Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flying Down To Rio...

The 27th annual Art Deco Preservation Ball was held at the Berkeley City Club this Saturday just gone, and I was in attendance for the second year running.

The theme this year was 'Flying Down to Rio' based on the movie starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers back in 1933.

The venue, designed by Bay Area architect Julia Morgan, was grand and had a real castle-like feel to it, not surprising, given that she is also famous for working on Hearst Castle. I'm not quite sure why, but I think I preferred last year's venue, Bimbo's 365 Club, maybe because I enjoyed the nightclub vibe. But in any case, the Berkeley City Club was very impressive, lavish and decorated beautifully.

The tables were adorned with a selection of orchids and peacock stem feathers, and there were fun, fake palm trees dotted about the place, complete with tropical birds hiding in their branches (this gave a nod to both the theme of Rio and also the theme of being on a movie set)!

The nice thing about the venue was that you could dance in the main ballroom, mingle in the hallway, take a seat in the lounge area or cool off in the bar and silent auction room that was inside the hotel, and yet open, as it was attached to the courtyard.

A live band kept the dance floor busy, and the Decobelles wowed the crowd with their timeless glamour, glitzy costumes and performance routine choreographed to the theme song from the movie 'Flying down to Rio'. The Decobelles, backed by the band, even followed their performance by leading the audience in a conga line....

The best part about the Deco Ball for me though, is having the opportunity to dress up in glamorous attire with my handsome lover, and beautiful friends...

I never really wear long evening gowns, and it is great to be at an event where everyone makes an effort to look fancy and stylish. It feels like there are so few occasions to really go all out and put on the ritz these days that I relish the opportunity. I long for a return to the days when people wore smart attire to attend the theatre, and when going on a first date did not involve wearing jeans....

Next year, however, I will not even attempt to finger wave my hair, after my valiant efforts on Saturday ended in disaster - or at least, bad hair, which I then did not have time to fix, as it would have required starting all over. Damn my incessant optimism at my hair styling abilities!


  1. "Fred Ayres: Nothing of the kind. He's landed us a job in Rio. Rio de Janeiro. The Hotel Atlantico. We'll be flying down any morning now.
    Honey Hale: And swimming back in the afternoon. I'm taking my water-wings." -1933

    This was my second Deco Ball and although the initial excitement at trying something new was not present, I still had a wonderful time dressing up and reliving the glamour of 1930's Hollywood. I had a fun filled evening spent with friends and the woman of my dreams!

  2. I definitely had the most dashing gentleman companion, and I hope we make it an annual tradition to attend the ball. <3