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Masquerade conjured up by Top Designers for The Elephant Family Animal Ball

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By REBECCA JARVEST

I always look forward to the Met Ball to gaze at pictures of New York dazzling with glamorous guests, extravagant décor and dresses to die for. Thankfully, my Cinderella daydreaming was interrupted this week by the exciting news that London is soon to have a Grand Ball of its own thanks to the Elephant Family. Dedicated to protecting Asian elephants and their habitat, the charity raises vital funds to save this endangered species through award winning art events.

This time, the team have partnered with Habitat for Humanity to launch their most magnificent fundraiser yet – The Animal Ball. Hosted by Prince Charles, guests will wear animal masks created by top fashion designers and artists, including Christian Lacroix, Matthew Williamson, Diane von Furstenberg, Cartier and Swarovski Elements.

Luckily, there’s a chance to get a taste of this stylish masquerade in the luxurious surroundings of Sotheby’s where the masks are on display to the public. At an exclusive press preview, I went to admire these stunning creations and find out how The Sloaney readers can be part of this glitzy new event on London’s summer calendar.

Each £1,000 ticket to The Animal Ball includes the chance to choose, wear and keep one of the beautiful masks

Each £1,000 ticket to The Animal Ball includes the chance to choose, wear and keep one of the beautiful masks

With the list of names involved, I had high expectations and the room did not disappoint: the masks look magical. The showstopper is undoubtedly the punk-inspired feathered headwear by Mario Testino, a striking piece with a nod to the tribal trend and one I’d love to see flaunted on the head of a strong-featured model like Carla Delevingne. Opposite hangs something completely different by Cecilia Lundqvist for Coco De Mer – a fluffy pink bunny mask complete with cute rabbit ears and an adorable blue ribbon set with crystals tied around the forehead.

These two reflect the incredible variety of masks on show and I was impressed by each one’s combination of beautiful craftsmanship and cutting-edge ideas. These larger-than-life creatures are testaments to the innovative minds at the forefront of the creative industries today, as well as celebrations of the colours, shapes, and styles of the animal kingdom. It’s almost impossible to pick a favourite, but Maria Grachvogel’s intricate black and white piece with its blooming feathered front and delicate black tree branches creeping their way upwards, casting beautiful shadows, really sticks in my mind.

Each £1,000 ticket to The Animal Ball includes the chance to choose, wear and keep one of the masks, as well as giving full access to the masquerade ball at Lancaster House on 9th July 2013, with all proceeds going to the Elephant Family and Habitat for Humanity. Alternatively, tickets for £350 are available to attend the party at Lancaster House, which will be transformed into a magnificent indoor jungle.

You can enjoy a sneek peak of the collection by watching our exclusive video highlights from the preview on The Sloaney’s new channel.

Click to watch

Click to watch

The masks are on view the public at Sotheby’s from 11th – 15th May 2013.                                                                For more information on The Animal Ball and to find out how you can support the Elephant Charity visit the website here

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