What fun my sweetie, Richard, and I had the night of the Art Deco Preservation Ball at Bimbos in San Francisco. We danced and visited with like-minded people. We celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge and the recipients of the 2012 Art Deco Preservation Awards.
My favorite part was gazing at all the wonderfully dressed attendees in elegant ball gowns and vintage tuxedos. We admired top hats and tails, evening dresses of all kinds from beaded to satin to velvet. Many ladies donned the color of the bridge – International Orange. What a treat to see everyone appropriately well dressed. This is a rare crowd that knows how to do it right.
In planning my look for the Ball, I wanted to somehow include the bridge in my ensemble and decided to make a fascinator. It took three months and quite a lot of thought.
I started in San Francisco souvenir shops looking for a miniature replica of the bridge. It turned out to be a bit of a challenge and I really only found one thing that would work – a refrigerator magnet. Then I went to Lacis in Berkeley for the fascinator form. They have many shapes but to properly show off the bridge I chose a simple round disk. For fabric I wanted something resembling water underneath the bridge. I used a blue speckled cotton from The Cotton Patch in Lafayette.
Assembling all the parts required careful thought. I sewed a round piece of the blue fabric to the form. I sewed a round swatch of felt to the back of the form and then sewed hair clips (called Duck Clips) to the felt.
With the easy parts complete I took a couple of weeks pondering how best to attach the bridge. It’s a bit heavy and I knew I would be dancing, so I wanted to make sure it stayed in place. My mother suggested sewing it; a seamstress friend (thanks, Lauren!) thought perhaps snaps or velcro; Richard voted for hot glue. In the end I concluded Mom was once again right (she usually is) and sewing the bridge would provide the most security. Luckily, as with the actual bridge, there are little gaps along the span on my miniature version. Using red beading thread I sewed through the gaps in the middle attaching the bridge to the top of the form.
Richard had the clever idea of placing cotton balls around the bridge for fog, which also worked nicely to cover up the bobby pins I needed for extra attachment security. Voilà … I had my GGB fascinator. It was remarkably comfortable and it stayed in its place atop my head the entire night.
It’s worth noting that to our surprise most people didn’t really notice my fabulous fascinator. (But you did, Alice and Heather!) Someone standing next to me for quite some time finally commented. I mentioned to her that people didn’t seem to see it. She said her eye was drawn to the bright blue boa I was wearing. Undaunted, Richard and I started pointing it out (hey, we didn’t go to all that trouble to NOT get noticed). Word did get around and eventually people came up to me saying, “We heard about your fascinator.”
I paired the fascinator with all cream including a lace 1930s-style gown, Amalfi shoes with a lace motif and Louis heel, a strand of pearls, and a lovely textured silk coat from Kiss of the Wolf.
Keeping with the spirit, Richard sported a pocket square made from the same blue fabric as on my fascinator and he pinned to his lapel a silhouette of the bridge, which originally was a key ring.
Click here and take a peek at more photos from the Ball.
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