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Monte Carlo Fashion: Glamour, Dance, and Vice

November 9, 2009

by Madison Shimoda
Monte Carlo Fashion: Glamour, Dance, and Vice

When it comes to dressing for a themed party, I’ve learned from past experiences at TNC and Trick or Drink the following things: costumes look tacky. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of loud, outrageous costumes for events like those—they’re fun, frivolous, and make fantastic pictures to untag or tag on Facebook (depending on which side of the camera you were standing). But Monte Carlo should be different.

This year junior class president Tammy Phan has picked the perfect theme for our homecoming: Moulin Rouge—a wonderful blend of vintage glamour, dance, and vice. Not to mention, the movie, Moulin Rouge is one of my absolute favorites. But with a theme like this, it is too easy to be shortsighted and look no further than the can-can dancers from the movie and dress, well, like cabaret dancers.

Stand out from the crowd of corset dress-wearing girls and suit wearing-boys by updating the Moulin Rouge look with fashion forward items. Some ideas are below -- click on the images for more detail.

Coming Up Roses

Items in this set: American Apparel tie, $19 Joseph & Feiss Cotton Wing Collar French Cuff Tuxedo Shirt, $40 Roses, $29.95 Gap Clean straight fit pants, $50 Vintage Swing Rockabilly Tuxedo Smoking Jacket, $25

Want to look like a patron of Moulin Rouge from back in the nineteenth century? (I’m sure you don’t want to look like the American tourists that now frequent the cabaret.) Don’t waste your money on renting an ugly prom tux. Inject some life into your outfit with a vintage smoking jacket and make it youthful with an American Apparel bow tie to bypass all the trouble of learning how to tie one. If you’re ambitious and want to learn how to tie one, watch this useful video: How to Tie a Bow Tie

Rise and Shine

Items in this set: Topshop, skirt, $63 Miss Selfridge Black Matte And Shine Bodysuit, $58, Glitter Velvet Body, $46 Old Navy skirt, $17 vest, $22

One of my favorite scenes from the movie was when Satine was hoisted on a swing while singing Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. Borrow her look by wearing a body suit but don’t even think about skipping on wearing pants or skirt (you are not Beyonce, Lady Gaga, or Miley Cyrus). Layer your body suit with a dramatic skirt or add glitter to a tulle skirt with a sequined belt.

Seeing Red

Items in this set: Monsoon dress, $141 Christian Siriano for Payless Shoesourse, Shoes, $35 necklace, $14 Monsoon hair accessories, $8.30

Red is the color of passion and incidentally, the color that Baz Lurhman decided to focus on cinematographically for his movie Moulin Rouge. Red is usually a great color to wear to stand out from the crowd, but because the color palette of Moulin Rouge is largely red to begin with, wearing red is not going to stop the show this time around. But if you insist on wearing red, make sure your dress is different—wear a scarlet floor-sweeping gown. And when in doubt, accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Wear a vintage (or vintage-looking) gold chain necklace and add simple but elegant accessories to your hair. Also, make use of designer diffusion shoe lines at high-street stores. The Christian Siriano heels at Payless ShoeSourse are too fierce to ignore.

Moulin Rouge meets the Rodeo

Items in this set: Hollister Co. vest, $20 dress, $95 Paris Hilton shoes, $70 clutch, $18 hair accessories, $18

Take your inspiration from old Moulin Rouge posters. Jazz up a yellow day-dress with sparkly vest. Make everyone draw their reins with your vivid dress and stop everyone in their tracks with accessories that dazzle.

Whenever dressing for a theme-party, it's good to remember: inspiration, not reproduction.

Monte Carlo will be held on Saturday, November 14, 2009, 9pm-1am on the Ben F. Smith Tennis Courts.  Tickets may be purchased online: or in the dining halls (see Facebook event for dates and times).  CMS students may register guests at:

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