Vintage Shenanigans – The Chap Ball 2012

by Katie on December 3, 2012

In typical fashion of untypical fashions, The Chap Ball 2012 was a mastery in how to carry off real idiosyncratic style with aplomb and chutzpah.
Each year, the faithful and the curious head to the Grade-II Bloomsbury Ballroom, a mecca of art deco finesse with its ballroom, sweeping staircase and cocktail bar for this annual spectacle by The Chap magazine in association with Bourne & Hollingsworth. Gustav Temple, the suave man-who-can at The Chap is the genial host of the event who oversees proceedings. 
The evening is a prime opportunity for old friends on the vintage scene to get together, dress in their finest (this year’s theme was Eccentric, Eclectic & Esoteric), many travelling from all over the country for the occasion. Every attendee makes spectacular effort with many of the men’s ensembles as equally as striking as the women’s. 
The Ball was possibly the most fun it’s ever been with guests in constant motion, milling around, seeing the various performers, straddling different cocktail bars and with much general ‘swish’ occurring. The bars were rammed with revellers intent in making the most of the champagne and Bourne & Hollingsworth’s cocktail expertise, to the extent that the champagne had run out before the end of the evening. Discarded bottles lay aplenty on the vast tables for twelve.
The Chap Ball (or any Chap event) means there will be discussions of outfits and lots of them. New friendships are made as girls admire each others dresses and old skool etiquette ensures ladies are bought drinks by debonair chaps.
The entertainment, too, is as eccentric as the event itself: Albert Ball’s Flying Aces, a saw playing lady assisted by on-stage automata and a white tie-wearing, fiddle-playing, umbrella juggling tightrope walker. All the while, ‘Viv the Spiv’, a maverick ’40s suit & trilby wearing louche type tried to off-load black-market cigarettes and nylons to ladies.

The Chap Ball works as it’s uber stylish, charismatic, friendly, different and firmly tongue-in-cheek. I’ll be back.
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