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Labyrinth Masquerade Ball: A Fantasy Experience Blended with Music and Costumes

Around 3,000 adventurous people from all over the country partake in this annual Labyrinth Masquerade Ball which is celebrated their 21st year and took place at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

The movie Labyrinth is a mashup of a variety of genres.  A dark, semi-musical, glam-rock family movie, it combines The Wizard of Oz and a Maurice Sendak story starring David Bowie plus a cavalcade of puppets.  Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie) is a powerful and mysterious being who has an antagonistic yet flirtatious relationship with Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), the film’s protagonist.

Chris at 6’8” undoubtedly made the perfect David Bowie version of Jareth.  We planned our costumes for months, piecing together ideas and making it our own style.  We also did research on pieces we could sell on Amazon (like the rocker wig and the Sarah hairpiece).  Becoming Sarah took lots of planning and the right touches from head to toe. And yes, together we made the perfect fit and couple to play out our fantasies! With no stress, only fun ahead, it became more fun than planning a wedding.  As the weekend arrived, our excitement, costume and planning work paid off for we created our own visual path with all the characters in our own personal story. This was now our own “labyrinth.”

FUN FACT: The definition of LABYRINTH means: a complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way; a maze.  “a labyrinth of passages and secret chambers”

With that said, around 3,000 adventurous people from all over the country partake in this annual Labyrinth Masquerade Ball which is celebrated their 21st year and took place at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. As described in their Instagram, it is a “weekend of enchantment where inspiration and fantasy meld under mask and cloak.”  

Describing this event is more than one could imagine:  dreamy and magical. What seems like a thousand different ideas for a thousand different costumes created by men and women, you can see why you would want to start planning for this 3 to 6 months in advance. (We are putting our own group and fun agenda together for next year).   

Chris and I remarked how this was better than any Halloween party we’ve ever been to.

There are different ballrooms with different quintessential music, costumes that made each person their own character.  Take a look at past costumes: click.  Mermaids, mermen, Beauty and the Beast characters, numerous ladies with elaborate, busty, or beautiful admirable large ballroom dresses from all past decades of movies, or uniquely made by their own persona.  There is no wrong to dressing up here as you wish! I’ve been asked, “Do you have to dress up?” My reply, “If you don’t you will wish you did.”

Who else came? Benjamin Franklin, goblins, fairies, renaissance characters and so many more, we simply cannot remember.  You will just have to go next year and see for yourself at this one-of-a-kind event!

After we got dressed up, Michael Helms, known for his talent for telling a story through his creative photos which take in the scenery, lighting and background, covered our shoot.  This allowed us to record our characters forever and then start the play time to enjoy the evening and people watch. I was glad we did this because we had no need to take more photos the rest of the evening.  It was costume and an experience overloaded as we admired, laughed and smiled with all the thousands of colorful characters.

So for those of you who want to go with us next year, let me know.  I have already recruited my sisters and several friends, who said, “I want to do that, too! Or I didn’t know such a theme existed!”

This is the kind of evening I would design and recommend:

  • Find a costume or character you want to become whether you are stag or a couple.
  • Book a room at the Biltmore (as soon as they become available as they sell out).
  • Hire a local makeup/hair artist (I can recommend many in the Hollywood/LA area) to come to your room and style you. If you cannot afford it, have fun doing it yourself.
  • Get your fabulous room ready upon check-in (3 o’clock) with your favorite drinks (we chose champagne and mezcal cocktails, hors-d’oeuvres.  
  • Plan you’re getting ready and makeup time (It took us 3 hours).

Then get ready for pictures! We surprisingly captured the essence of our characters and the hotel’s beautiful surroundings.  By 9 p.m. we could not handle another photo.

Entering the Labyrinth Masquerade event, we enjoyed turning into our characters and sharing the love as we roamed the hallways, musical periods, and sharing the time with friends who did the same.  

It should be noted that I first found out about this event by my dear friends: Joseph and Tam (experienced Labyrinth patrons and an adventurous couple who dresses up for many events.  We went to the Edwardian Ball earlier this year – another story).   


[Photography by artist, Michael Helms

Hair and Makeup by Image Consultant, Lennie Ross

Sarah costume (Hairpiece, custom dress add-ons) by designer, Esperanza Hernandez – my mother

Jareth costume created by Happy Lifestyle Online.  (Wig, jacket, pants)]


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