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Libre Comme L’Art. Divine like a dream. The MBAM’s annual ball was beyond mesmerizing: Gorgeous gowns, Starry set-ups, Elegant guests, Sparkling jewels (And smiles)…under the incredible roof of Le Musée Des Beaux Arts! Socialites,philanthropists, Business moguls, celebrities and influencers gathered in a fall night to celebrate art (and freedom), and raise money to finance the museum’s projects. What you (probably) didn’t know, the museum is a private institution that has to auto-finance itself to keep active – Which our city desperately needs, given the successful and positive contribution it adds to our society: It has a spectacular encyclopaedic collection and around 41 000 art pieces that inspire and educate the hundreds of thousands subscribers. Major Bonus Points for the extraordinary exhibitions they hosted last year: Benjamin Constant, Rodin & La couleur de Jazz. This might sound like nothing if you didn’t visit the museum this year, but believe me when I say the scenography around each exposition was completely insane.

Back to the ball. As we were entering the museum, a huge Eiffel Tower peace symbol was displayed – which made guests stop for a second to snap a picture or just to acknowledge the emotional meaning of the sign. But something with more gravitas keeps this ball popular year after year than the peace sign. Maybe it’s because of how the guests always look magical in their choice of gowns and attires (you never looked so good, Montreal). Perhaps this year it was the multi-disciplinary artistic set-ups of the exposition rooms (transformed into dinner rooms* for the night), to which many local talents contributed. Or perhaps it was because Tina Dupont presided the organizing committee* and that the exceptional dinner was signed by Helena Loureiro.

Whatever the reasons, I can’t wait for you to scroll down and check out the gorgeous pictures Josée took that night. In a room full of gowns, we sipped on champagne, had gorgeous discussions, met fabulous people and reconnected with old friends. It was a dazzling night, and I surely can’t wait for the next edition.

*The organizing committee is impressively composed by 15 notable professionals who distinguish themselves by the success of their respective career.

Photo Credit: Josée Lecompte  

When asked what inspired their outfits, most female guests who attended the 2012 edition of the Museum Ball at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts proudly confessed to me they were wearing a local designer. This was music to my ears since they all looked so gorgeous, standing gracefully in the middle of the enormous museum halls – surrounded by breathtaking paintings and visual art. As I watched themmove graciously in their dresses, I couldn’t help but admit to myself that Montreal is affirming her status as one of the major fashion capitals of the world.

Alexandra MacDougall, co-president of the Museum’s Volunteer Association, was striking a pose for our photographer Denis when I arrived. I very much appreciated the juxtaposition of the embroidered fabric at the bottom of her dress with the black clean-cut top. ”It was my aunt’s dress! It had a bow in the back and a high collar… I couldn’t wear it, so I took it to designer Kevin Allwood who revamped it for me,” she explained. Former minister Liza Frulla also surprised me when she admitted she had her dress done after she had designed it herself. A new career in fashion design ? “No, not yet!” she replied, laughing. Julie-Katherine Turcotte looked like a Greek goddess in her beige/nude Blumarine dress. “I am wearing Nu.I. I love this brand and the designer Vicky Joseph, she is so talented,” gushed Mme Nathalie Schwartz, whom we met with her husband Mr. Charles Decarie while on our way to the cocktail room.

Later that night, we bumped into the splendid former Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean, who was wearing a beautiful creation from M SIAMO by Marisa Minicucci. “I am so happy she is back in the fashion scene (after disappearing for two years). She is wonderful!” I couldn’t agree more! A few meters away stood the charming Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire, who looked sharp in a creation by Theia. Sophie told us, ”I love the details of the dress – especially the small train in the back,” while Justin lovingly winked to her. Such a cute couple!

After dinner, the guests moved into the glass room and began dancing surrounded by the splendid view of the city at night. The evening was magical, the atmosphere was jovial and relaxed, and a good time was had by all. On her way out, the former Governor General and I shook hands while commenting on how extravagant the dresses looked. “That’s the beauty of the Museum Ball!” she told me with a smile before slipping out into the cold fall night.

Credit photo : Denis Nadeau