The big winner of the night? Rose Hall’s dress, inspired by Fahrenheit 451. Note the burning pages on the skirt. What did she win? Tickets to The Nutcracker. “I’ve never won anything before,” Hall said. “It’s kind of awesome. My mom would be proud of me.”

Image: Julia Kepler

Here are a few secrets to preparing a proper literary costume:

1. Puns.

2. Uh, puns.

3. And … hmm … puns.

Saturday night marked the fusion of the two biggest events in Portland this past weekend: the literary Wordstock festival Portland Fashion Week. Their love child? The Wordstock-affiliated fifth annual Text Ball, hosted over at Gallery Homeland at SE 11th Avenue and Division Street. The event, which benefited the Independent Publishing Resource Center, was chock-full of local literati bidding on Portland-related books and journals in a silent auction, playing games of Scrabble, and attacking giant crossword puzzles hung on the walls.

The evening culminated in a fashion show as event-goers dressed in their cleverest text-related outfits strutted their stuff down a mock catwalk to an accordion-based soundtrack. (Costumes based on the titles of books worked best. Hypothetical example: A guy dresses up as a baseball catcher and glues rye bread to himself. Get it?) I believe I heard "The Baby Elephant Walk", which is probably the funniest song you can play while people walk down a runway. Even more impressive was the number of attendees who volunteered to walk: more than 40. The accompanying slide show features some of our favorites.

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