Happy New Year!

Yesterday morning I sat in one of my favourite cafes, reading an article in the Age by Adrian Franklin who surmised that what gives a city a buzz, making it a great place to live and visit was a sense of the carnivalesque. It’s an idea that resonates with me, but then perhaps that’s my theatrical side? I love a bit of glamour, a bit of fun and creativity with an element of sex, chaos and danger.

Perhaps that was why we then booked tickets to Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman’s “Trash Masque, a night (as they say in the Rocky Horror Show) we would remember for a very, long time.

Firstly, we had to get masks – we cheated due to the late notice and visited the local Lombards. Then, it was outfits – as usual, I was much more interested in what Tim would wear and we settled on a Chinoise smoking jacket that had been my first gift to him when we started courting, my favourite 1940s silk polka dot cravat and an Anton’s shirt with a John Willie print. He also wore two tone winged brogues and Anton’s high waisted brace pants. Very dapper!

It wasn’t so easy for me – I still have lots of great sexy/dark gothwear from my clubbing days but alas, that was a decade ago and the ritual humiliation of trying to get them to fit was enough to put me off going – but I reminded myself that the goal was to enjoy the night, not necessarily fit the dress code so I pulled out an old floral frock, wore it over my standard ’50s petticoat and added a bit of glitz and foof. For a change I wore lace stockings instead of my usual opaques, and lace up boots for comfort and practicality. I wasn’t the best dressed person there but at least I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

One of the great attractions of the event was it’s proximity to our home – we cycled down on our bikes, turning a few heads as we went. It would seem that smoking jackets aren’t usually worn for this activity. As well, I was tempted to forgo the helmet because I had trouble getting it over my high hair, but in the end lawful-good won out and the hair was duly squished.

We arrived early and joined the waiting hordes. I felt like we were in a scene from “Fabulous Nobodies” or “Slaves of New York”, complete with ripped ’80s party frocks. Everyone looked amazing: sexy and interesting – there was a man with a bubble wrap cravat, another in a newspaper vest. One beautiful lady had a tutu skirt of black paper attached with bull dog clips. There were bowler and top hats, tail coats, corsets and stripey stockings galore. It was a very Amanda Palmer crowd. Actually, if the doors hadn’t opened, we all could have had a pretty great NYE out there on the Kensington street.

Inside it was even better of course – I tweeted through it and even posted a few terrible photos but it felt awfully rude not to be enjoying the moment, even though now I wish I’d taken more pics. In short, it was a wonderful night filled with many treats and delights – Clare St Clare and Mikelangelo were the belles of the ball (or king and queen of the prom), in love and iridescent in vintage lace and lame’.

Meow Meow was very special too and I must go and see her perform again – afterwards I shyly clung to her ostrich feather coat and whispered “thank you for being wonderful” My night was made.

It was very much Amanda’s night though: strong, sexy and confident, I struggled not to go fan-girly as she stood next to me during the Bedroom Philosopher‘s set. I hope she comes and sees me at Circa some time because I’d love to dress her….meanwhile, last night at midnight she popped out of a cake topless and snogged Neil to the great delight of the crowd.

I hope that wherever you were, and whatever you did, or even if you just stayed home, that your night was wonderful too and if Amanda Palmer ever invites you to a party, don’t hesitate for a moment: I know I won’t.

All the best for 2012.


  1. Sounds like a great night Nicole!! I went to a 20’s themed thing at Campari House…..I went as a kind of woman from the future dressed in my 50’s garb hehe ;-P

    But of course, what makes a 20’s costume these days is a headband and fringing, or braces and a trilby for the boys, so people went to varying degrees of effort.

  2. I watched Geoffrey Rush playing Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ which I think is one of the best comedies ever written. It was a Black Tie event and instructions were ‘Dress to Impress’…..However, the attendees, unlike your party, were a mixed bag. Some had lovely evening gowns and tuxedos – some looked like they walked out of the house or off the street in whatever they had worn all day…..

    I attended the ‘Burlesque Ball’ earlier this year with the theme ‘Exotic Garden’ which said dress to theme…..same again – there I was in fully decorated ball gown and almost everyone else rather plain…..but then I dress to please me so i was fine….the fact that it was not a ball and just a normal show is another story but perhaps other people knew that……

    Meow Meow is one of my fave performers – I saw her recently in her show ‘The Little Match Girl’ – she is so very, very good…..I have been on her stage as she dragged people out of the audience to ‘help’ her…..what a hoot! You have just reminded me to go and subscribe to her email list!

    May 2012 be a fabulous year for you!

  3. Morgana – thank you! Same to you.

    Fen – yes, I saw you too: your beautiful necklace caught my eye. Glad you enjoyed the evening.

    Esz – your gig sounds fun but yes, varying degrees of effort….pleased to report that pretty much everyone frocked up for AM/NG’s party. Unusual and…encouraging.

    Tracey – I love TIOBE, my sole acting experience was playing Gwendolyn for a scene. It gave me a good appreciation of actors. My general feeling is that it is always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed and alas, many people make this very achievable.

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