Saturday, April 9, 2011

And a Lovely Time was Had By All!

Last night's Smithson Gala was a fabulous affair; so much so that we didn't take nearly as many pictures as in previous years! We were just having too much fun talking with people. The food was amazing (as always), but we forgot to take pictures of it, or of the tables. Ah well!

The outfit turned out beautifully, and was incredibly comfortable.

(These pictures were taken when we got back home at about 11pm, so I'm looking a little bleary!)

Back view:
I really love this collar, and plan to use it again in the future!

The jacket lining matched the shell:

This was my first time attempting a lined jacket, and while I'm not afraid of them anymore, I still have a LOT to learn about constructing them -- most specifically, dealing with the hem and cuffs. But for a first try, it came out pretty well.

Now, on to the ball!

Overall observations:
  • Colors were muted. I didn't see any bright red; there was a fair amount of orange and salmon and a few greens. Many women wore black or black/white.
  • Almost all dresses were long and slim; no poufy gowns this year.
  • Out of all the men in attendance, I spotted only one deviation from the black tux/black tie format: one gentleman wore a white tux jacket over a black shirt and trousers.
  • There was only one real "why?" outfit: black sparkle skinny leggings under a short tunic top. I wish I'd gotten a picture.

I loved this black velvet dress, with its asymmetrical seam detail separating the two elements of the skirt.

Here you see the front of the dress that shows up in the last picture; the jacket over the dress forms a deep scoop in the back, which I thought was a great detail. (And, by the way, this is the only other person who makes her own Gala outfits, so every year we always seek each other out to see what the other has made!)

I loved the ombre in this gown. The only unfortunate part was that she did have to keep hiking the sides of the bodice up. But it looked lovely on her.

One of the staff members who helped run the whole event. I guessed (correctly) that this was an Infinity Dress. She had wrapped it perfectly! Unless you were familiar with the style of dress, you'd never know it wasn't a constructed bodice.

Every table at dinner has a Smithsonian staff member (we call them the "ringers"!); we were seated with Tuck Hines, director of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. This is the facility where Diana will be interning this summer!

I loved this scarf!

This was one of the rare bright outfits of the evening, and, on the left, one of the rare pants suit outfits.

More monochromatic dressing. And I was in good company with my jacket-and-skirt combination; I saw quite a few of them.

This was probably the flashiest outfit I saw; it was far more glittery than the photo shows. But it looked gorgeous on her, and the color was great with her red hair.

So, that's it for this year's Smithson Gala! Thanks to everyone who helped with the decisions about the dress!


  1. Your outfit (and sleeves!) looks great! Thanks for showing the various other costumes...everyone looks so chic!

  2. I love seeing these pictures every year and especially enjoy your dress details. Yup, that collar is wonderful and frames your face beautifully.

  3. Your outfit was lovely, well done! AND Happy Belated Birthday, just noticed yours was the 3rd Apr., mine was the 2nd and as always the weather was fabulous, that was enough for me!!!

  4. You look great in your outfit. The suit is gorgeous , color perfect for your coloring, glad it was a great night for you and yours. Pat

  5. So lovely! Thank you for sharing this with us every year :-)

  6. ChoctawCharliSewsApril 11, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Loved your suit, you looked so beautiful in it and such a pretty color!
    Thanks for the pictures of the Gala. I was particularly drawn to the young lady in the Infinity Dress and the woman in the bright salmon colored suit. Really liked those as well. To bad you didn't get a picture of the "why" outfit. I would have put it in my what not to wear book for my etiquette classes. Sometimes that is a losing battle - LOL

  7. You did a great job! I especially love this color on you. Your matching shell and lining was a super idea. Well done!


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