By Goya Verity
Pearls, evening gloves, and silk bowties made their appearance at the Charity Gala at the Oxford Museum of Natural History last weekend, where the theme was Guilded Glamour. Delightful jubilation filled the illustrious Museum of Natural History, famed for its gorgeous Victorian neo-gothic architecture. It was a unique place to hold a ball and lended itself nicely to the indented sumptuous aesthetic while also being spacious and intimate at the same time, much like Gatsby’s “I like large parties; They’re so intimate”.
The ball was run by The Oxford Guild, the largest university professional society in the world as of 2015 (according to The Times and Forbes), offering guidance and support for the professional world: the likeliest and most fitting host for such a dynamic and sophisticated evening. People from all colleges and courses attended, and it was a truly elegant way to meet likeminded people (party people!) and to go with a group of friends.
It was also a strong ball in terms of entertainment: DJ Dipper seamlessly combined some absolute bangers from the 00’s, as well as a couple of live bands and charity auction for UNICEF, Young Minds, and the Prince’s Trust - the latter two are the UK”s leading charities championing the health and well-being of young people. The central entertainment of the evening was The Serenity Project Charity Fashion Show, its theme this year being resilience which celebrated those who identify as survivors and aims to challenge society’s notion of “beauty” by inspiring others. Some fantastic fashion pieces included embroidered and jewelled blazers, and a collection inspired by fruits.
It was better value than any other Oxford Ball with early-bird tickets at £45, something unheard of given the controversial normative prices of some college commemoration balls being up to £250. Additionally, all drinks and food were included in the ticket price, making it a very inclusive and student-friendly occasion. I strongly encourage going to these smaller society-based balls which tend to be cheaper and on occasion for a big friendship group to get involved.
The Oxford Guild delivered once again: dancing among the dinosaurs in black tie was really one of those Oxford magical nights one can’t forget…