The King’s palace is a fantastic place to hold formal parties and dances and he loves making merriment with the other nobles and aristocrats under his rule. No expense is spared in the gala formal dances or the feasts and banquets that often accompany such a special event on the King’s calendar.
Dressing for this event requires a very exotic taste in fashion of the era and the garments are richly lavished with adornment. Money was no object to the folks in ancient Rome when it came to distinguishing your identity with your costume. You would have to know your station in the King’s court in order to choose the type of fabric as well as your colors.
Lavish might begin to describe the attire at this party. Luxurious would be the word close to describe the room décor. As for the decorations and table settings, I would call them glamorous, exquisite and very expensive. It was always the best for the King of Rome.
Can you imagine yourself invited to such an event? How would you dress? Here is an idea that I have for my costume apparel.
First of all, I’m being escorted by a nobleman in the King’s court by special invitation. This daydream might as well be top of the line! A messenger delivered the glad tidings of the King’s request for me to attend his gala party in celebration of his sixth year holding the crown of the most glorious city in the entire world. King Romulus is ecstatic and wants to share his exuberant joy with all his court and the elect of his kingdom.
I was sitting in the baths when the messenger arrived. The carriage pulled up in front of my home in ancient Rome and parked by the fountains. The driver dismounted and tended to the two stallions pulling the carriage. They were the most beautiful horses I had ever laid eyes on. When I realized they stopped to see me, I climbed out of the bath and dashed to grab my robe. Just as I was wrapping the tie about my waist, the messenger begged entry and handed me an elegant letter sealed by King Romulus’ mark on the finest paper with a silk purple ribbon tied around the center. The messenger bowed courteously as he handed the invitation to me while reciting these words; “His Royal Majesty desires your presence at the Gala Ball to be held in His courtyard on the first night of the full moon.” With another bow, he turned and left just as quickly as he came. I was astonished.
Immediately I began to fret over what to wear. This was the chance of a woman’s lifetime and I wanted to be beautifully dressed in the perfect outfit. I would need some help, I thought. I ran to the upper chamber to consult the maidens from Alexandria. These noble ladies arrived for a visit a mere two days ago and I was thankful to have them here now to help me prepare for the King’s ball. Catherine and Juliana and Apollonia are three socialites connected to all the aristocratic circles in the elite city of Alexandria. They know everyone and they offered to arrange to have a distinguished nobleman be my escort. Imagine that! It was already turning into a dream come true.
Now I will fast forward you to the actual event. Are you ready to enter the Gala Ball with me? My escort wraps his arm in the fold of my elbow gently as I grab my gown with the other hand and lightly hold one side up so I won’t trip. I’m wearing soft shoes that resemble ballet slippers so it will be easy for me to walk and glide when dancing. The shoes are a dark burgundy accented with pastel roses in a lighter shade.
Are you ready to hear about my dress?
It is a stunning gown sewn in layers of silk that drape one another in steps beginning at just below the knee and tier all the way to the floor in three layers made of different shades of burgundy. Each shade is a bit lighter than the one before. Royal lace was sewn around the neck that darts in a scoop at the breast line. I’m wearing a broche given to me by my escort that bears the image of the ancient goddess Palace Athena. It is pure gold.
I’m wearing undergarments of the same fine silk that was spun in India and embroidered with my family name and nobility station along the waist line of the slip. The stockings are so soft that I feel like wearing their ivory colored loveliness on my legs every day. The feel is indescribable and like no others I’ve ever worn.
My hair is styled in the ancient goddess way lifted up at the nape of my neck and pinned with more gold pins from my escort. The Alexandria maidens curled my hair and arranged it in a very sensuous manner draping a little to one side with some soft curls on my neck and forehead. The only thing missing is the crown!
I think you can picture how elaborate an event like this could be. In order to re-enact an event as formal and festive as the King’s gala ball, you would need to find the proper decorations and props to set the mood. The location of your party would be key to achieving the right setting. Look for a place that has all the specifications of the ancient party and you will be successful. I find that looking at historical books, museum displays and online sites that feature the area you want to replicate really helps.
As for what costume to wear, just shop in the section on ancient Roman garments and you can’t go wrong. Good luck with your theme party event and come with me to the King’s ball. We’ll have a blast! Be sure to visit again so we can talk about another fun theme party to plan.
Will you tell me about your favorite era in history?