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A Year of Fancy Dress (Part II)

What could possibly follow the success of the Prohibition Party ….

 

The Grand Masked Ball of Versaille

 

Now for the outstanding and most magnificent event of the year – Grande Bal Masqué de Versailles.  This all started as a passing comment from one of Adrian’s facebook friends who had seen his prohibition party photos and thought of us when he saw this video.   Adrian, half  jokingly, suggested we should go for it – so – I went ahead and booked it !!

 

Searches on Ebay and the internet came up trumps for my gown, mask, wig and all the paraphernalia that completed my look.

 

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Adrian hired his outfit and all that was needed was a little refinement of a rabbit mask and we were set.

 

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I booked a hotel close by to the Palace  and Adrian arranged to meet me there in the afternoon.  Adrian caught the Eurostar to Paris and then a train to Versailles.  Due to a set of unfortunate circumstance which involved our car being written off, I arrived in Versailles in a hire car.  We met up in a street cafe and then returned back to the hotel to unpack all our stuff.  Early evening we had dinner at a Thai restaurant close to the hotel and then returned to our room to get ready.  A bottle of champagne and strawberries were consumed while we dressed.

 

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It took over an hour to get done – I needed help with my corset and dress and then the final piece de resistance – my wig.  A tall Marie Antoinette white wig, adorned with plenty of bling and the finishing touch – neon blue dragonfly lights !

 

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The Bal started at 23.50 but our tickets allowed us early access to the fountains night show.   We decided to walk to the chateau and take in the air and ambiance of our surroundings.  What an amazing experience to walk along the street, sidewalk cafes and restaurants packed with people, stopping in mid conversation to watch us walk by!

 

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The closer we got to the chateau, the further we stepped back in time.  More and more people were joining us, walking up to the palace, in their finery.

The gardens were bustling with ladies in long gowns and gentleman in breeches and wigs.  It sounds surreal but it felt completely natural, eyeing up everyone’s outfits and becoming more and more excited about the main event.  As night started to fall, everyone grouped together on the steps looking down over the water gardens.  The firework display started – wow.  Not only fireworks but running flames along the strips of water, lasers and classical music.  Utterly stunning.

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As soon as the sun had gone down, Adrian switched on my hair lights.  It caused quite a stir – I got stopped many time for photos and people coming up and praising me for my wonderful neon lit wig.

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Everyone then headed for The Orangery.  The excitement level increasing the closer we got – half naked dancers escorting us on our route down into the main entrance.  Large candles lighting our way, laughter and voices increasing in sound as we entered The Bal Masque.

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Everywhere you looked, there were dancers – on the steps leading down to the Orangery, in the ornamental pond at the entrance,  around the statues flanking the doorways.

Real tigers watched the revellers enter the grand hall, from the safety of their cage.  At the far end of the hall were the DJs, high on a pedestal.

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There were 2 stages, 1 large one in the centre of the hall and a slightly smaller one closest to the DJ’s at the far end.  At regular intervals, various dancers would get up on the stage and perform.  Some with ropes and trapezes, others with chairs and others with … waterfalls !!

 

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The whole evening/morning was so totally amazing.  I cannot start to describe how we felt – we couldn’t believe our own eyes from one moment to the next.

 

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Two giant American bald eagles flew across the crowds from one handler to another.  It just got better and better as the night progressed.  A couple  performed an amazing dance, in and around a roll top bath – full of water !  Another dancer, dressed as a high priestess danced a very seductive dance and stripped down to her panties.

 

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And while all these things were going on, there were hundreds of benches, day beds and cushions to rest and regain your strength for more surprises.  The dance floors were packed, the bars crowded but everyone laughing, happy and enjoying themselves.  The final surprise, just before they moved us out into the gardens for breakfast was a monstrous dragon, parading around the hall.

 

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It’s body all lit up and a girl riding on its back.   What a truly amazing and wonderful night.  We walked out into the morning light and walked down to the cascades where we were served with pastries and coffee.  For a few hardy souls there was an outside DJ, who was playing more music.

We decided to call it a night – well a morning – and returned back to our hotel to crash.  We had been up all night – fuelled by our Thai dinner, a caffeine tablet and a hip flask full of bourbon.

 

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What a truly spectacular and wonderful night.  We both could not believe our eyes at some of the things that happened during the evening.  There is only one word to describe it – WOW !

 

Thanks to Guy for pointing us in this direction.  You can find more photos of the evening on flikr.

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