so in a vague attempt to revert to posting more on here than work whinges .... last weekend we were back in Belgium, for our annual excursion to Gala Nocturna, incorporating sightseeing, beer, genever and lots of tarting around in big gowns! this year it moved to Ghent and was announced to be the 10th and final edition.
There were some gripes about this year's theme - the Age of Redemption - about stripping back the layers and revealing the "inner you". Other than finding the mood-board vaguely discriminatory - lots of emaciated models draped in little more than random strips of diaphenous fabric, hardly something I could get away with - I found it to be a more interesting theme than the "disney options" of previous years, with more scope for interpretation.
My scope was somewhat obtuse - redemption made me think of Klimt's Beethoven Frieze and the message of "the redemption of man through Art". Klimt made a lot of use of gold and red, I happened to have recently purchased some beautiful red/gold fabric, and some recent photos doing the rounds of the reenactment of some of Klimt's works gave me the base idea for my gown. Taking with it on the way a bit of Mucha, and all manner of cultural inspiration (Indian, Afghan, Romany...... what did I do in the days before Pinterest! ;-) )
The intention was a quick outfit to construct, to fit in amongst my studies, however nothing is ever simple and after various wardrobe malfunctions, I finally ended with something vaguely representing my original intention.
The other joy of the weekend was a chance to revisit Ghent - or namely its wonderful bars and restaurants. Some of us, having been before, didn't do much sightseeing but spent our time revisiting our favourite bars. Most significantly t'Dreupelkot - a wonderful little genever bar, featuring over 100 flavours, mostly created by the owner Pol. We spent a significant amount of time there Friday night, allowing for Pol's mood barometer to swing from "mediocre mood" to "pretty cheerful".
Saturday morning saw a visit to History at the Movies, a little costume exhibition housed in a beautiful old abbey.
Gala Nocturna itself was housed in another beautiful abbey/monastery. Where it sadly lacked in dancefloor space, it made up for in atmosphere and general circulation space - lots of little rooms to discover, art installations, a buffet of yummy flemish cheeses, and the usual array of exquisitly attired guests. We also had the bonus of "one of our own" behind the DJ decks, with Paul Garside (Rosenkavalier) being selected as one of the DJs for the night, so we did have many opportunities to dance and it was with very tired feet that i was determined to stay until the very final song - which was quite emotional to hear it announce the end of an era. Who knows what the future will bring - if not Gala Nocturna, hopefully something equally as good. and still in Belgium!
And because smugmug has "helpfully" decided to change its photo upload format, posting pics directly here is no longer as convenient, so here a link to view the album directly