David Jones Ballroom, which has soaring ceilings and views over Hyde Park. It was pretty magical. 

I put together a Mucha-inspired Dionysus costume, trying to embody the work of that great art-noveau artist. The dress itself is much more 1950s prom frou-frou style, but there just wasn't time to whip up a more period appropriate dress! In any case, it was a wonderful night escaping back into the sights and sounds of 1933.

Dancing some charleston with Tessa

Tim and Jesse - as wood nymphs

Sarah and her poison apple
(images above are from here - where there are many more great shots from the night)

      Ben as Flash Gordon                                                                   Alice as the Solar System                      

 The Balloon drop!!!

Dionysian hair and make-up.


  1. Such an amazing event and bet the dancing was good x


Go on then!