Patronus Events, Inc. describe their group as a team ‘founded on friendship and a common love for Harry Potter.’ They’ve been organizing events for several years now, but this year they partnered with Plato PH and Privatus Private Dining to host the Yule Ball in the heart of old Manila, the walled city of Intramuros.
For Harry Potter, we went with black and deep jewel tones, almost by instinct. A ball setting is very different from the prep-school look of most of my previous coordinates, so it was an interesting challenge!
This long JSK is from Infanta! The print is named Vatican Tower; rather strange for a painting by an Austrian painter, but the print glows with vivid color. The length is ideal for a more formal event like this. I made the hat, but I added a headband and feathers to fancy it up for the occasion.
The vest is embroidered with multicolored butterflies, and the cape is a re-purposed tulle overskirt. Gold and black tie it all together – despite all the yellow hues, I’m actually a Slytherin. My House mates disowned me for the night, planting me squarely in the Hufflepuff corner. Come on, guys!
Sarah wore Slytherin colors; a green velvet dress, so lush and deep that it looks black in photos. She pulled off the incredible feat of dressing her entire family for the Ball! She also had her own wand, which we borrowed as a prop.
All the accessories have something in common- her shoes, earrings, and the flower in her hair are all Slytherin silver.
Lisa also went all-out in Slytherin colors. She wore a JSK from Surface Spell with a custom-made sash and offbrand blouse. The whole coordinate is rich in detail!
I believe the necklace chain is from ToxicKitty, and the flowers are from Fancy Moi! and Miss Point. The skulls were hand-painted! Combining skulls with flowers is uber-Goth, but they go so well with the religious print on her main piece. Her makeup was done by Tiffany Co just for the occasion; I love the little snake scales drawn in eyeliner.
Pau wore an OP and bonnet from Luna Planetarium, with a Little Dipper underskirt. From a distance it looked like she was wearing a witch hat, but the bonnet is a lovely touch. The whole dress is richly detailed, with row upon row of ruffles in lace and chiffon.
The combination of blue and black is an ode to Mana – sama’s timeless style. I wonder, is he a secret Ravenclaw? Questions.
Joanna arrived late due to Manila’s infamous gridlock traffic. Nevertheless we were still glad to see her! The Ravenclaw diadem is an interesting choice for a headpiece.
At one end of the buffet table are wands. If you mess up your spell, you can at least eat your wand to make up for it, for these are made of bread instead of wood. There isn’t any difference in flavor between the two varieties, but be warned that the bread is very hard; your best bet would be to stick it in a bowl of Cauldron soup to soften it up.
Speaking of Cauldron soup – since I developed fish allergies, I pass on the soup as a general rule (and gnawed on the wand dry). However, the soup itself turned out to be a safe French onion. I needn’t have worried about turning into a toad.
Gillyweed salad is next in the lineup. Although none of us grew gills and webbed appendages, this was the favorite dish at our table! The seaweed and greens make a refreshingly light combination, but it still has lots of flavor to it.
Molly’s Magical Meat Pie was another popular dish. Assuming no fantastic beasts were in the mystery mix, the Esquire Mag article lists the ingredients as ox tail and bacon! Quite delicious. I went back for a second helping of this and the gillyweed.
This was one Diricawl that didn’t teleport away. The roast bird has plenty of lemon slices, but I think it would be better with sauce!
The Hogwarts Ham was pretty carved up by the time I got to it. While I appreciate that it doesn’t have the fake pineapple flavor I loathe in commercial ham, I feel like it could use a touch more taste.
The town of Hogsmeade is skillfully recreated in sponge cake and icing. This was such a beautiful cake, it’s almost a shame to take a piece out of it!
To the side were the House Cupcakes. There were four variations in toppings: two wands, a tiny golden Snitch, and a small book.
The massive Snitch seems to be made out of chocolate. If I’d known nobody would dare touch it, I might have gone back just to inspect what it was made of. For science, you know!
My selection also included butterbeer and a small cup of Golden Egg custard. It wasn’t until after I took a bite that I realized that the mystery topping was fish roe, and that combined with the narutomaki (the little pink spiral) did trigger a reaction later on. Always good to bring antihistamines for these sorts of events, but I think it would be good to have little cards indicating (real-world) ingredients to avoid food allergies.
The event itself
As Professor McGonagall said, ‘The Yule Ball is first and foremost, a dance’. For those who came without partners, there were dance cards to help people mingle.
Music was provided live by the Manila String Machine. Hearing the classic tracks from the old movies brings back such nostalgia. John Williams’ work was half the magic in the original films.
It was truly a night to remember. Thank you Patronus Events, Plato PH and Privatus Dining! You bring magic to the local scene with your events.