Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Third Annual Willow Manor Ball

We have our invitation in hand. I asked my husband, the gentlest Southern gentleman of all, to take me to the Third Annual Willow Manor Ball. He is very happy to be driving the Maserati Quattroporte, carefully chosen by our car-fanatic son.

He thoughtfully made sure that my entire gown, with the coat, made it inside the car. We could have called for a limo, but the prospect of driving this car made him giddy and I couldn’t deny him. We drive past miles and miles of grand properties; which one will be the fabulous Willow Manor?

Is that a giant, dare I say it, willow ball?

I think we have arrived – in every sense of the word!

On our way to the ballroom, we peek into a sideroom, rich with wood paneling. This might be a nice place to take a break later in the evening.

We enter the ballroom. Giant crystal chandeliers illuminate the wood paneling. We see Ken Marten's striking floral creations of Vanda orchids and dogwood branches in glass cylinders at the bars and buffet tables matching the tall floor versions at the entry.

Every table is adorned with this lush jewel-toned centerpiece of hydrangeas, cock’s combs (Celosia), red roses, and leucadendrons by Sue Arran.

I notice, by sheer coincidence, that my attire matches the decor beautifully. What is that you say? You would like to see what I am wearing?

But first, let me show you my undergarments. Pardon me? You would like to skip this step and see my outfit? Please take up your complaints with Lady Ruth, she’s the one who put me up to this. While you are there, you can see what she is wearing to the ball.

Where was I? Ah yes, my unmentionables. Mr. Dior told me “Without foundations there can be no fashion.”

Now I will show you what I'm wearing.

My 1954 vintage outfit was created by genius designer, Christian Dior. Designed during the year of my birth, the red chiffon dress with the Tudor bodice and the matching taffeta coat and belt was instantly appealing to me. Because I had so little time this week, I asked dear Mr. Dior to also accessorize it for me. The matching set of earrings, necklace, and bracelets for both (!) wrists do not overwhelm the ensemble because the red rubies (this is a fantasy, after all) blend in so beautifully. I love my only non-red accessory, the golden dancing shoes. I may actually last more than a dance or two in these.

Speaking of dancing, I must leave you for a few minute because Southern Gent Husband and I would like to take a spin on the dance floor. Michael Buble is singing one of my favorite Henry Mancini songs “Meglo Stasera” from the movie “The Pink Panther”.

Oh my goodness, we can’t leave the dance floor just yet. He’s now singing Van Morrison’s “Moondance”.

I am getting mighty thirsty now. Southern Gent Husband knows just what to bring me: an exotic lychee martini. We both realize that we worked up quite an appetite. As always, Dan McCall Catering has impeccable service and outstanding food. We choose a plate of coq au vin with mashed potatoes…

DSC04284 Bouquets to Art 2009 coq au vin

…and delicious fresh vegetables.

DSC04289 pasta and vegie buffet

The back wall of the room is lined with the magnificent willow balls like the one we saw in the garden.

We climb into one to savor our food and do some serious people watching. You can view all that we witnessed on Willow’s blog.

Thank you, Willow, for being the most gracious hostess of this grand event. We look forward to attending again next year!



Tess Kincaid said...

Okay. You certainly take the cake for the "willow ball"!! I will be giggling all year over this!!

Your gown is perfection, daaling! And your son certainly knows his cars. Wonderful!!

~Babs said...

Very nice to meet you!
doesn't the Manor look fabulous this evening?
As do you in that gown of perfection!
Aaah, I have eaten so much I fear I will pop my seams,,,but isn't this just THE best ball?

( I like your undies too)

Yoli said...

Next year I will be asking your son to chose my car! Beautiful gown, amazing details, I am in awe!

Ruth said...

I agree with Willow that you take the cake with your willow ball. How cute and brilliant you are! But then, I already knew that. And of course you showed us the tremendous flowers!

OK, I know I now have a reputation around the blogosphere that I show my undergarments, and I can live with that, even you bringing everyone's attention to it here. Really, I don't mind. Really. I started it after all. But now I'm really going to expose myself by saying that as fabulous, really fabulous, as the vintage Dior ensemble is (GREAT that it's from your birth year, you), I like the undergarments even more!


I had a fabulous time. I didn't see you there, couldn't get away from Truman Capote, who gabbed for an hour with Darcy and me (I don't even know if Willow knows he was there). I hope you're going back for lunch to catch up on all the gossip . . .

Shari said...

I enjoyed this so much. Great decor, great food and great music. I love the willow balls. Never saw anything like them. Thanks, Shari

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking us on your big night out...I had such fun seeing all of the details (and food) of your fun night!

Helen said...

The magic created by Ken Marten has to be my favorite image ... and I love your vintage gown .. very classy indeed!

rochambeau said...

Would be too much trouble for you and your husband to swing by and give me a lift in that swell ride of yours? I only live in Texas.

Dutchbaby! Only you could have found that perfect Christian Dior gown and jacket, one that expressly matches the floral arrangements!
Ooooooolala to your lingerie!! Tres chic!

Yes indeed. Willow is right! YOU take the cake, or the Willow Wisp should I say?

Adore Micheal's rendition of Moondance!


Duchess of Lanier said...

You look fabulous of course! Foundations and all!
Your southern gentleman date has quite the touch.
And yes, your eye for detail in the florals and your sighting of the fun willow balls is notable.
Cheers to a wonderful evening with new friends!

Unknown said...

Ooooh-la-la! I can imagine how that siren red gown and accessories looked against your beautiful skin and with your dark hair! And that suh-weet ride...woohoo! Your boy knows his masheens! I'd hate to embarass myself by telling you what the thought of those luxurious leather seats does to me. Forget the ball...I would just ride around town all night in that baby!

You are so cute with your "willow ball"! teeheehee!

veri word: bachann (bacchanalia)
Don't tell me that blogger doesn't snoop!

Cheryl Cato said...

Oh yes the ball was quite lively. Thanks for sharing Michael Buble... I am unfamiliar with him, but no more! :-) Lizzy

Lisa Gordon said...

Wonderful post, and gorgeous shots!

Kala said...

I want that Maserati!

Unknown said...

Such taste. Wonderful indeed. Love and Light, Sender

Unknown said...

You had me going, it sounded like a wonderful time and I love the WIllow balls!

George said...

I'm a little late getting here, Dutchbaby, having been called out of town last Thursday, the day of the Willow Ball. You certainly looked fetching in your outfit and I can understand why the southern gentlemen who brought you the lychee martini is smiling.

Ginnie said...

If I had known about this Ball a bit sooner, DB, I would have joined in this year. But I'm getting a headstart on next year instead. I definitely plan to be there. HOW FUN!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Willow,
Thank you, thank you for your inspiration and graciousness! I had a ball, literally. I gasped when I found the giant willow ball; glad you enjoyed it :)

juliemarg said...

When I have my mod pop ball at the estate in Sacramento, you will be sure to be on my list. Someone of your charm, grace and most of all style is an asset to any party.

P.S. I had no idea that Meglo Stasera was from The Pink Panther. It's one of my songs.

dutchbaby said...

Dear ~Babs,
The pleasure is all mine!

Yes, the manor looked spectacular and I believe everyone in attendance had a wonderful evening, even that naughty Harry of yours. I do believe that Willow did not mind swapping a chandelier for that hot, orange Lamborghini. Which is more fun, after all?

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Yoli,
You are wise; he is very good and finding just the right car for anybody. When he was nine years old, he recommended a car to his best friend's grandparents. They followed his advice the following day.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Ruth,
Your kind words make me blush!

I have to actually agree with you on the corset. I'm thinking that maybe I will wear it as an outer garment for next year's ball.

If I had Truman Capote regaling me with outrageous stories all night long, I wouldn't leave his side!

Vagabonde said...

What a perfect outfit for a dreamy ball – you have exquisite taste. The flowers were perfect for the occasion and the food… I could smell its lovely aroma from here. I could close my eyes and see you dancing in your tiny golden shoes. Très élégante, ma chère.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Shari Sunday,
It was so nice to see you at the ball in your gorgeous silver dress. Oh what a night!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear tammymcchesney,
Thank you for peeking in. Perhaps you can join the fun next year.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Helen,
I'm so glad you like Ken Marten's design. He is incredibly talented. I had the pleasure of meeting him in London last year. He is very generous about sharing his talents.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear rochambeau,
Hubby and I were delighted to swing by Texas to pick you up. Oh what fun we had on the way to Willow's! We even listened to Van Morrison's original version of "Moondance". I hope that next year the world can see your beautiful fineries for Willow Ball 2011.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Duchess of Lanier,
It was fun taking a spin on the dance floor right next to you in Eva's gown. Cheers to you!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Susan,
How about if we turn over the keys to you while hubby and I are dancing, eating, and drinking the night away? Would you mind being our designated driver? Oh, and could you quickly drop off Constance in Texas?

Go ahead and keep the car until next Willow Ball. You can be stylin' all year long. I hope that next year you can come inside and join the fun. Unless my son picks out a new irresistible masheen for us...

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Lizzy Frizzfrock,
You looked absolutely stunning as you emerged out of the Bentley wearing that gorgeous Carolina Herrera dress! I can't wait to see what next year will bring.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear lisa,
Thank you for your kind visit!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Kala,
Me too! I find the interior of a car far more important than the exterior and this one is as good as it gets.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Sender D.,
Thank you for your visit and kind words. Welcome to Dutchbaby!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear lisaschaos,
I'm glad you enjoyed the visit here. Maybe next year you can join us and we can have a nice long chat inside one of the willow balls.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear George,
We missed you at the ball! I had you penciled in, actually calligraphied in, on my ballspende, though I'm not sure you would have been a fan of Mr. Bublé.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Ginnie,
I can't wait to see what you and Astrid will cook up for next year! You may be breaking new ground at the Willow Ball.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear juliemarg,
Thank you for the lovely compliment! The mod pop ball sounds like a very fun event. I love Sacramento; I go there several times a year for my son's rowing events.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Vagabonde,
For many years I've adored this dress from my "Dior in Vogue" book. I'm thrilled that I now had occasion to wear it.

I tasted the coq au vin in the photo and I think you would have approved of its rich flavors.

Merci bien!

Relyn Lawson said...

Oh, this is perfect. I love it! Of course you featured the most exquisite flowers at the ball. The best,though, was the willow ball. LOVE IT!

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