How to go from festival to ball? Sophie Ellis-Bextor talks us through her fashion choices.
Last week I sang at the Grand Prix Ball, which raised money for
the fantastic Clic Sargent. It wasn't the easiest event to
dress for, as I had to go to the ball direct from Chiswick House
Ground, where the House Festival was being held. My husband Richard
and I were DJ-ing there in the evening. A ball and a festival are
both fun to dress for, but not exactly in the same wardrobe
For the festival I wore a pretty vintage dress and, hurrah, the sun shone. Flat shoes made sense, so I wore the little beige lace-ups I bought from Topshop a few years ago. I took a large handbag to hold my outfit for the grand prix do. I decided I didn't want anything too short for the ball, so went for a knee-length, very twinkly Anna Sui frock. It had the added bonus of not minding being rolled up and shoved into a little bag for most of the day. When I finally brought it out to play, there was not a crease on it.
My favourite things to wear on stage are either short dresses or playsuits - anything that I don't need to fiddle with while I dance about. I jump and move around a lot while I sing so I don't want anything that will require adjusting. If it's sparkly then so much the better. A lot of my shows are abroad and so I'm a bit obsessed about travelling "hand luggage only", with outfits that don't need ironing the other end of the trip. My favourites over the years have been things like my PPQ playsuits (they also designed the outfits for my last tour), little lace Topshop dresses and Dolce & Gabbana for proper glamour. I also have a long-lasting love of all things vintage. It's an addiction and I can't stop collecting. Finding new bits cheers me up.
For the Grand Prix Ball, I wore some simple black Miu Miu high heels, but my all-time favourites are split between some gold glitter shoes I bought in Hamburg, and some Prada platforms with a sparkly diamante heel I got for the video for my song Me and My Imagination. They've been used for so many gigs they don't look their best anymore, but they are so comfy and go with so much I think I'll use them until they fall apart. Shoes aren't meant to be kept in a box just for show. I like it when they're worn and bashed up a little as then they evoke happy memories. To me, that's more important.
The Grand Prix was held at the Hurlingham Club in aid of Clic Sargent, which helps people and young people with cancer.