THE INVITATION: At the Artbound pARTy: Fame

The Society’s Ashleigh Dempster and Amanda Blakley vamp it up at the Artbound pARTy fundraiser. Photograph by Sonia Recchia.

Story by Emily Blake.

The ’80s, despite being oft ridiculed for their fashion, music and hairstyles (hello crimping iron!), are perennially called upon as inspiration for costume parties. There is fun in the ridiculous, and those of us who have only vague memories of what our parents dressed us up in in the ’80s seem to take great joy in the excess, the schadenfreude, the truly over-the-top ridiculousness of an ’80s costume party.

Enter The pARTy: Fame, a fundraiser for Artbound, a non-profit volunteer initiative, in support of Free the Children, which encourages art programs and schools in developing countries.

While my original costume idea—Robert Palmer girls—was shot down by my girls in favour of something a little more Desperately Seeking Susan, I was still excited to see what the attendees would come up with. I wasn’t disappointed.

As we rolled up in front of Maison Mercer—the new club at 15 Mercer that played host for the evening—we spotted a Lloyd Dobbler costume complete with long coat and boom box. Any fear I had of being over-costumed was dispelled. Everyone—literally everyone—was fully decked out.

Above photograph by Tom Sandler.

Dynasty, aerobics, Flava Flav, hair metal, preppy, Jem and the Holograms, and Madonna, Madonna, Maddona were all aesthetically referenced. Big hair, big jewels and big dance moves were de rigueur. Everyone was not only decked out, but totally enthusiastic, over the moon even, to be in their Flashdance finest.

It was hard to spot faces or recognize guests due to the overwhelming amount of neon. However, honourable mentions must be awarded. Ashleigh Dempster of The Society managed to look both current and ’80s at once in leather pants and a leopard blouse (coincidentally the leather pants were apparently so stifling in the throng of people that she scooted out early).

Shay Lowe, designer of lovely baubles for downtown and uptown girls alike, was magnificent in a black sequin jumpsuit, her blonde hair in a coif that Linda Evans would swoon for.

Lindsay Maskell, Artbound pARTy Co-Chair, and Shay Lowe. Photograph by Sonia Recchia.

Seamus O’Regan must have consulted his original copy of The Preppy Handbook. Double popped Lacoste collars? Bravo.

Seamus O’Regan, Artbound Honorary Chair, Jason Dehni, Artbound Co-founder, and Craig Kielburger, Free the Children. Photograph by Sonia Recchia.

Beyond the fashion, the excess and incredible tunes (even my dance-reticent man friend was moved to shimmy to the music), a wonderful thing happened; $150,000 was raised for Artbound. Now that really makes me want to get footloose.

Read more of The Invitation here, and check back soon for more amazing pics from the pARTy!

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