What to Wear to Nashville’s Spring Black Tie Par-tays

Both Liza and I are attending the Nashville Ballet Ball this Saturday night at the oh-so-chic Hutton Hotel.  With our brows nicely shaped and contoured, we plan on having a big time.  It should be a magical night:  chairs Betsy Wills and Jennifer Puryear know how to throw a party.  The Hutton has the same feel of a hip SoHo boutique hotel.  And, who doesn’t love the ballet?

The location of the Ballet Ball on Saturday Mar 6, 2010: the gorgeous Hutton Hotel in Midtown Nashville

During one of our harried planning meetings, we jokingly said, “You know, one could attend the Ballet Ball on Saturday night, then go to the Oscar Night America at the Belcourt Theatre the next night, and wear the same dress.  If you are careful with your hair, you could conquer both events with one blow out and the same false eyelashes. Wouldn’t that be a great post?  How to be cheap when you are in the midst of a $1,000+ weekend!”

You’d be amazed what ideas don’t make it on the blog.

We moved our discussion to WHY most women always wear a long dress to Nashville’s black tie events. Overwhelmingly, Nashville grabs for the long gown. But, when it comes to Black Tie, as opposed to White Tie (which requires long), we would like to see more lengths – long AND short.   But not as short as some of the 2010 Spring Styles.  My gosh, some of these dresses could have you flashing some serious parts down under with a simple sneeze.  And, as I ask for some more short dresses, both Liza and I will be in -  eh hem – long gowns.

So, on the lookout for both short and long, here are some of our favorite gowns that WE KNOW will be at the Ballet Ball….

Carol Peretz

Carol Peretz contacted StyleBlueprint to say she would love to have a home for her collection in Nashville.  She used to sell at Grace’s and many of her former Nashville clients are making their way to Memphis (at Kitty Kyle Kollection) and Atlanta to continue to buy her dresses.  So, Nashville merchants, she has a built in clientele here!  Since she is a huge supporter of the ballet and even teaches ballet in her spare time, she graciously sent several dresses for me to wear to the Ball.  Fluidity and movement, biased cuts, unusual draping and hand sewn Swarovski crystals are signatures of her designs.  For the ballerina that resides in all of us, what’s not to love about tulle and lace?  My only dilemma NOW is deciding which gown to wear to the Ballet Ball.  All of them fit like a glove and all are beautiful.  Let me know your thoughts in the comment section and your vote may be the deciding factor….!

Carol Peretz gown

Carol Peretz gown

Carol Peretz gown

Dez Zamek

Dez is one of Nashville’s  genuine treasures and somewhat undiscovered.  I am even reluctant to write about her, because there is no seamstress in Nashville with her flair, creativity and je ne sais quoi  (OK, I am completely biased).  Laura Cooper (my table host)  found a 1959 sketch of a Valentino dress that she loved, but she wanted a more updated and sleek look.  Together, she and Dez recreated the dress with modern flair for her to wear to the Ballet Ball.  I think you all of you will agree – it is absolutely lovely.  Dez is a master seamstress and can capture the essence of couture gowns by selecting the perfect fabric to enhance the design.  And, for those of you keeping score, this is short dress:-)  So, if you are going and contemplating short, you know this one will be there as well!

Designed by Dez and inspired by Valentino

The Reliable Black Skirt

Liza is wearing one of her favorite black skirts with her newly purchased top – off the sale rack at Haven!  We talked at length about the value of a great black skirt.  Both of us own one which in a pinch we couldn’t live without.  Mine is a Tadashi, ever so fitted, and when paired with a good pair of Spanx, it rocks.

Blouse by J Crew, skirt by Tadashi, obi belt

Liza says: I bought this skirt when my oldest was 3 months old – so 11 years ago.  I weighed about 45 pounds MORE than I do now (I really thought that I would breast feed and every single Krystal double cheeseburger would magically fall off…..I was wrong.)  I bought this skirt by Laundry and it was TIGHT.   But, I squeezed in.  Now, it’s my go-to “I need to look good but I really don’t have it in me to look around for anything new” fall back, savior, power horse of a piece.  And, with the help of a safety pin – it always fits.  I think a great black skirt is one of the wisest purchases you can make even if you hit just one Ball a year.  However, I do think this picture makes me look pregnant, so I’m reconsidering and I may wear the 3rd dress down by Carol Perez if it fits…..But I do love the fact that I bought this Alice+Olivia top at 75% off at Haven and I therefore I may wear it to dinner Friday at Cafe Nona and then to the Ballet Ball on Saturday!  Talk about flexibility!  But, honestly, do you think this makes me look B-I-G??? UPDATE: OK- I’M WEARING THE CAROL PERETZ 3rd dress down tomorrow night.  LOVE IT!  And yes, you all are right who have personally emailed. This outfit does not look good on me.  Being fair, it looks better in person, but when you have a Carol Peretz dress given to you to wear for the evening, you wear it!  And I LOVE it!

Liza threw this on for me. She loves having a long black full skirt as it creates the perfect black tie look with a variety of tops.

If you’re attending the Ballet Ball, the Oscar Night America at the Belcourt or any of the numerous black tie events Nashville hosts (I believe we have 40% than any other city per capita!), we hope we have inspired you to step somewhat out of the box for this Spring’s black tie season.  Of course, we didn’t feature any prints, the colors are kinda dark, and most of the dresses are long.  Damn.  We tried.

The Nashville Ballet Ball
The Hutton Hotel
Saturday, March 6th

Oscar Night America at the Belcourt
The Belcourt Theater- $200
Sunday, March 7th

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