Xpat Lifestyle - Masquerade Party by Mariana Belisario Blaksley

Xpat Life and Uncorked XL Wine Club in solidarity with Todos Juntos.

 “I come forward in a mask” - René Descartes.

The Magical Garden added a fascinating aura of mystery to its already magical features that evening. Guests wearing masks scattered all over a gently illuminated green and white space, with the tunes of the great Le Freak Selector creating this atmosphere from another time.

When I got there, I stopped for a second, mask on, taking it all in. That is when I crossed paths with my dear Martín Dicuzzo from Uncorked XL Wine Club and so effusive was the hug we broke his mask in two. I know it may sound like an euphemism for something slightly dirty, but it was literally what happened.

On the terrace I found Liana Neal, a vision in black, silver and sheerness and Adrian Bono, the man who needs no introduction, refusing to put his mask on again arguing it had left him with a bad headache. Liana let it pass, we all know Adrian only follows his own rules. In no time my date Gabriel Terrasini and I were greeted with sparkling and red wine. When I saw the mask on the label of Ernesto Catena’s Alma Negra I felt it would be a treacherous sin not to start the evening with a glass, or two, or thirteen. Gabriel, in a display of porteña masculinity which scored him points with some ladies, myself included, refused to drink anything but red wine and was consequently blown away by Petit BoBo, Trapezio’s cherished offspring, pride of the winery and later that night by Clos de Chacras a tasteful boutique winery which delighted everyone.

We found a table composed mostly of close friends of mine, like Mauro Villarejo also from Uncorked XL Wine Club, faithful to his habit of not wearing a tie and one of the people who made that evening possible; Daniel Kantorowicz omnipresence of any self respecting celebration; my amusing neighbour Sebastián Airaldi, author of the expression “throwing a social granade” which means to make a scandalous remark when things are going a little dull (a term I stole from him although I always give him credit for;)

Ángeles Mones Ruiz from LOL Havings, stunning with a mask she painted over her face and insanely long lashes; Asli Pelit, rocking a little black dress and the charming Sorrel Moseley-Williams and Allan Kelin oozing buena onda as they always do. The people from La Parrilla de Luisito lived up to their reputation, with a delicious display of three legs of veal, lamb and pork respectively, that prevented some of us to over indulging, given the luscious wines liberally flowing all night. At the bar I encountered Jocelyn Mandryk, looking lovely and wearing statement shoes as is her wont and the Fashion People, as I like to call Sophie Lloyd and Nelson Rueda, the fabulous Mr Pizazz himself, peacock feather in his lapel and all!

In my opinion, the most remarkable part of the evening was the fact that Xpat Life and Uncorked XL Wine Club joined forces with this amazing work of love Fiona Watson and her team are carrying out. In case you are not familiar with Todos Juntos Foundation (www.foundationtodosjuntos.org) this organisation runs three free dental clinics for children living in the slum areas of San Martin. For as little as 60 pesos a child receives full dental treatment and this extraordinary endeavour reaches over 7,000 children annually. This sure puts a smile on my face and hopefully on the faces of many, many more children in the future. To help raising money for this noble cause, an auction took place, previous speech from Liana, who handed over the microphone to Piers Neal and let me tell you he happened to be a sensational auctioneer, turning this moment into one of the snappiest of the evening.

Some of the generous samaritans that night were: my personal favourite Georgina Baines, who approached the platform barefoot, hoping, jumping and leaping, Philip Bolus who arrived that very same day from Spain, Bruce McFarlane who was probably jet lagged as well freshly arrived from Egypt, Sharilyn Amy in shocking red (one of the best dresses, incidentally,) Juan and Stephanie Bruchou, designer extraordinaire Diego Vaz, Augusto Darget, Frank Keller, Heath and AJ Baines, Ali Noore and Deborah Meda, among others.

Special thanks to Puesto Viejo Estancia and Polo Club, Four Seasons Hotel, Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Hotel, Alvear Palace, The Argentine Experience, Patagonia Chopper, Asli Pelit Private Collection, Bettina Rizzi, LOL Havings, Chipper, Sucre, Kosiuko, Shop Hop BA, La Laconda, Que se Come and Vanne Estética for donating their services or items for the auction.

The humorous note was the fact that some of the guests actually paid good money for Piers, AJ and Liana to be thrown into the pool, these bastards pranksters were Ali Noore, Philip Bolus and Geoffrey Baines. I am sure the talented Diego Vaz was relieved they let Liana change first, so his beautiful gown remained intact after the auction. AJ and Piers weren’t so lucky and ended up full dressed and soaked.

It goes without saying that many guests emboldened by the splashes, wasted no time to run towards the pool. Sophie Lloyd was thrown into, Leon Lightman, Amie Ryalls and other people I couldn’t see due to shortsightedness and inebriation, simply jumped. The handsome Martín Dicuzzo did so as a walking tribute to Calvin Klein. I would have more to say of this truly epic masquerade, but the last couple of hours were a bit of a blur, a phenomena quite common that evening, many assure me. I remember there was a lot of dancing and a lot of laughing.

I can’t wait to see what Xpat Life and Uncorked XL Wine Club have in store for us during the summer and I am pretty sure you can’t either!

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