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Masquerade Mayhem: What To Wear!

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T'is the season to be jolly! It certainly is, because this weekend I am attending the Masquerade Ball at five-star resort, the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews. You can imagine the research that has gone into the outfit for such a prestigious event, especially since the most intriguing party goer will win a round of golf on the world-famous course or a day in the exclusive Kohler Waters Spa. This alone ups the style ante and so, it is with a few heart palpitations that I confess I have not yet chosen my dress.

I have to admit, I started with the pièce de résistance: the mask. I am going to wear either a glossy, black metal mask or a metallic swan-like creation - both will doubtlessly look good with any party dress - and then I will choose the accessories accordingly; black accents for the black mask, or neutral shoes and a blush clutch for the metallic mask. From here I will choose a coat; either a glamorous faux fur by Oasis or a white funnel neck coat like those so often favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge. Jewellery will be diamonds - simple, elegant, a no-brainer for occasion wear.

And so to the dress. I have the perfect reserve dress by Coast; a deep, berry shade with ruffled collar (flirtatious, not flamboyant) and sleeveless. It's just the ticket for black tie occasions, particularly at Christmastime. But of course, I want something new, something special - something capable of winning that incredible prize. Just one problem: I can't justify spending two month's mortgage payments on a thigh exposing Jason Wu maxi dress, nor on one of Marchesa's magical feathered gowns, no matter how much I try. So, I have opted for the next best thing: Girl Meets Dress.

For the past few weeks I have browsed the designer collections on the GMD website (think Halston, Westwood, Nina Ricci, Giambattista Valli, David Koma, Cavalli) and, after shortlisting my options, the customer service team kindly checked availability for the evening of the masquerade ball. I've simply clicked through my order and await the standard next day delivery of two fabulous gowns by German/American designer, Dina Bar-El. (Remember the yellow dress worn by Kate Hudson in How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days? Well, that's a Dina Bar-El).

One dress is the Audrey, perfect with the black mask and accessories, while the other dress, the Harriet, will suit both the black and the neutral masks. Whichever dress I end up wearing to the party of the season, I'll most definitely feel special, and at a snip of the retail price. Once the dresses arrive and I make my final decision, it's just a matter of adding some festive cheer in the form of an amazing mask and some classic Jimmy Choos.

You can browse my favourite masquerade masks here and here.

This party season, take a look at the wonderful dresses available to borrow at Girl Meets Dress.

For high street party wear this season, look to Oasis, Coast, Monsoon, Warehouse and Fashion Union.

To read all about the Masquerade Ball at the Old Course Hotel, visit The Daydreamer next week.

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