by Tiffany Vanderleer (Guest Writing for Cat Grant)
Friends of both the Astorbilts and the Vanderleers - which is just about everyone who really matters in New York and Metropolis - were overjoyed to see Jeremy Jacob Astorbilt V's wedding to debutante queen Jessica Vanderleer go off without a hitch last month at Grace Episcopal Church - site of EVERY important New York Society wedding since 1840!
J.J. and Jess's many Gotham City friends were equally ecstatic to hear that the popular couple would renew their vows at a private ceremony and ball at the spacious Gotham City mansion owned by the bride's aunt, Judge Catherine Dent, on the Sunday before the March 1 Gotham City Black & White Ball and just days before J.J.'s new smashingly successful social media company, TwitFace, goes public.
The ceremony was performed by Bishop James Wellington-Smythe of Gotham City's First Episcopal Church. While the Bishop pointed out that it was "a trifle unusual" for couples to renew their vows after only one month, he admired the romance of the gesture. The bride's cousin, District Attorney candidate Harvey Dent, gave the bride away, and yours truly once again acted as maid-of-honor.
A formal ball immediately followed the ceremony, followed by a midnight supper, an after-dinner cotillion (a bunch of dance games that are really hilarious when you've had lots of champagne!), and more dancing. The theme of the ball was "Victorian" in honor of Jessica's ancestor, Ellen Vanderleer, who married the first Jeremy Jacob Astorbilt in 1850. The bride wore an ensemble she designed herself - a royal blue silk taffeta ball gown under multiple petticoats in honor of Ellen, while her always-dapper groom wore a matching royal blue silk cravat. It's hard to imagine a more romantic couple!
Asked if she intended to continue her new career as a fashion designer, the new Mrs. J. J. Astorbilt V replied, "Why, of course! I've just launched my own label - Vanderleer - and my dresses, evening gowns, and purses are being carried by three top New York department stores. And I've just opened my own boutique just off Fifth Avenue."
"Nonsense!" the bridegroom's out-spoken father was overheard to say, "My new daughter-in-law will have to get a girl to run her shop. Jessica is certainly an improvement over those models, actresses, and female computer programmers my son used to date; after all, she's Katie Vanderleer's niece and all that, but the girl needs to focus on her new position as my son and heir's WIFE: If Jessica wants to make her own dresses and then sell them to her girl friends, that's all well and good and a very nice economy, but she'll soon find that being "Mrs. J.J. Astorbilt V is a full time job. With overtime."
Asked to comment on the astronomical success of his son's company TwitFace, Mr. J.J. Astorbilt IV commented, "Well, I suppose it's good to know the boy can hold a steady job - which I had doubts about before - instead of playing with his computer all day and running around with show girls all night. But this is NOT to say I approve of TwitFace. You young people spend far too much time on the Internet as it is, and now J.J buy adobe acrobat.'s social media company has just made it easier for you to spend even MORE time wasting your time! No wonder this country is physically and morally weak!"
At the bride's request, her bridesmaids and the other debutantes all wore jewel toned early Victorian gowns instead of white. Kara Kent from Kansas wore a Rose Quartz-colored gown, Kory wore amethyst, as usual (We're still not sure how a redhead gets away with that color but it looked gorgeous on her!), Donna Troi wore ruby, and Karen Starr wore sapphire. Talia al Ghul, most exotic and certainly the richest girl in the room, stunned everyone in her emerald silk charmeuse gown and cashmere pelisse.
Only Rachel Roth, as usual, played the Rebel, making an astonishing entrance in a daringly low-cut black satin gown.
Asked WHY she had failed to honor the bride's request to wear a jeweled-tone dress, Rachel replied, "Onyx IS a jewel tone, you moron!"
Before things could get seriously awkward, our hostess, Judge Dent, intervened to say, "Dear Rachel reminds me of my great grandmother's good friend, Countess Ellen Olenska, who shocked everyone in 1860's New York by wearing black satin at her come-out. I've always found it a wonderfully becoming style myself."
That silenced everyone. And we danced until dawn - just like they did in the olden days.
The debutantes' dashing young escorts also came in impeccable Victorian evening dress with the notable exception of Victor Stone, Dick Grayson, Garfield Logan, and Tim Drake, who came dressed as the Artful Dodger, Bill Sykes, Charley Bates, and Oliver from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. "Hey," remarked the handsome Victor, "the invitation said 'Victorian.' It never said we had to dress as upper class Victorians!" The quartet spent the evening picking pockets but returns all the loot after supper.
Selena Kyle, entering, as usual, on Bruce Wayne's arm, caused a sensation in her stark black bustled evening gown in the style of Lily Langtry, the world's first supermodel. But Dr. Pam Isley, escorted by software tycoon Harlan Doors, positively stopped traffic in a clingy high-waisted "Poison Ivy green" gown that made her look like she was auditioning for Juliet. She was clearly wearing neither a brassiere nor a corset of any kind.
"Isn't that just like Pam, to come to a party dressed in her nightgown!" Harvey Dent was overheard to remark. Do we detect a note of the green-eyed monster here?
"No, the gown is an Aesthetic dress from the 1880's - in the style of the Pre-Raphaelitesaaaaaa - and probably vintage;" replied Talia Al Ghul. "it was clearly designed to be worn without a corset."
"Oh, certainly," said Judge Dent.. "I believe the gown is a Liberty House original, dated about 1888."
Well, that was a relief!
Grace Lamont, Harvey's on-again, off-again fiancée, was wearing a simple white 1838 ball gown, exquisitely trimmed with Honiton lace, that she said was inspired by Queen Victoria's wedding gown. Harvey himself wore an 1840's evening coat that made him look just like Prince Albert (well, at least on his "good" side). Is the engagement on again?
Well, they say one wedding brings on another. This one may bring on three others.