Cloche Designs | What does one wear to an exclusive costume party in Greece?
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What does one wear to an exclusive costume party in Greece?

Written by: Laura Nell Burton
Photography by: Christin Gish

“I have a totally odd question…would designing a headpiece and helping me with a costume be something Cloche could do?? I’m going to Greece in May and need to have a pretty fabulous costume for a birthday party, but it’s supposed to be a secret…”

And so it began…a few weeks after launching Cloche, we land our first Special Project!

You may not know it, but Cloche’s service offerings include “Special Projects.” Visit the Special Projects page on our website to learn more. We embrace all varieties of Special Projects, where our passion and creativity perfectly aligns with a client’s unique service need. There’s NOTHING we love more than the opportunity to deliver fresh, out-of-the-box creativity to a client through a work product that is genuinely infused with their personality—which is exactly what we did for Jolie Flavin and Nicole McClane. Here’s all the scoop…

Several months ago, an iPad encased in leather depicting a hand-painted Grecian flag, was hand-delivered inviting best friends to an exclusive destination 40th birthday party in Mykonos, Greece. Perhaps Greece’s most famous cosmopolitan island, Mykonos is a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades. As months passed, itineraries were communicated via iPad. One more hand-delivery was made inviting guests to the May 20, 2017 Saturday night costume party (by the way, don’t miss who won, revealed at the very end of this Love Letter) at Koursaros restaurant. Enclosed was a La Lotería card depicting two images (La Lotería is a Mexican game of chance, similar to Bingo, but using images on a deck of cards). The images were carefully selected by the birthday boy and his thoughtful wife, to inspire each guest’s unique costume. “El” was for gentleman, “La” for da ladies in the house. Our client, Jolie Flavin, received “La Luna.”

Cloche first created Jolie’s Pinterest Secret Board (now public for your enjoyment!) including inspiration images, headpiece, gown, makeup and accessory ideas (P.S. follow Cloche Designs on Pinterest, we promise you’ll enjoy all our pretty pins!). We then invited only Jolie and makeup artist Jeanne Tatum (who’s worked for Estee Lauder for 24 years) to collaborate through Pinterest.

Click here to learn more about how Pinterest Secret Boards work. Jolie fell in love with a headpiece Cloche sourced from our new B.F.F., Los Angeles artist Deborah Harper (founder of  Mimsy Crowns).

She next selected a silver sequin costume gown, a La Luna-inspired purse, rhinestone moon studs (her headpiece was already bejeweled with earrings, necklaces and other trappings), and finished off her look with silver metallic nail polish.

To take it over the top (go big or go home!), Cloche worked closely with Deborah to design a custom scepter.

“I used to sculpt back in the 90’s, but it’d been many years,” said Deborah. “First I drew out a concept, then made a wire armature sculpture in the shape of a moon and covered it with batting (a layer of fibers). Next, I covered that with masking tape to get the correct shape. Finally, I applied the clay and sculpted the face of the man on the moon. The base of the scepter features a sterling silver piece which, in its former life, was the hand-engraved bottom of an antique umbrella.”

Enter our next client, Nicole McClane, founder of STYLE by Nicole McClane (follow her on Instagram @nicolemcclanestyling), whose assigned card was “La Rana.” Um, hmmm…how does one metamorphose a croaking green frog into a costume worthy of a beautiful style expert? The pressure was on to deliver extraordinary #clocheservice to this fashionista.

Through Nicole’s Pinterest Secret Board we presented headpiece, gown, makeup and accessory ideas, and then invited Nicole and Jeanne to collaborate. Nicole first selected an oversized Austrian La Rana brooch to play the starring role of her costume.

She next chose a green feather fascinator created by New York designer Dora Marra, whose work has been in magazines including In Style, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and Rolling Stone. Visit her website and follow her on Instagram @doramarra. Dora Marra creations have been worn by celebrities on television, in movies, and on the runway at New York Fashion Week. Learn more about this artist (who started in college by selling her work on the streets of SOHO) here. With our own hands, Cloche incorporated vintage lily pads (originally made in Czechoslovakia) into the fascinator and artfully bejeweled them with rhinestones using museum glue. Nicole selected a green sequin gown by Jay Godfrey and finished off her look with oversized pave diamond and emerald costume jewelry, and green metallic nail polish…it’s so easy being green!

To prepare for our photo shoot, Jeanne ordered makeup from the multitude of ideas pinned on both Pinterest Secret Boards. On a beautiful May day, Jeanne worked her magic to transform both beauties (at separate times, so costumes were kept top secret!) into La Luna and La Rana. We enjoyed every second of the delightful afternoon (Rosé wine freely flowing!) in Cloche’s dressing room. Close friends were welcomed (including the birthday boy’s lovely wife) to witness transformations.

In bestselling Rick Riordan book, The Lost Hero, Aphrodite (Greek goddess of love) said it well: “But beauty is about finding the right fit, the most natural fit. To be perfect, you have to feel perfect about yourself—avoid trying to be something you’re not.” We couldn’t agree more…

Jolie and Nicole, straight from the hearts of your Cloche fan girls, you’re both absolutely stunning and your photographs take our breath away! We hope you felt as perfect as you looked in Mykonos. Thank you for trusting us to walk alongside you in this endeavor, it was an unforgettable Special Project experience for Cloche.

P.S. We must plug Cloche’s Contributing Fashion Curator, Natalie Steen @upthegetup and her fab blog inspired by the guest who received “La Palma.” Check it out here: Q: WANT TO HELP ME FIND SOMETHING TO WEAR TO A MEXICAN LOTERÍA-THEMED PARTY? A: YOU BET YOUR BOTTOM PESO I DO. If you’re not following @upthegetup on Instagram yet, get on the train because this brilliant-lawyer-by-day, even-more-brilliant-fashion-blogger-by-night is going BIG places…stay tuned for our July Love Letter all about her.

And before we sign off, THIS NEWS JUST IN…THE WINNER OF THE COSTUME PARTY WAS…LA LUNA!! Cheers and bravo to our fabulous, full Mykonos moon! We love you, Jolie and Nicole!