Going to a Costume Ball: Preparations

Costume Ball

A few weeks ago, I attended with three friends the most beautiful costume ball of my life . It took place at the Palace of Versailles, in the superb Hall of Mirrors where we were allowed to go in period dress. How do we participate? How do we do for her dress? Do you have to be a sewing pro to do this kind of thing? In this first article, I will tell you about the preparations. In a second article, I will tell you about the creation of my prom dress and then in a last article the event itself. Ready?

Hello Alicia, would you like a costume ball?

Having the habit of dragging my gaiters in the middle of costume fans , I had heard of the Fêtes Galantes , one of the two costume events taking place in Versailles. But not really having French girlfriends leaving in this kind of delirium, I had not yet taken the plunge.

But that was before Céline asked me if I would be tempted! As much as I hate people who impose their passion on others when the interest is not there, so much if I am asked to come to my favorite playground … I won’t be asked!

February 2019 barely started, bam, here we are thinking about getting our tickets…

EXCEPT for two occasions, Le Grand Bal Masqué and the Fêtes Galantes , which have been organized for three or four years. The Bal Masqué is a kind of evening in a club (therefore with modern music) which takes place in the Orangery, one of the outbuildings of the castle, and partly in the garden.

The Fêtes Galantes are an opportunity to go back in time rather than an opportunity to jump on the latest David Guetta. Already having my cash of modern fiesta with Halloween , I was rather tempted to participate in a true reconstitution.

In recent years, the Palace of Versailles has moved up a gear in terms of entertainment. We no longer have three vaguely disguised speakers: Pyrotechnic shows, Musical Fountains Shows, Classical music concerts, etc. There’s something for everyone! And that draws crowds: we were 600 for this holiday edition.

Even Louis must be a little envious of this plethoric offer…

For the Fêtes Galantes , a minimum budget of €250 is required , between the entrance ticket (€135 for the first formula) and the rental or creation of costumes.

This is the one we chose and it was without regret ! Be careful not to have your eyes bigger than your stomach on the activities, the evening may start at 7:30 am and end at midnight, all of this will pass very very quickly! And it will be up to you not to be dazed by the champagne and to arrive on time for your visit.

18th century dresses for women versailles

Ideally, you should take the tickets as soon as they are available because you then choose your combination from an impressive list (3 choices of apartments to visit, several dance times, 2 concert halls etc.) and from which the best combinations start the fastest.

Here are the pitfalls to avoid: the first is too short, the second does not have the right shape, the third does not have enough volume, the last is too garish. Yes, we are demanding with ourselves, damn it! But we’ll find it, don’t worry…

From here you have two options .

The castle website offers a very complete list of places to rent one . Here are some tips to be sure to make the right choice once in the store.

If you’re crazy about having a costume that looks like something historical, the ultimate reference shouldn’t be a movie but rather…a painting. There are endless debates about the liberties all theater and film costume designers take with historical reality.

To make your life easier and if you want to see a costume in motion, here is a list of shows that are generally recognized as good sources of inspiration for a Louis XV – Louis XVI dress.

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