Last year you may remember I went up to Manchester to a Vintage Winter Ball (Click here to read) I had a wonderful festive time and got to meet so many people in person who I had been chatting to online for months.
This year I was so lucky to find that the ball was being held in the next town to me, only ten miles away. Well, it wouldn’t dream of missing it, no matter where it was held and the fact it was virtually at home meant it was even easier for me.
Now, the Most Marvellous Meetups ball had taken on a different theme this year – “Enchantment Under The Sea” A theme taken from the iconic 80’s film,” Back to the Future”. Well, that was right up my street.
My head started spinning with ideas, even though it was only May and I started getting my outfit together. I went on a hunt for the ideal bag and commissioned a necklace from the lovely Fat Mermaid Designs. I starting tracking down the perfect shoes.
But what about the dress?
Well actually I already had a dress in mind. It just needed a bit of adapting. Knowing of one special person who could assist in my plans, I reached out to the beautiful and so very lovely Deeds Folie.
Chatting away online I told her of my idea, and she was eager to help. We met up in a bar at Liverpool Street Station, where armed with a tape measure she took measurements and left with my original dress to turn it into my final vision.
She stayed in touch over the next couple of weeks discussing ideas and colour shades. Now the dress I already had was a very strange shade of teal, so I knew it would be unlikely to be able to match it up. So we decided on a whole range of shades to compliment it.
Two days before the ball, I had my nails done. I decided on a swirly marble effect in teal and turquoise. The end result was amazing! It looked like waves and I was over the moon with them
The day of the ball came and I had booked an appointment with the wonderful Sarah Bloor of Pin Up Curl who was coming to the ball and offering appointments for vintage styling. Now as you know, I had a lot of my hair cut off a couple of months ago, and changed my colour. Whilst I loved what had been done to me, it had changed my plans somewhat on the styling I was originally going for.
However, Sarah is a hair genius and managed to tame my mop into a stunning pageboy to go with my crowning glory; a pearl crown made for me by a wonderful friend, Jane.
Now normally I attend these events alone. However this time I was going with my sister in law Angela and Mum in Law Joan! They had never been to one of my vintage soirees before, so I was a bit nervous as to how they would interact and enjoy it.
Another of my Marvelette friends, Lucy had been let down on her accommodation at the last minute and having a spare bed I had offered it to her. She gladly accepted and it meant the more the merrier!
However, before the ball there was a Most Marvellous Award Ceremony. Voted for by the 6000 strong membership, there were over a dozen categories, of which I had been nominated in Best Vintage Style and Best Blog. I was absolutely honoured to get two nominations and had no chance (in my mind) of winning. This was mainly due to the amazing competition I was up against! Some of the most wonderful people I have had the privilege to meet in fact.
I went to the awards ceremony not because I believed I had won an award, but to support those who were the worthy winners. It was amazing to hear as friends was called out as the winners!
I decided that I wanted to wear a different dress for the awards, then surprise everyone with my change of attire for the actual ball.
I went for a stunning velvet gown that was gifted to me by Gifi Fields, owner of Scarlett & Jo Clothing. This dress was a one off gown that was never put into production and I was lucky enough to be given it. I had never had a chance to wear it to a function, and so this was the perfect opportunity.
After the ceremony it was time to head to the Ball itself. This was also being held in The Deco Theatre, and would involve a 3 course meal, and vintage style entertainment. Firstly I needed to change into my “Under the Sea” outfit…..
I started to get changed and instead of doing my normal cats eye liner and red lips, I went for a more aquatic theme to my look. Actually using eye-shadow I tried to blend blues, turquoise and green together to get the look I wanted. I was really pleased with the end result as I am so useless at eye makeup.
Finally I was ready to put on my gown and accessories and head off to the Ball.
We piled into the car and the husband kindly drove us all back to the Theatre. The Marvelettes had been very busy turning the room into an under sea kingdom, with shells, jellyfish, bubbles and assorted seacreatures. It really did look wonderful!
Due to a mix up with times the first course was already in the process of being eaten. Thankfully we were able to sit down and were soon served. I had Prawn Cocktail to start and it was absolutely delicious.
For my main course I had opted for Boeuf Bourginon. This was served with boiled baby potatoes, carrots and peas. Now, this dish can sometimes be a bit hit and miss. If the beef isn’t cooked well and for long enough it can be a bit of a tough chew. However, this was absolutely melt in the mouth! With a strong gravy featuring baby onions and mushrooms, it really was so very tasty. I was offered seconds, which I could have happily eaten (it was that good) but I was full to bursting.
After a brief respite, dessert was served and I had gone for the arctic roll with a cherry compote. Now, I haven’t had Arctic Roll for many years, but this was a retro menu so why not. I have to say I absolutely loved it! It was just like I remembered and with the cherry compote was the perfect end to a wonderful meal.
During the meal we had a fabulous Marvelette, Rose Devine sang a selection of vintage songs and new songs with a vintage style. It was a really fantastic set from her and made the meal that little bit extra special.
After dinner when everything was cleared away we had a solo singer, Paul Ace who really rocked the house. Song after song got the marvels up on the floor dancing and strolling, and it was equally entertaining just to sit and watch although I did get up and have a couple of strolls with Angela and all the other dancers.
One of the highlights of the ball was the DeLorean car from “Back to the Future” with it’s driver, Doc Brown (who also did close up magic all night) It really was a sight to behold and very very cool!
The final act of the night were The Jailbreakers, a 4 piece rock and roll band who were out of this world! Song after song had people up on their feet. You really couldn’t have asked for more.
Finally with sore feet and tired eyes, the clock struck midnight and the elegant carriage (our battered seven seater) turned up to take us all home again.
On the way home we couldn’t stop talking about what a fantastic night we had all had, and what our favourite parts were. I absolutely loved every second.
But do you know what was the best part for me?
Seeing all the friends I have gained through a love of a common theme, Vintage. Who could have guessed two years ago that this would have happened?
Not me, that’s for sure!
Finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Founder of the group, Emma and all the Admins for their hard work, not just for the ball but during the whole year. Their hard work and organisation skills are exemplary.
These thanks also extend to the regional reps and organisers of events, their families who put up with the hours spent doing a job that we all are thankful they do and to everyone who makes this group the family that it is!
Long may the Marvelettes and Marvelchaps reign!
***** Some photographs courtesty of Tickety-Boo Photography, Clare Todd, Michelle Batcock and Catherine Beck *****