Canberra is not a stylish city. While there is something minimalist and chic about acres of concrete city centre utterly devoid of any human life, this frost does not extend to people’s taste.
So it’s no surprise that the Mid-Winter Ball, an event where pollies gather in formal wear to raise money for charity, is a not-exactly-stylish experience. We have no M’Obama in Jason Wu, no SamCam endorsing Erdem, and wish as I may and might, Penny Wong did not show up in Dion Lee. Wong’s partner Sophie Allouache was however, one of the chicest attendees, in a black gown with a shoulder exposing cutaway and a silver, circular necklace.
Julia Gillard and Julie Bishop did rep Australian fashion designers, in Carla Zampatti (of course, it had to be) and Isabel Aujoliet respectively.
Obviously politicians shouldn't be expected to match the formal wear wattage of stars or fashionistas, but the whole point of having a ball is to dress up beautifully for an evening. Balls are all about trying to look your very best, which means, at the very least, you should try.
The most disappointing fashion choice of all was Tony Abbott’s suit. I know as a conservative, he has to be a little staid, but why spend all that time cycling each morning if you’re not going to show off your lovely, toned arms in a strapless number.