SD proms becoming like red-carpet events'Prom is as important to these girls as their wedding day.'
By: JACI CONRAD PEARSON, The Black Hills Pioneer
NORTHERN BLACK HILLS — In past decades, with product inaccessibility sure to make them fall short, couples used to merely dream of mirroring a “red carpet” look for prom. Today, with more access than ever to the styles of the stars and the accessories — from the bling on their fingers to the stilettos on their feet — prom goers are decking out in star attire, filling school auditoriums with academy award-worthy prom threads.
“Prom is as important to these girls as their wedding day,” said Bloomer’s Flowers & Gifts owner and floral designer Kathy Van Der Vliet. “So it’s imperative that everything be that perfect.”
Doreen Cooper, owner of Kathleen’s Boutique, who has sold prom dresses for nearly 20 years, venturing to Dallas each October for buying trips intended to increase the “wow factor” for local teens’ upcoming prom seasons, said that what’s “in” definitely changes from year to year.
“The last couple of years have been the wilder prints the better,” Cooper said. “Mostly out of satin and chiffon in past years, but this year the look has become more glamorous and sophisticated. Many, many all sequined gowns, all beaded gowns, iridescent crystals as accents on the gowns and some even completely covered with crystals, beads and rhinestones. The dresses look very ‘red carpet.’”
Cooper said the other main trend she’s seeing is “short, girly dresses with a very poofy skirt.”
“Layers and layers of tulle that push the skirt out wide and short have also been a hit at my store,” Cooper said. “Bright colors, lots of beading, corseted tops are totally the rage with these fun dresses. They are usually very, very short, especially on tall girls, so we have been selling cute little ‘boy shorts,’ usually made out of spandex so that the girls can dance, go up and down stairs, exit a car without a fashion faux pas. These dresses have been so fun to sell, such outlandish colors, layers and layers of tulle in various colors. The girls come in many times thinking they want a long dress but then try on one of these and bam — love how they look, how much fun they are, what a statement they make and they don’t even want to try on another dress.”
To accessorize those fabulous dresses, equally fabulous corsages for the girls and boutonnieres for the guys are a must.
“Flowers and how they’re worn are changing a lot,” Van Der Vliet said. “They’re not so much for just the wrist anymore. I’ve done elaborate arrangements for the hair, there’s a rhinestone slide that can be arranged and worn around the neck, options for the waistline, even the ankles. It’s all about the bling and the wire and making sure yours looks a little bit different than everyone else’s.”