On Tuesday night, London was transformed into a jungle with exotic creatures in masks crawling all over the city.
Forty private dinners took place simultaneously across the capital in honor of The Animal Ball, an event held in aid of endangered animals support organizations like the Elephant Family, The Aspinall Foundation, Space for Giants and the Lion Guardians. Among the more prominent were parties hosted by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall – in a Philip Treacy’s Zebra mask no less – at Clarence House, and Ellie Goulding, Princess Eugenie, Anna Friel and Evgeny Lebedev donning extravagant costumes – read: hats – at The Art’s Club. (His and her royal highnesses became deeply involved in the Elephant Family following the death of the travel writer and animal conservationist Mark Shand, the duchess' brother.)
Elizabeth Hurley entertained her guests at Sexy Fish wearing a striking Georgia Hardinge’s macaw mask and the likes of Mario Testino, Charlotte Tilbury, Lily Cole and Ben Elliott enjoyed their dinners while animal performers were seen lurking in the foliage of the restaurants. And, at a Space for Giants dinner, guests were naturally creating Snapchat animal filters but this time using the dating app Bumble.
“Nature is the most powerful inspiration for creativity and we really saw that displayed in full force tonight,” said Alexandra Bowes-Lyon, a cousin of the royal family and a creative director of Space for Giants.
There was a heavy fashion contingent as well, with Matthew Williamson, Aquazzura, Venyx World, Muzungu Sisters, and Noor Fares either participating or donating masks portraying zebras, lions, elephants and other beasts.
After the various dinners, some 800 guests convened at Victoria House, which was transformed with vine-covered ceilings, performers dressed as wild animals and a crowd that was itself looking to go a little wild.