The annual art fundraising blowout at Power Plant Gallery already has a longstanding reputation as a night that provokes risqué behaviour, but layering on a theme that begs partygoers to relive their self-indulgent, carefree youth meant that the somewhat grey line between letting loose and acting downright audacious disappeared. Guests were not only invited to misbehave but encouraged to go wild. Playful, mischievous and uninhibited: we were delighted to step back in time and embrace the theme with a spank of glam.
The VIP pre-party, hosted by The Society and sponsored by Soho House and Grey Goose, was sexy and civilized, but as the sky darkened and the masses arrived, things turned barbaric. Men started arriving in capes and a pixie-like lady guest was seen tearing succulent meat from a two-foot long bison leg; it was as if she was a greedy cavewoman celebrating a fresh kill. In contrast to the VIP thing, where guests were almost cautious to shake it before the live Dragonette show, Power Ball guests had to be told to stop turning the pyramid art into their oversized party hat, imaginary ampli-phone or giant sex toy. (Yes, I did witness women trying to straddle the art.)
Lewd dancing is always entertaining but the best part about Power Ball is that there is no dress code. While some wore jeans and a Blue-Jays cap others arrived in ostrich feathers. Like the art, there is a warm welcome for both lowbrow and highbrow and dramatic statements in either category are applauded. While Hugo Boss is the official fashion sponsor it is the girl who dares to wear her own artistic creation who will undoubtedly get snapped by roaming photographers. In years past, I have experimented with everything from a President’s Choice outdoor waste paper bag to some disastrous dress I created from torn cloth minutes before arrival. (Never again.) This year, I stepped up my game and wore a Philip Sparks silk jumper with a Lake Ontario print and bedazzled my nails with Sally Hansen Salon Effects. Abandoning the theme of a quarter-life crisis I instead dressed to match our glistening Harbourfront.
By midnight, guys in bow-ties were stabbing lamb pinatas with forks they received from a drag queen’s purse (???) and yummy mummies were scribbling graffiti on a white car that was parked on the party patio.
If I was actually twenty-five I would have no doubt done what I had been known to do back then, and stolen a wine bottle to chug around after the bar closed. Alas, I have learned some things since then, and left the party before any topless pinata smacking left me dizzy and crumpled on the party floor.
See our gallery below. Photos by Becca Lemire. Note the descension from composed and dignified to brattish and bizarre.
~ Jen McNeely