The Midwinter Press Gallery Ball is Canberra’s night of nights. Let’s face it; only a brave Cinderella would don a ball gown in the brutal cold of our nation’s capital, especially when the star-spangled guest list includes the Demtel guy and that multicultural doyenne, Effie. But as with all red-carpet events worth their salt, it’s now time for us to brutally judge the attendees on their fashion sense.

Click on the Daily Tele’s gallery of the stars to start the tour — or just click on the individual links:

Christopher Pyne

Ran out of time to go home and get changed. Had to wear his ordinary suit. How embarrassment.

Sophie Mirabella

Sophie Mirabrutta, more like! The Member for Indi was more Maria Venuti than Jessica Rabbit in this red velvet number, with bonus nonna cardie.

Tracey Winters

The Labor staffer was colourful in this groovy patterned frock. Pity it looked as if it had been cobbled together from two separate dresses — or one ’80s negligee and and one ’70s bedsheet.

Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein

Not quite Barack and Michelle, but getting there! Our first couple scrubbed up very nicely indeed: he looked sleek in a classic peaked-lapel tux, while she went for a kind of Grecian Goth look in black chiffon, offset with pearls. More strikingly, they both looked very happy and relaxed.

Mary Coustas

What does it say about this event that an outfit designed as a “costume” looked better than many of the non-comedic ones? Resplendent in a ’50s-style peacock green cocktail dress, Effie makes us wonder whether Julia Gillard should invest in some massive hair extensions.

Sophie Allouache and Penny Wong

Penny looks pretty pleased, and why not, with this babe on her arm? We like Sophie’s spotted lace bodice and scalloped neckline, although she could have matched it with some sheer stockings rather than arts-administrator opaques. Penny’s jacket, however, is truly unfortunate — it’s so dowdy we wonder if Penny picked it up from a mother-of-the-bride boutique.

Tanya Plibersek

With that shapeless bejewelled tunic and the belt drooping sadly around her hips, she looks like a lost extra from the film 300 . This! Is! Canberraaaaaaa!

Kim and Wayne Swan

The name’s Swan. Wayne Swan. The Treasurer looked debonair in a double-breasted tux, but his Swan girl, Kim, is suffering from what Go Fug Yourself calls a “scroll-down fug”. From the head to the knees she looks fabulous, but then she ruins it all with shiny stockings that make her legs look prosthetic, inexplicably worn with gladiator sandals.

Nicola Roxon

Satin is such an unforgiving fabric, isn’t it?

Bronwyn Bishop and Tim Shaw

Clearly leveraging daughter Angela’s showbiz connections, Bronwyn bent the ear of Tim the Demtel man. But wait – there’s more! Her jacket is actually quite glamorous and flattering, although we’re not sure about the string of pearls peeking out the bottom, like a tie caught in a trouser zipper.

Ross Turner and Jenny Macklin

Return of the Mack! You knew that she’d be back! It’s totally wild, and we like it. Partner Ross has chosen the tried-and-true “Brownlow Method” of making his suit, shirt and tie the same colour.

Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull

Malcolm looks suave as ever, but Lucy disappoints with a dowdy, confused outfit in clashing shades of black and navy. We’re not sure if that’s a necklace on her chest, or some kind of breathing apparatus.

Kate Ellis

Yeah, yeah, Kate, we know you’re the hottest chick in Parliament, and you’re totally rocking this LBD. But it just isn’t very ‘professional’, know wam sayin’?

Mel Campbell is the Editor of The Enthusiast.