Photo Credits: Yee-Ming Woodward Pu
The Washington Humane Society held its 22nd annual Bark Ball Saturday at the Washington Hilton, and while allowing guests to bring their dogs to the gala was a daring move, the show seemed to go on without a hitch. Although the cute pooches, which ranged from tiny toy poodle to a Rottweiler almost the size of its master, remained tethered, the Bark Ball attendees unleashed some very exciting fashions.
Beginning with a lovely reception, the ball featured a silent auction filled with luxurious items. To allay the restless puppies, guests carried their dogs and fed them the delectable gourmet dog food treats that looked so appealing, I mistook one for a cream puff and almost ate it. While the event was black-tie, owners got created with their four-legged best friends, dressing up the dogs in everything from tutus and tiaras to a full-on doggy suit and miniature formal gown, worn by an adorable Schnauzer couple. See more innovative ensembles in the slideshow at the end of this article.
While the pets kept their clothing creative and costumey, many of the human patrons were dressed in couture summer clothing that was both colorful and light. I felt like I’d stepped onto a fabulous country manor, where the household members were immaculately dressed and well-behaved, and well-groomed dogs roamed about as they pleased. Even the cocktail waiters added to this hospitable effect, jovially serving from full bar for humans and purified water for the dogs.
Most adorable were owners who color-coordinated their pups to themselves, like the decorated member of the armed forces with his equally decorated dog’s leash, as well as the tuxedo-decked black dog, whose curly hair was almost as dark as his clothes. His proud owner wore matching formal wear.
The food was, as expected, completely vegetarian, as the mission of the Humane Society is to protect the health and well-being of all animals. Passed hors d’oeuvres included falafel and vegetable canapé, while the entrees were a mélange of legumes and greens. A rowdy live auction entertained guests before dinner, while live music and a continued open bar kept everyone happy until midnight.
While all fashions were formal, many chose to incorporate their love of canines into their outfit. Items such as a blinged-out doggy collar and bejeweled dog bone earrings kept the event festive and glittery. Some looks were completely domestic, however, as many attendees came to support the Washington Humane Society despite not having a dog themselves.
So dog lover or not, everyone had a great time dressing for this event. One standout piece? Gladiator sandals ramped up in stiletto form, covered in rhinestones and tied up to the knee. An excellent black-tie interpretation of one of summer’s hottest trends, though not so practical for a dog.
As written for Examiner.com.