Part 1 of 2: Oh, The Masquer-shade Of It All
If you’re going to host a masquerade ball for New York City’s society elite, you’ve got to do it right. Thankfully, this wasn’t Queen Vic’s first time at the rodeo as she delivered one of the most lavish, over the top, campy spectacles I’ve seen on television since the last episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. All the small sub-stories, like Nolan using his A Beautiful Mind technique to track down Padma, or Emily slipping between Aiden and Daniel, or even Connie’s senate race, all lead to the glorious gala. The biggest dramz this week? Some loved ones were lost, others appear to have returned from the past, and Victoria throws some beaucoup shade at anyone with a pair of ears.
Obviously, I need to start with the masquerade fashions. Specifically, this insane dress worn by your host, Victoria Grayson. And they call Emily the “Ice Queen”? With arm length black gloves, and a bizarre pattern over the nude slip, Victoria totally establishes herself as the Head Bitch in Charge of this party. No one does it finer than Victoria, and Conrad looks as obedient as ever in his tux.
It’s ironic that Victoria would host a masquerade, considering she has so many faces. Doting mother, cunning strategist, shady biatch… it’s all there. Oh, and of course her party has a black and white dress code. The Graysons, they know how to dress, but when it comes to patterns or colour blocking, they’re all thumbs. Remember the deliciously dramatic Fire & Ice Ball? You could wear red or white — that’s it. Boring.
Declan and Jack — only you could manage to make a masque look plain. Bless them for their consistency. Although, can we talk about Declan’s tie? That’s a lot of look for one thin strip of fabric, my friend. You’re not nearly accomplished enough to start pulling out Nolan Ross looks. Babysteps, OK? Maybe start with a wild pocket square, then we can talk about printed ties and embellished blazers.
See? This is how you do opulent menswear. It’s a shame that all we see this week is Sad Nolan considering how goddamn fierce he looks. The white masque immediately stands out as a bold choice, but the patterned jacket (which looks like a hellish alliance of damask and paisley) just screams drama. Most people would stop at the jacket considering how loud it is, but Nolan polishes it off with a polka-dot shirt and white tie.
I mean, the man needs a Greek chorus of golf claps around him at all times for having the gall to wear this and yet, since it’s Nolan, it all works. Damn his sexy confidence!
During the masquerade, we sadly find out Padma has been offed by the Initiative. Naturally, Nolan is devastated and he shared an over-the-shoulder hug with Emily we rarely see — the sincere one.
Speaking of Emily at the masquerade — she looks amazing. Queen Vic made it pretty clear she didn’t want Ms. Thorne partying with her friends, but Emily slipped in and wore what might be the best cleavage display case EVER. I’ve always said she looks beautiful in white, but structure on the chest plus the curve accentuation is pretty much jaw dropping. Yeah, she’s an Ice Queen, but she’s also more pretty than any of us could ever hope to be. Emily Thorne, making us self-conscious while enthralling us with her looks since 2011.
“My whole life is a masquerade because you ruined it when I was a child! Thanks for the drinks, Victoria!”
Also, shout out to that ovah masque Emily is sporting. A championship use of feathers.
Before the ball, Victoria received some black roses with a super serious note from her apparent first-born son that’s not Daniel. Confused? I always am when it comes to Victoria. Girlfriend has more secrets than Katie Holmes when she was married to Tom Cruise.
The last creepy note said her son would be wearing a black rose at the ball and in a fashion more dramatic than most primetime soaps, Victoria spots the Mystery Masque. This was so campy and overwrought I am definitely not regretting my decision to eat cheesecake during this episode.
Upstairs, there are two trashy guests throwing some major shade about the late Amanda Porter. I think my favourite line from the girl was her desire to have “slutted it up more” with her outfit. Honey, you can cool it on the slut-shaming because we first need to talk about having some taste. Lord knows I love a good sequin, but it looks like you fell out of the sparkle cannon at Forever21. There’s a fine line between looking expensive and looking cheap.
I’m sure Charlotte shares my thoughts on the fashion, but it seems she was too fired about the insults toward her dead fake-sister. I love when Charlotte steps outside her fashion comfort zone into a feathered corset dress like this, but it makes me even more happy when girl throws a punch at some cheap party crasher! You better work, honey.
Though she looks wasted here, Ashley was actually sober as a judge — and completely worn out by the Graysons. I don’t know why I’m into up-dos so much these days, but I’m living for Ashley’s hair right now. The embellished belt is a nice touch to an otherwise boring outfit, but after Conrad takes her down a few pegs and basically calls her worthless, I feel like we should cut her some slack this week.
Aiden, you couldn’t be more smouldery than you are right now. The masque, the white trim on the jacket, the stance — I’m honestly swooning. It kills me that you and Emily are so unlucky in love because I know it would have lead to more shirtless scenes and sexy, penetrating stares.
Also, Aiden is a total badass who kills people when he’s pissed off. Case in point, we finally got rid of Fishlips Trask. He was a poor substitute for Helen anyway. Props to Aiden for getting his murder on pre-masquerade, and then looking like a stone cold fox when he arrived.
Finally, we have to say goodbye to another character — Padma. Um… see ya never? I’m sorry, but I’m just not broken up about this character’s death. Frankly, I don’t even think she is dead. There’s going to be some ridiculous Initiative-like plan to have it seem like she’s dead, only she’s actually a spy now. If Padma really has kicked it, I’m sorry her last look had to be in something a Nana would wear to the beach.