The Fanciest Of Fancy Dress Parties

Dear Audy,

Oh my, I have so much to tell you! I have been a little absent from blogging lately, on account of that I have been out having an actual life. Yes, off my couch!

There are many things that I want to share with you; adventures I’ve had, books I’ve read, plays I’ve seen, progress I’ve made…things have been looking up and that’s definitely cause for celebration.

Speaking of celebrations, today I wanted to share some pics from an amazing one that I attended last week. My friend Melissa celebrated her birthday in a rather unique way; the fancy dress theme was the 18th Century, the music was a fantastic mix of 1980s pop. Cleverly, she asked her guests to forgo gift buying and instead put that time and effort into their costumes. The result was amazing.

I arrived to a room filled with colour, wigs, bustles and feathers. Many guests had hired spectacular costumes, some so fancy that I was not surprised to hear that one costume hire place had only recently acquired them from Melbourne Theatre Company. The decor was superbly fitting, mauve curtains, old fashioned seating and chandeliers. Melissa even had a Marie Antoinette inspired tier of adorable petite fours and a cake with icing grand enough for a queen. Which was fitting indeed, considering how stunning she looked.

Photo by Dan O’Brien

Me and the beautiful birthday girl:

My dress is the result of op-shopping, imagination and my mother’s hard work. She sews super fast – adding all that trim would have probably taken me six months to do on my own! Thanks, Mum.

I did my own hair, which was an adventure that started the night before with a bunch of curlers. I haven’t used those since I was a little girl! They did the trick though and I was rapt with the final result. I tried not to go overboard, but whitened it a little using the old theatre method of talcum powder and hairspray.

My prince’s costume was the result also put together from thrifted pieces. I am most proud of his wig, which was a crazy rockstar mullet when we bought it home. I managed to work in some 1700s curls and a ponytail, which ended up with me thinking he rather resembled Gaston, from Beauty and the Beast.

Photo by Dan O’Brien

The night was wonderful. We drank wine, chatted and danced as much as I was able. Thankfully it was the type of party where sitting on the side and watching is just as entertaining as being able to move around freely. I loved it! It felt like being transported into a movie scene. Hats off to Melissa, organising such an impressive event took a lot of time, effort and perhaps even a little magic…it was just that good.

The following are some more gorgeous photos by Dan:

Love, Corsets & Bustles,

P.S. You might have noticed that the site is looking a little different. I wanted to switch up my fairly simple theme for an even simpler one. This one has lovely fonts and is easy to navigate. I have some more page updates in the works, but I mostly wanted my blog’s appearance to focus on the part that’s most important to me – the actual content.

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  • 10 thoughts on “The Fanciest Of Fancy Dress Parties

    1. Melissa

      So glad you had a fun time! I couldn’t have wished for a better party – no french queen could! I was so honoured that everyone went to so much trouble with their costumes and hair and make up and everything. Boys were wearing wigs and tights. Even STRAIGHT boys. I think that says it all.

      You and the Prince looked gorgeous and were an essential part of the soiree.


      PS – love the new look.

    2. Jen

      Everything looked fabulous! Especially knowing what happened the week before!!!!
      I feel like I know Melissa from somewhere. She looks awfully famililar and it’s a familiar 10 years ago type of feeling. Any idea where our lives may have crossed? I’m 85-90% sure.
      Xxx Jen

      1. Hayley Cafarella Post author

        Thank you!! Another stupidly late reply, but that is random! I have no idea why you’d know Melissa, she works in Communications if that jars any memories….

    3. Jen

      However checking her about me section on her blog has now left me confused on why her face is so familiar to me. I’m puzzled. :S

    4. Tracey

      What an amazing celebration … I’ve always wanted to go to a themed party like that … more often than not they turn out to be rather half-hearted affairs, but not in this case I see.

      The costumes are wonderful … as is the photography!! :)

      I love the blue of your gorgeous gown, and your hair is fantastic!! I also love the little peak at your boy’s costume … your creative talents shine through!! 😀

      PS. I love the way your site is looking.

    5. Michelle

      wow! what an effort! looks just as grand as a wedding! Your costume turned out awesome too.
      PS: I have a blog now, that I seem to be actually semi-updating regularly. :)

      1. Hayley Cafarella Post author

        Thank you! It felt as grand as a wedding!! It did very much make me want to go to France also…

        Yay for new blog! I finally found it…also… COME ON, BABY!!

    6. Michelle

      I just found this and those photos look just like scenes out of an 18th century movie. Well done to your friend for making the theme really work in her home.

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