Issue 9, Semester 1, 2019
Last Thursday night, members of our cohort gathered together for the annual LSS Law Ball, a strange ritual that has long puzzled anthropologists, and whose key function seems to be the transformation of tens of thousands of dollars of Centrelink Student Allowance into a year or so of collectively aggregated hangover. Some people might frown at the maldistributed priorities that comes with the week of fasting my friends and I undertook to squeeze into our dresses, and the volume of cosmetics we applied; which if ever accidentally dropped into the Yarra would constitute a mid-tier ecological disaster. However, what these detractors fail to realise is that powering through a hazy evening, using alcohol to push down your vague feelings of anxiety and career choice dissatisfaction is actually an important piece of vocational training for the next forty years of after-work drinks and uncomfortable cocktail parties that we’ll be subjecting ourselves to. So, for those who made the sensible choice to stay home with their cats and other assorted loved ones, I offer up the opportunity of a vicarious window into this year’s LSS Law Ball.
As usual, the best part of law ball began the second one walked in the door to be immediately presented with a selection of some of the finest function package wines and champagne to be found in Melbourne. Also, in addition to saving money on table service, the bar format meant that one didn’t even have to rely upon catching the ever elusive attention of wait-staff for refills – just a short battle through the throng of thirsty students and a quick spot of theatre to convince an underpaid convention centre worker that I was still sober enough for another brace of champagne sunrises. Thanks Gilbert and Tobin for subsidising my alcoholism.
Accompanying the drinks, came the evening’s entertainment. When I first heard about the fire dancers, my immediate thought was that they would just be another gimmick. After watching them, that remains true, but what I didn’t account for was the fact that occasionally gimmicks are FUCKING AMAZING. The flames weren’t the only thing making me flush as I watched them dance and spin through an incendiary rendition of Madonna’s Die Another Day. If anybody has the contact information of the bob-totting lead man in the waistcoat, let me know.
Sadly, the main attraction, a duo from Melbourne discotheque outfit Total Giovanni was a letdown by comparison. I confess to not being the most fastidious follower of the music scene these days, so maybe tastes have changed, but to my ear the pair sounded nothing so much as a pair of hyped up frat boys who had just received a Fisher Price My First DJ™ set. I’m hoping that these pair were only playing because somebody’s mother owed somebody else’s a favour rather than for the kind of appearance fee equivalent to my next year’s food budget.
Ok, so obviously it’s a bit unfair to lump all the Y Chromosomes into one category, and yes, there were more than a few pieces of haberdashery than turned my head (Mr. Blue Satin, you know who you are : ) , however when I’m four pinots deep, I begin getting judgey, and gents, just how many of you were going for the poorest-fitting-pants award? I don’t think we have enough prize money, but you’re all winners in my book. Now I know that not everybody can drop $400.00 on Afterpay to acquire a bespoke velvet tuxedo, but even an op-shop suit can look swanky as hell with the right tie and pocket square combo, as long as the thing fits. A few of you either need some lessons on dressing or are being a bit too optimistic about how well you’ve kept those summer bods into autumn. Also, to the boy who thought he could match the grey suit and lime green tie with his complexion – we both know your mother taught you better than that.
I don’t get themes for formal events. What are they supposed to do? If you’re going to a costume party, or an era-specific food and music night, then sure I understand their utility, but what the hell does it mean for a ball to be Casino Royale themed anyway? Were those plastic playing cards and K-Mart poker chips scattered on our tables the extent of the decorations? When I go to something casino themed, I expect gaming tables, or at least some Bond Villain impersonators. Sadly, my appetite for Baccarat and Mad Mikkelsen went unsatiated. On the plus side, the smell of stale vomit and Jack and Coke at the after party was a surprisingly authentic recreation of the experience of being outside Crown at 3:00am, so credit where it is due.
Also, just when the hell is somebody going to have a masquerade theme for one of these things? Do you have any idea how much wearing a mask would save me on makeup?
Charlotte is a Third Year JD Student.