As a traditional celebration of the end of the academic year, whilst heralding in the beginning of the summer season, the annual Kate Kennedy Charity May Ball offers the chance for a final hurrah; for ‘hard working’ students to indulge in a night of revelry, before revision begins in earnest, and the library becomes the sole residence of so many. This year’s affair was a night to remember, possibly hazily by many, and presented an interesting insight into the fashion habits of the champagne-fuelled guests.

Many fantastic displays of individuality, along with flawless examples of classic formal wear, were abundant on the night, although there were a few attendees who fell into a formal fashion faux pas. The black tie evening wear required for this lavish event was blatantly disregarded by some. Sacrilegious ‘pre-tied’ bow ties were easily discernible, holding together many a collar.

However, perhaps even more shocking for those of a gentle disposition was the (admittedly small but obvious) number of neckties on display. While they do indeed suffice to close a bare collar, they are appropriate for a day in the office, or a Wednesday night out with certain clubs, but never for this category of evening wear. 

Photo: Emily Wright
Photo: Emily Wright

The plethora of bejants and bejantines attending their first May Ball made an outstanding effort. After a busy weekend consisting of the annual Gaudie and then May Dip, students of all academic echelons washed off the residual sand and steeled themselves for yet another night of glorious inebriation. Examples of evening wear in the form of Highland and Lowland dress brought great variety, colour and exuberance to the evening. Although, also evident were a few pairs of ill-fitting generic tartan trousers, suitable for the golf course but not a formal excursion. 

As for the fairer sex; from near floor-length gowns to shorter pieces, suitable for enduring the hot crowd around the bar areas, many ladies exhibited great flair and confidence when selecting their evening outfits. With the relative comfort and freedom female guests have when choosing attire for such a night, there was a broad range of styles on show which individuals had chosen to present themselves in.

From well fitting ‘slimline’ numbers to more voluminous pieces, the excuse for additional shopping and wardrobe swapping between friends provided a break to the monotonous vibe sometimes seen at other events. Heels were perhaps not as mainstay as could have been the case; ladies swapping the inevitable discomfort for flat shoes more suitable for manoeuvring around the dance floors and navigating the treacherous Kinkell steps. 

Photo: Emily Wright
Photo: Emily Wright

Although it should be noted that, as tempting as the chocolate fountain can be, one or two guests appeared to have forgotten that even a small cocoa coloured stain can considerably detract from an elegant outfits visual appeal. (However, one can only sympathise with the exam induced chocolate cravings, that must have been the culprit here, and notes that revision might be more tolerable with a similar chocolate fountain in operation in the library.)

The most common ‘footwear’ of the evening proved to be Louboutins, but not in the form one might expect. The distinct ‘Yellow Label’ Veuve-Clicquot, abundant at FS, was absented in favour of the Red and Gold of the Piper-Heidsieck Maison. Bottles of NV Piper were in abundance along with several bottles of Piper ‘Rare’ which were accompanied by the Champagne House’s striking stiletto glass design. Commendations are due to dear old Christian L. for envisioning a vessel perfect for bubbly-buzzed guests to spill their beverage over themselves.

These minor controversies however, paled in comparison to the night’s frivolities. This last ‘loose’ evening before the May exam diet was a further testament to the gentlemen of the Kate Kennedy Club; their ceaseless commitment to protecting our University Town and all the traditions, and parties, we hold dear is unwavering. If anyone believed that after previously organising a whole weekend of activities, the Procession and even a unique ball for the ninetieth anniversary, that the preparations for the May Ball would be lacklustre, they have been proved completely incorrect. It is to this charitable group of chaps that we are indebted to, for the splendours of the event.

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