Only in St Andrews: May Ball 2011

Last night was the May Ball, organised annually by the infamous Kate Kennedy Club. It’s a yearly ritual that almost everyone attends to celebrate the end of classes. The dress code is black tie (officially) but it is interesting to see the varying takes on said description. There’s normally a discrepancy between the more casual high street numbers, such as cocktail dresses from H&M, or full on fairytale ball gowns and designer frocks. I think it’s how you wear it that makes each look, styling is important as there is always the risk you might bump into someone in the same dress. I find it interesting to see how people wearing the same dress style it differently, even if it is every girl’s nightmare scenario!

My dress was in a 1930s style, so I decided to make my whole look retro. The dress is Kate Moss for Topshop, the iconic one she wore in the window to launch the first collection. I wore it for my cousin’s wedding, and love it to bits! When I got it I was worried it would only suit those with a Moss-esque figure but it’s actually incredibly flattering if you have curves, more so than if you’re stick thin I think as it emphasises a Jessica Rabbit figure. Al approved anyway! I love the vintage-esque style of this dress, reminiscent of the return to maxis and curve-fitting garments after the short hemlines and dropped waists of the emancipated twenties. There’s nothing more vampish or glamorous than the thirties silhouette and its embrace of womanliness.

I really wanted to try thirties hair to make the look authentic, and after some internet research and a bit of trial and error I came up with this. I created the “marcel waves” using straighteners as I couldn’t understand how to create the “finger wave” manually, it seemed a bit too hit and miss for me. I just waved my hair instead of curling it with straighteners and made a bun at the back, pinning all the waves behind my head so it looked like I had a thirties bob. It worked pretty well, I’d recommend this technique if you want to create retro hair as it’s actually quite easy, if time-consuming.

My bag and necklace are vintage, in keeping with the style of the era. I got this vintage patent leather bag in Cancer Research for just £5! It was in perfect condition and is the exact style I wanted to go with the dress. It looks a bit purpley in the pictures, it’s more of a burgundy hue in real life. I really liked creating a vintage look for the ball and felt like I did stand out, I got several compliments saying so, so I seem to have achieved my goal!

It was a great night all in all, although I don’t think we got £35 worth of stuff for our money and the queues for the bars and rides (yes, fairground rides at a ball!) were ridiculously long. It’s also really easy to lose everyone at Kinkell Byre where the ball was held, as it’s just so big and phone signal is terrible! It was a good night overall however, and St Andrews certainly does balls like no other.

Dress- Kate Moss for Topshop
Necklace- Vintage
Ring- Primark
Shoes- Office
Belt- Vintage
Bag- Vintage

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