The Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball - A Magical Time For All

The group from Splash Magazines in our costumes from Valentino's: Manpreet Sidhu, Kathryn Romeyn, Chris Carrico, Katie Cornell, Lawrence Davis and Paula Jessop

The Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball is an annual invitation for imaginations to run wild and revel in an extravagant fantasy. I stepped into the transformed Henry Fonda Theater, after the ticket-taker told me to have fun, and saw the kind of costumes and make-up usually reserved for Halloween. This night is not close to Halloween though, and the people in attendance did not simply pick a costume from a rack.

The lavish dresses, elaborate masks, fancy ball gowns, and imaginative wings worn by party-goers have been thought about for months, and in some cases, painstakingly sewn, glued, and created from scratch.

Gossamer wings and metallic brocade fabrics were plentiful in the glitter-filled theater

Without a long time to plan, I went to Valentino's costume shop and found accessories and a costume that would turn me into something resembling a Grecian fairy goddess. Click here to find out more about Valentino's huge selection of costumes.

Peter Pan in a costume he created (l) and Katie and Kathryn pose with a mythical unicorn on the roof

I wore my white and gold as best I could with the help of lots of gold eye shadow, but the magical garb of those surrounding me was truly amazing and like nothing I have ever seen.

A jester and a grecian goddess meet a couple with huge wings and imaginations

I walked into the theater, half-full and buzzing with conversation inspired by old English and Renaissance speech, just in time for the party's host to announce the start of the ball. The evening kicked off with a popular David Bowie song, an appropriate homage to the movie Labyrinth, which inspired the event, and everyone in the room instantly began dancing.

The lion stalked around the party (l) while a family of gnomes happily explored

From Captain Hook to Peter Pan, a lion to a hare, a Marilyn Manson look-a-like to David Bowie, and barbarians to elves, the men were creative and varied.

Some wore only their tattoos as a costume, and some were mysterious and a little scary behind simple white masks. Ornamented masks with long pointed noses were popular, while others attached big pointed ears to their own. The crowd was a motley crew.

As for the ladies, cleavage spilling out over bustiers and tightly-laced corsets were a popular trend, as were low-cut fairy dresses and even sparse topless bodies, covered in either paint or strategically placed flowers or chains and tape. The women happily showed off their bodies, and their imaginations, in dresses from a wide range of time periods and styles.

Party guests used their imaginations to create wild, colorful looks

Sparkling wings adorned many a back, on men and women, of all sizes, shapes and materials. My favorite were the most delicate shimmery wings as well as a pair creatively made of compact discs and cord.

A few masked and painted characters take a break in the lobby of the Henry Fonda Theater

The crowd of about 1,000 was spread out through the theater, those who danced did so with enthusiasm by the stage, while others hung by one of many bars or journeyed to the roof garden.

The guests danced enthusiastically to David Bowie, Enya and Celtic inspired music inside the theater

The roof was the most pleasant in my opinion, since under the stars guests could listen to music, lounge on sofas under lush decorations, get some privacy in a faux cabana room or take in the all the visual stimulation from one end of the roof by a unicorn. One guest took the opportunity to sip from a test tube flask of rum hidden in his cane, while others mingled, took pictures and conversed using accents to stay in character.

On the roof a few guests dressed as trees and forest fairies, blending in with their environment

As the evening progressed, the party became livelier and the dancing continued. Performers were brought onto the stage between David Bowie songs, and some danced and sang while others executed Cirque du Soleil type acrobatic routines.

A trio of ladies in white dresses swirled on the stage to an Enya song in well-choreographed harmony, creating sweeping patterns with the fabric of their costumes in the red lights that brightened the stage.

Just one of the many elaborate ball gowns (l) and Splash staff Kathryn and Katie enjoy the night

It was clear to me that this annual gathering of dreamers has quite a reach and draw for many in attendance, and the camaraderie and friendship of the evening was enough to keep guests coming back. With cameras flashing constantly through the night, the elaborate costumes and creations were clearly the stars of the night.

Captain Hook finds his nemesis in Peter Pan (l) and a pirate wench finds a flower fairy

The Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball is an event that attracts a certain crowd, and while it is one of all ages, colors, shapes, sizes, and personalities, they all share one common inspiration a very healthy imagination.

To read another review of the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball please click here.

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