Admire, Events, Travel

The Costume College Gala 2016

Oh my!  My first Costume College has come and gone, and with it, my first Costume College Gala.  Oh, the joy!  Oh, the frocks!  Everyone looked amazing.  The theme was ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

I have a couple hundred photos of the night, but, with much hand-wringing, I managed to narrow it down to a few favourites.

The Gala starts with a ‘Red Carpet’, and an announcer.

Waiting for the red carpet is quite fun too: it’s a more relaxed time to see everyone’s frock, and to make delicious discoveries, like finding out that your entire group, quite without any planning, has shown up in coordinating pastel frocks (aren’t they delicious!):

Costume College Gala Night 2016

The red carpet is a chance to get photographed and complemented, and then you are shunted through to other end, where everyone else who has already walked is mingling and admiring and waiting for the Gala ballroom doors to open.

There are more delicious discoveries, like finding out  that someone’s outfit is as amazing as your hair:

Costume College Gala Night 2016

(That’s Chris of The Laced Angel and her hair is a thing of beauty and a joy forever).

And that Kaylee came to the party!

Costume College Gala Night 2016

Most though, there are just fabulous frocks to photograph.  I loooooove this  blue 1870s!:

Costume College Gala Night 2016

Including Cynthia of RedThreaded’s already-justly-famous Worth recreation:

Costume College Gala Night 2016

And  The Lady Detalle‘s  bee-covered Napoleonic court gown, and Gloria of In the Long Run in her 1800s court gown:

Costume College Gala Night 2016

Costume College Gala Night 2016

And Before the Automobile’s Edwardian evening gown.

Costume College Gala Night 2016 thedreamstress.com13

Once everyone had made it through the red carpet, we sat down to dinner.  There were meat (the Athenians), vegetarian (the Fairies), and low allergy (The Craftsmen) options.

I’m a really slow eater (well, ok.  I just talk too much instead of eating…), and when I was finally done with my salad and ready for the vegetarian main the hotel realised they had mis-calculated and run out of the vegetarian main.  I said I was fine just having the meat main without meat, but instead they brought me out an awesome vegetarian pasta.  I’m pretty sure it was the Donkey option, and it was a leetle bit scary to eat in my dress, but it was delicious.

Costume College Gala Night 2016

It wasn’t quite as exciting at the standard Vegetarian option, which, much to everyones amusement, was a pie approximately the size of your head:

Costume College Gala Night 2016

After dinner there was dancing, which I would usually be super excited about, except that I can actually dance elsewhere, and I can’t seriously historical costume geek with that often, so I pretty much just admired and talked all evening!

Favourite post-dinner moments include Wearing History’s gorgeous red-silk 1790s dress:

Costume College Gala Night 2016

And standing behind the photoshoot area, getting very anachronistic but fun photos of ladies in amazing frocks capturing other ladies in equally amazing frocks.  This is Ginger of Scene in the Past, photographing Taylor of Dames a la Mode  and Jenny Rose.

Costume College Gala Night 2016

Ginger’s dress was one of my absolute favourites:

Costume College Gala Night 2016

As was Jen of Festive Attyre’s 1790s gown with triangle trim (there is a proper name for it but it’s late and I can’t remember…), in part because it was gorgeous, and in part because every time I saw it I couldn’t help making monster jaw arms!

Costume College Gala Night 2016

Aubry of A Fractured Fairytale’s evening robe is giving me serious costume envy, because it’s gorgeous, petrol blue, and the fabric (which I’m pretty sure is a discontinued silk from Burnley & Trowbridge) is so close to this dress  at the Honolulu Museum of Art.

Both Aubry & Jen are wearing Dames a La Mode jewellery.

And, to finish off, a favourite photo, and a favourite dress.  Natalie of Frolicking Frock’s recreation of the 1890s dress from Janet Arnold is so perfect, as are all the fabulous things going on in the background of this photo.

Costume College Gala Night 2016

Laughter, admiration, happy conversations everywhere!  It was the perfect night.


  1. I’m cracking up that my “!!!!” face is all over the place. Love it! Lovely meeting you at Coco!

  2. It does look amazing, thanks for sharing. I can’t imagine even meeting so many talented people, who’s work you’ve been following for years. It would be a totally fangirling event for me, which is sort of an embarrassing thought… Meanwhile, this year is all about attending events vicariously, so pictures makes me happy 😀

  3. Tegan says

    I think it’s Vandyke trim?

    Gods the pics are GORGEOUS!!!!

  4. Claire Payne says

    So glad you had fun. Looks like it was the ultimate dressing up opportunity. 🙂

  5. Oh that looks like a lot of fun! I would love to be able to attend an event like that.


  6. I’m so, so happy that we both came to Costume College this year, it was super awesome to meet you, just wish we’d had even more time to chat! 😉 Aw, and thanks for choosing my dress as one of your favorites, that’s so sweet! I just HAD to make up a Napoleonic era court robe ensemble when I found that silk bee fabric finally this spring, lol ;).
    Your Gala dress was SO stunning! It looked so perfectly delicate and drape was perfect!

    And the group, wow, everyone looked so amazing! Ginger’s green Regency was one of my favorites too: the detail she put into the gown was stunning! Oh, and Jen’s triangle trim is called Vandyke trim :). I hope to see you again sometime, maybe CoCo again in a few years?!!

  7. Ahhh, what gorgeous pictures! Someday I’m going to get there … but I’m going to have to step up my sewing game about a dozen or so levels first.

    (Are you maybe thinking of “à la harpie” for Jen’s gown?)

  8. I’m really enjoying seeing all the photos. For the first time I didn’t take photos and then was put into work-mode, and I missed a lot of the dresses. Thank you for sharing the pretty details.

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