With its Winter Bash, the Portland Museum group embarks on 2015.

With an invitation that reads, “Attire: Cruise Formal,” the ensuing evening is bound to be a swanky affair. The Contemporaries Winter Bash continues to raise the bar on fetes around town, outdoing itself every year.

“After so many years of doing this event, it’s amazing what a great job the Bash committee does in keeping it fun for our members,” said Will Cary, director of Leadership Gifts and Planned Giving for the museum. “With the vintage luxury cruise line theme, you get a whole mix of ‘lunch on the Titanic’ with a little bit of the Love Boat thrown in…”

Indeed. Captain hats and nautical references mixed well with the black tie and opera glove set, giving the night a posh, entertaining feel. Some guests wore gowns that were floor length, others went vintage.

Shana Natelson, executive director of Speak About It, Inc., was joined by Anne Hardcastle, who donned a flapper-inspired look, harking back to headier times.

“Back when cruise lines were something,” she said, explaining her inspiration.

“And I’m just trying to keep up with that,” Natelson chimed in.

With over 300 guests, the great hall at the Portland Museum of Art was packed with partygoers. Trustee Amy Woodhouse chatted with Liz Cartland, director of development for the museum, while new members like Nadra and Rob Edgerley of Scarborough took it all in.

“This is exciting,” exclaimed fellow new member Portia Clark, who attended with her husband, Josh. “We’ve been meaning to do this for years!”

Raffi Dersimonian, director of marketing and communication at MECA, attended with Lexi Schaefer of Portland. Madison Marek of Wells joined her friend Shannon Gordon of Portland. Kate Anderson of Windham celebrated with her pals Jen and Bryan Shumway of Scarborough.

Cocktails & Gelato blogger Laura Piltch enjoyed the gala with her husband, Stuart, a technology consultant, and friend Christine Wintersteen of Falmouth. Kazeem Lawal, proprietor of Portland Trading Co. shared libations with Barry Dikeman of Portland, and Natalie “Figgy” Dibenedetto of Portland enjoyed the company of Aaron Staples, who works at the Via Agency.

“I feel very proud,” said Mika Reynolds, chair of the event and member of the steering committee for the Contemporaries, as she surveyed the event. “The museum is such a hub for people in the city and the greater Portland community. It’s just the best volunteer job in town.”

Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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