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Belles of the Ball

These two ladies get the Cinderella treatment

Belles of the Ball
Photo by Erika Ludwig

Who: JoAnne Spada, 64;
Diane Abeln, 57.  

The Story: JoAnne won our Cinderella contest, which involved a walk-on role in the Ordway’s Cinderella, gift certificates to Schuler Shoes, and her makeover to appear right here!

Our Stylist’s Take: “I wanted the ladies to experience real red-carpet fancy. My inspiration for JoAnne was Sophia Loren and Diane’s was Helen Mirren—women with class, grace, and showstopping beauty. I call this one the perfect princess at any age.”

Fit Tips: Both JoAnne and Diane were looking for dresses with structure and a defined waistline. The A-line dress structure and sequins and ruching on each dress create hourglass figures.

In Living Color: Being the star of the show sometimes means saying no: to black, gray, and taupe. Just say yes to color. Chocolate brown brings out JoAnne’s hair and eyes and creamy  coloring. The watermelon pink highlights Diane’s silver hair and cool coloring.  

The Take-away: Trying on gowns made the ladies reconsider their daily wardrobes. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Diane said. “You don’t stop to think about how you get in a routine,” JoAnne said. “You forget how much fun it is to dress up!”

JoAnne Spada and Diane Abeln

Where to Get it

On JoAnne, above left: Java beaded trumpet gown by Monique Lhuillier, $5,990, from Monique Lhuillier, 3928 W. 50th St., Edina, 612-929-0747, moniquelhuillier.com. Prenite pendant with brass, silver and, amethyst beads, $545, by Robin Fisher, from Pumpz & Co., Galleria, Edina, 952-926-2252, pumpzco.com

On Diane, above right: Azalea ball gown, $5,290, by Monique Lhuillier. White druzy brass, African silver, and amethyst-bead necklace, $295, by Robin Fisher, from Pumpz & Co. hair and makeup: Haus Salon, 4240 Nicollet Ave., Mpls., 612-827-4287,  haussalon.com


Stylists at Haus Salon added height and gloss to the hair and smoke to the eyelids.

Accessorize with abandon. You can pair a statement necklace with a statement dress.

Don’t want to bare arms? Toss on a faux-fur stole or cashmere shrug for extra warmth and coverage.

These two friends were ready to ditch the everyday and embrace Old Hollywood glamour. 


See behind-the-scenes at MNMO.com/Cinderella.


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