“This is my Barbie,” said Ruby McFetridge at our Ensemble Presents: Priscilla screening on Thursday night. “I’ve been waiting for it.”
Held at the heritage Hollywood theatre – what better local venue to show Sofia Coppola’s take on Priscilla’s love story – our New Zealand premiere of the highly anticipated A24 film was a night filled with fun, romance and eyeliner.
As guests arrived at the cinema, they caught some of the Hollywood team adorably doing each other’s eyeliner behind the candy bar, before heading to the garden for a Sofia Spritz (gin and St-Germain) or Viva Las Vegas (an Aperol spritz) cocktail while listening to DJ Samuel Harmony spinning old-timey hits on vinyl. A two-tier ‘wedding cake’ provided plenty of photo opportunities; later cut and given to guests as they headed home.
The sold-out crowd – including comedians Chris Parker, Tom Sainsbury (wearing a fabulous grey three-piece suit) and Janaye Henry, designers Kate Sylvester, Kristine Crabb and Lauren Tapper of Harris Tapper, musicians Molly Payton and Heidi Simpson, photographer Holly Sarah Burgess, Kanoa Lloyd, Michelle Ang and more – dressed up in their ‘vintage wedding reception’ finest.
The dress code allowed for creative takes on the theme, from the 1950s through to 70s era Priscilla: lots of white lace, veils and many versions of the bow – in hair, adorning dresses and even a pair of cowboy boots – and so much gorgeous blue eyeshadow and eyeliner.
There were brides in vintage dresses and white suits, grooms in vintage floral waistcoats and blouses, some rhinestone Elvis T-shirts, a few Elvis’ in wigs.
Completing the ‘vintage wedding reception’ dress up theme, there were also mothers-of-the-bride, bridesmaids and even two halves of a wedding car, a DIY delight painted in Priscilla baby blue. Plus, several soft focus Sofia Coppola girlies.
Later in the evening as guests made their way into the theatre to watch the film, we invited the audience to gather at the front of the stage for a group photo before announcing our spot prize winners – an almost impossible task to pick given the standard of dress and commitment to the theme.
With her 60s shift dress and go-go boots, beehive and winged liner, Ruby was our ‘best Priscilla’, taking home a copy of the very hard-to-find Sofia Coppola Archive book, courtesy of Madman Entertainment, and an A24 Priscilla rhinestone babydoll tee.
Best hair, chosen and gifted by the team at hair salon Colleen, went to Yawynne Yem for her DIY yellow veil and hair gemstones (she won the 'Amy' organza bow by Letlet, an Y.S. Park teasing comb and R+Co hairspray to recreate Priscilla's iconic 'do), while best duo went to Alex Scott and Imogen Temm for their wedding car crafting (they won a scrunchie and hair bow generously donated by Gloria).
We loved the ensembles, energy and dance moves that Molly Tate and Jakob Elijas bought before the movie started so they were awarded ‘most enthusiastic’ (winning the Dark Bouquet pocket parfum and soap from Curionoir).
Then, before the film began, another surprise: Babe Martin, accompanied by Hina, serenaded the crowd with a dreamy cover of the Elvis classic Can't Help Falling in Love.
Our resident photographer Abigail Dell'avo was there to capture just some of the ensembles in the crowd.
Priscilla is in NZ cinemas from February 1.