Guests didn't realise our resident arbiter of luxury was seated squarely in the ballroom this year, overhearing precious snippets of conversation that gave him a glimpse into the world of Singapore's high-society.

The only plus one I need at the #SGTatlerBall2016 is champagne!

Although I hadn’t officially started at Tatler in October this year, the team was kind enough to fly me in just for a weekend. And what a weekend it was. As I quickly found out, the Singapore Tatler Ball is the biggest society ball in town. The one people reserve their grandest gowns for. The one people cancel travel plans for. And the one that sends tongues wagging the way other balls can’t.

I caught precious snips of conversation throughout the night—as I was sitting at the table, queuing up for my coconut ice cream (that was astoundingly good, by the way) or having my forehead touched up at the beauty boudoir. Here are my favourite four:

 “My gown is inspired by Tim Burton”
Datin Tan Khar Nai, now this is what I call creative interpretation of the theme “The Lady & her Professor”. In a dark alternate reality, Professor Higgins would be an uncommonly gentle man like Edward Scissorhands, and once Eliza Doolittle marries him and gets every last drop of happiness sucked out of her, she would qualify as the Corpse Bride. Come to think of it, it would have been so much more fun had the theme been “The Lady Ate Her Professor”.

 “I don’t know half the people here”
I don’t know who actually said this. It was uttered, I turned around and saw a group of four women. But it struck me as odd because there was more raucous laughter and unbridled dancing at this ball than at any of my family’s Christmas parties where everyone knows everyone. The lesson here is, best to party with like-minded strangers. They don’t know your dirty linen, and that’s bound to add a spring to your foxtrot.

“Is that your husband? I thought he was your eldest son”
Ms Vihari Sheth, we request that you never make this remark again. Ever since you told our managing director the hard truth, she has been absolutely unbearable to the Art team, asking them to remove every last wrinkle from her face. And she’s been disappearing in the afternoon for “meetings” with Dr Patricia Yuen.

 “They think I’m anorexic”
It’s remarkable how eating disorders are considered the default reason for everything that happens in a woman’s life. She’s so skinny, she must have an eating disorder. She just got a divorce, uh-oh, eating disorder. She’s into a kale-and-almond-butter diet? Her eating is a disorder. It’s OK, Ms Georgia Lee. Remember, there are worse things that can be said about you. Like, your husband looks like your eldest son.