For Throwback Thursday, I’m not going too far back … just to June, when MrB and I visited Vienna. On our last night in the city, we went to the Concordia Ball, which has been held every June for 150 years by Press Club Concordia, an organization of Austrian journalists and writers.
The dress code called for floor-length evening dresses for the women, and a dark tuxedo, dinner jacket or military uniform for men. I brought the Zac Posen dress that I got in London in 2008 at Trudie Styler’s charity sale. My gorgeous blogger friend Sharon was at that sale with me. I had forgotten that the dress originally had some kind of brooch decoration on the bodice until I checked Sharon’s post about our shopping adventure.
I didn’t know if the brooch was part of the original design, or if it had been pinned there by Trudie, but I didn’t care for it, so off it came. The first time I wore the dress was in 2010.
That was also the last time I wore it till this summer. I never doubted I would wear it again, though. It turned out to be perfect for the ball’s “Viva la Vida!” Cuban theme …
… a theme that gave me the opportunity to pose on one of the old cars used for decor in the outdoor courtyard.
What Wendy Wore
Dress: Zac Posen (acquired in 2008)
Shoes: Prada (2010, recently seen here)
Clutch: Sequoia, from Galeries Lafayette (2011, recently seen here)
Hat: Party favor
Accidental bodice decoration: Reading glasses
The atmosphere was more formal upstairs — we were in City Hall again — where the ball began with a traditional quadrille dance. I was curious to see this because I associate “quadrille” with the “Lobster Quadrille” in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Dozens of young men and women — the latter all in white dresses and gloves — entered the room in a long, stately procession to lead the first dance. They lined up in rows and a man began to call out the steps …
… and I said to MrB, “Oh my God. How did I not realize that a quadrille was a square dance?” Jebus! The “quad” in the word should have given it away. I practically collapsed from laughter because this wasn’t the first time I belatedly realized the real-life meaning of a reference in Alice. Hey, I read that book in first grade (and I still have that copy of it).
After the special dancers did their quadrille, everyone was invited to join them. I had hoped to be a part of that until we realized that the “do-si-do” instructions were being called in German, at great speed. The Viennese had enough trouble keeping up. We sat that one out. We also sat out waltzes, sambas, and mambos. But we danced to pop music in the grand hall first, and then continued in the courtyard until the wee hours. I’m not ashamed to say that “Macarena” was involved. It was past 3 a.m. when we hurried back to the hotel, packed, napped for a few minutes, and then caught a cab at 7 a.m. to get to our morning flight. (That was the only flight that would get us to Miami in time for my grandmother’s 100th birthday party.) Are we jet setters or merely jet-lagged? That is the question.