Malaysia Tatler Ball 2015

November 02, 2015

Follow me for an insider's view of how Malaysia's 1% celebrate the Spirit of High Society.

31.10.15 / MALAYSIA TATLER ANNUAL BALL - The  Social Event of Malaysia's High Society

Beg, borrow, or steal: whatever lengths you go to (and some have gone to great and embarrassing lengths), only the chosen few who receive the much-coveted invitation to the annual Malaysia Tatler Ball will be sweeping past the society police onto the red carpet and into the ballroom of the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur, where once a year Malaysia's crème de la crème convene in an astonishing gathering of power, wealth, status, and serious fashion credentials. Royalty, aristocracy, and the country's movers & shakers braved last Saturday's tropical storm (the lightning, thunder, and torrential rain was very appropriate given that a) this year's ball coincided with Halloween and b) the ball is a dramatic occasion that sees sartorial ensembles that rival elaborate costumes) to answer the call of what I dub the 'Silver Ticket': the frosty invitation card bearing one's name in elegant calligraphy, descending in a flurry of high-octane glamour to the event of every social stalwart's calendar: the Malaysia Tatler Annual Ball.  
My gruelling schedule be damned - it would be most unsagacious and downright unforgivable of me to miss this year's ball. More than just a lavish party for the country's elite, the Malaysia Tatler Ball is a networking opportunity like no other with a ballroom hosting some of the nation's most powerful and most influential decision-makers (some of the guests make the choices that set the course for the lives of the everyday person). In the comforting familiarity of the Shangri-La ballroom deals have been sealed, powerful alliances forged, treasured friendships and unforgettable memories made - all in the glow and warm ambience of scented candlelight over several exquisite courses prepared by skilled chefs pulling out all the stops to impress the distinguished guests. 
For the prodigal daughter (yours truly) whose twice-yearly return to the motherland is often met with questions of "Darling, how are you? Tell me all about London - you must be doing so well what with the strength of the pound against the Malaysian Ringgit!" the Malaysia Tatler Ball is the best way to catch up with everyone, seeing as they are guaranteed to be there that night, only a few tables away. This year, at least two regular readers of Posh, Broke, & Bored were looking forward to meet me, and meet me they did - I only hope I didn't disappoint! 

Looking positively ethereal was my date, my best friend Michiekins, who floated across the ballroom in a matching hue of lilac dressed in a gorgeous creation by Magazine Boutique - a recent addition to the fashion-forward Jalan Telawi scene.

For the uninitiated, the itinerary for the night is a 5 (or more)-course dinner peppered by intervals of speeches (the Malaysia Tatler Awards is always good for a chuckle), mingling, and most prevalently: photo-taking; whether it's selfies at the photobooth, candids by the team of roaming photographers, or snaps that make their way to the #MYTatlerBall2015 stream.

One for the photo album: gorgeous tablemate Mei Fong snapping a shot for posterity. 
Which in these social-media forward times probably means Instagram.

Hers and hers bags: Michiekins totes a dome-shaped Prada Saffiano...

...I match the dizzying sparkle of my dress with the debut of my newest baby: say hello to Betty, my Anya Hindmarch 'Bathurst' satchel endearingly customised with schoolgirl-inspired stickers! 

I'll do a 'What's In My Handbag' post on my new bag soon, promise!

Oh yes, the food.

I did try to save the menu card so I could at least describe the food to you but I slipped the card in my goody bag which went missing by the end of the night, so you'll find my description of the dishes somewhat lacking. Then again, there's really no point in treating this blog post like a restaurant review, because the dishes were created especially for this year's Tatler Ball so it's not like you can use this post as a restaurant recommendation...

...but I'll try my best.

Never-ending glasses of Moet & Chandon that magically refill themselves are on par for the course.

As skilled as I am at leaving the rim of glasses unstained, I deliberately left a lipstick mark on my flute just for this photo.
The things bloggers do...

The vegetarian starter of what looks like thinly sliced beetroot, mozzarella balls, and salad.

A starter of scallops, lobster, and foie gras topped with roe and other photogenic leafy embellishments.

The cauliflower consommé didn't leave me cold, but the addition of roe was a surprisingly addition I'm not sure I love.
I never did like oxtail soup, but the cheese grissini was satisfyingly flaky.

We cleansed our palates with a sorbet of passionfruit (I think?) and mango with a creamy lime yogurt.

My beef main was delightfully tender. That's all I can tell you, because I lost the menu card.

Props to the pastry chef for a pretty pudding.
Although once you've tried the original chocolate bomb the in Russia, nothing else really compares.

I like to joke that "I'm just here for the food" but really, the point of being lucky enough to be invited to the undisputed social event of the year is to make acquaintances and catch up with old friends. This inevitably results in a memory-eating behemoth of a photoroll filled with faces and moments from the night.

Like most respectable women, mummy's friends (she's the lady standing behind me) love having their photos taken with their friends at every occasion, and a group photo with the prodigal daughter at the ball is no exception. Fun fact: mummy's friends also love me because I take lovely photos of everyone. Even more so that I've upgraded to my first full-frame camera. That's right, your girl is now toting proper shutterbug-gear. I'll blog about that another time!

Madam and her two daughters (hahaha, I kid. But seriously, who wouldn't want to be my mother's daughter?)

Me, to Michiekins: "Here, a photo of you and your idol. Go frame this."

Sheena, a loyal reader of Posh, Broke, & Bored, now a wonderful friend and as it transpires, my spirit Disney-princess! Our impromptu Disney sing-a-long in the Shangri-La toilets (filmed by Michiekins, which may or may not see the light of day on my Instagram...someday) goes down in my personal history of one of my favourite scenes ever.

Ming and Sherin who are forging a path into film production - I can't wait to see the movies!

"Michiekins is a delicate fairy princess, and I am a evil village bruja!"

Funny story, that: I wanted to ask a makeup artist to make me up as a 'zombie socialite' - gashes, gore, fake blood and all that. It was, after all, Halloween...but Michiekins talked me out of being ground-breaking (or more like glass-smashing...can you imagine terrified guests at the ball swooning and dropping their champagne flutes?) at the Tatler Ball. Maybe next year...


I'm wearing a surprisingly high-street dress with high-end accessorises:
my favourite Saint Laurent Tributes and of course my Anya Hindmarch Bathurst satchel.

Making silly faces with dear Karmun. Don't let her sweet face fool you - she's a cheeky one!

Even as our plates are whisked away and gifts distributed to the guests from smiling staff bearing baskets of goodies - this year's door gift, like last year's, was a luxurious Lancome beauty product which I've since lost in the ballroom - classic tunes like 'New York, New York' and toe-tapping dance numbers from the Tatler Troupe got us in the party mood... the lights are dimmed, and the setting transformed from a sweeping dining room  into an incandescent ballroom. 

The dusky hues of the rose-tinted lights give way to illuminated table displays, lending the ballroom an almost romantic ambience but for the front of the stage where smoke machines and lasers make the dance floor the place to be.

You know I mean business when my heels are off. 
I'm a firm non-believer of the adage "put on your dancing shoes" unless said 'shoes' mean 'bare feet'...

The real life Brenda Starr, flame-haired beauty, model-visual artist-photographer-reporter Crazy Rouge was on hand to capture the shenanigans of 'Malaysia's most proper' misbehaving on the dance floor. Only at the Tatler Ball would one find a real-life incarnation of fiction's most glamorous 1950s reporter, let alone cut silk on the dance floor with her...

Everything started to look hazy way past midnight (or is it just my camera? Go home, camera - you're drunk) which was my exit cue. I slipped out of the ballroom and now-dwindling dance floor, leaving the young 'uns to plan their afterparties (mostly at Zouk, it was Halloween after all). This year's Malaysia Tatler Ball is my favourite so far, it was absolutely flawless: having my best friend Michiekins there with me and showing her a part of my world, meeting followers of my blog who only had the nicest things to say (I have some very influential and important readers it seems...), singing up a storm in a toilet (literally) with my far as balls go, the 26th Anniversary of Malaysia Tatler was perfect in every way.

How was your Halloween? Malaysians, were you also at the Tatler Ball or were you partying up a storm elsewhere, if at all? 

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