Prom: Now/Eric …

Eric: Prom 2013

Eric: Prom 2013

I couldn’t resist one more feature on prom 2013. Eric is my son; he is 16 and a junior in high school. Last night he went to his first prom. There wasn’t much fanfare to prepare for the occasion except to take a trip to the barber shop for a new haircut, rent a tuxedo and shoes and purchase new dress socks. And of course, he selected a corsage for his date. But this story is worth telling because he attended his prom in the very same location where my junior prom was held 36 years ago! That does kind of freak me out but it is special and something that he and I will share forever.

My last prom feature is about my own son and a connection with me, his mom.

What do you think?

Eric and me

Eric and me

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Prom: 2006

Daniel in his Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo and his four friends with hand made original designs

Daniel in his Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo and his four friends with his hand made original designs

My final prom feature is a sweet story about generosity and kindness. In 2006 Daniel was a senior in high school. Already a fashion designer and a creative original, Daniel hand made four prom dresses for his friends, including his date for the evening. The Great Gatsby was the inspiration for his date’s dress – a dropped waste and a soft, silk fabric pillow of a dress. For himself, Daniel had ordered a rental tuxedo. When the day came to pick up his tux just one day before the prom Daniel was dismayed to discover that the tux did not fit him and was far too big. When he brought it home his mother took one look at the tux and said that it would not do. He had just made four exquisite dresses for his friends and he needed to look just as sharp. She said to Daniel, “let’s go!” Together, they returned the rental tux and marched over to Dolce & Gabbana: Daniel tried on an amazing tuxedo that fit him perfectly. His mother bought the outfit for him then and there, as well as a shirt, shoes and accessories. Daniel was so touched by his mother’s generosity and extravagance, but his mother told him that it was her joy to do this for him and it would be his graduation present. Daniel owns the tuxedo today and counts it among his treasures. His mother sounds like a treasure, too.

Thank you to Daniel and Samantha and Miranda for sharing their prom stories. I learned a lot about high school prom in the process; some things are quite different from when I attended my prom. The things that are the same are simple: feeling special for the day and being with your friends to mark the growing up process in a completely unique way. And Ashley? She is holding off on this year’s prom to attend her senior prom next year: she and her friends will instead make a trip into New York City for a special dinner. Sounds good to me!

What do you think?

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Prom: Now/Samantha …

Samantha's original dress choices

Samantha’s original dress choices  – black and silver vintage and mint green contemporary

Samantha's second choice/second dress - strapless, deep purple with silver embellishment

Samantha’s second choice/second dress – strapless, deep purple with silver embellishment

Samantha is a junior in high school and she is my friend Karen’s daughter. I have known her for her entire life. In fact, I have known her since she was in her mother’s womb. After speaking with Samantha today I find it hard to believe that she is the same age that her mom and I were when we met. Here is Samantha on prepping for the prom …

I will be going to two proms this year: my boyfriend’s school prom is this Thursday and my school prom is May 17th. Almost from the minute I was invited, I started to feel pressure to find a dress, about two months ago. I began my search at the malls but found nothing and then searched on-line and didn’t find anything there either. Fortunately, I finally discovered two dresses at a local consignment shop, each for under $50! I know some girls who are spending up to $600 for just one dress, so two for $100 is quite a find for me. One is a mint green, contemporary style; the other is a black and silver vintage dress. They both fit well which is important to me. I needed to make a few slight adjustments to the mint green and I took it to a tailor. I have a pair of silver shoes that are a fine back up but I am hoping to find another pair before the proms. Recently, I wasn’t as sure about the black dress (I think because I’m not as comfortable wearing black in the spring). My boyfriend took me to the mall where I found a deep purple strapless dress with silver embellishment. I love it! I used gift cards to purchase the dress, so again, I was lucky …

I did feel pressure to purchase two dresses, partly because of the pictures that we will be taking, but mostly because my friends will be wearing two dresses. If they were wearing one dress for both of their proms I would probably do the same …

I decided to post my dresses to a Facebook page made for my school that exhibits every girls’ dresses. But I didn’t do the same for my boyfriend’s school. I found out that someone else will be wearing my dress at his prom but I’m okay with that because there will be many people. I will be getting a mani-pedi this week as well as having a spray-tan. I had an appointment to do my hair professionally at a salon but I think I will do it myself and save the money …

I think the biggest differences between going to the prom then, when you and my mom went, and today, are: the dresses are more outrageously priced, the preparation for the prom is more intense, and there is much more pressure from your friends to prepare in a certain way …

I am excited to go to the prom. Right now, though, I am thinking more about the preparation than the actual prom. I think that many girls feel the way I do and enjoy the preparation more than anything else.” ~ Samantha

I think that Samantha shows us that pressure from friends continues to be a big deal in high school. And no one should underestimate the power of the image in today’s world.

What do you think?

to be continued …

 

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PROM: Now/Miranda …

Miranda's prom dress - look at that detail in the back!

Miranda’s prom dress – look at that detail in the back!

Miranda is a senior in high school and will be going to her prom in early June. Here is what Miranda shared with me about prom, now …

It was very hard to find a dress; it took me two months of on-line shopping. I decided to do all of my shopping on-line because I knew I would find the right proportions. I am over 5′ 7″ and I wanted the right fit, and these days on-line shopping provides accurate measurements. When I saw this dress it really stuck with me. It’s a light pink and feminine style. The popular colors of the season for girls are nude, soft pink, dark blue/navy blue and red. And yes, I have posted it on Facebook already, noting the color, so that others will know what I’m wearing and not copy it. Most girls are doing this …

To prepare for the prom, I will be getting my hair and professional makeup done at a salon. No spray tanning for me. I tried it two years ago and I did not like it! Too much orange! I will also be getting a mani-pedi …

I am happy to go to my prom. Sometimes it’s overrated; people say it’s the second most important day after your wedding day. I think that’s silly. But it is a special day. It makes girls feel really beautiful and it boosts confidence. All the girls are so nice to each at prom; they compliment each other and wish each other well. That doesn’t always happen with girls, you know. But on this day, there is a positive atmosphere and a judgement-free-zone for all of high school …” ~ Miranda

to be continued

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PROM: Then …

The table shot from my Senior Prom - that's me in the middle

The table shot from my Senior Prom – that’s me in the middle

Everyone’s prom experience is a right of passage; a chance to step into the world of independence and young adulthood. The truth is that for a girl the preparation for her prom is just as monumental as the rest of it. Because for every generation of girls, that preparation becomes the main event as much as any dancing and dining. I’m interested in understanding how this preparation has changed since I attended my prom – all those years ago. And I will be doing my own investigative reporting in the next few weeks to understand prom as it is today.

First, I must go back. The year was 1978 (from this photo you can see there is no denying that it was the 70s!); I was a senior in high school and this was … my Senior Prom. Here is what I remember about the preparation: overall, I didn’t experience much pressure. My cousin Drew (a year younger than I) lent me the dress which I adored! It was a long, one-shoulder, soft chiffon style dress with a light peach background and pastel-colored flowers. So there was no shopping craziness or pressure to find the perfect dress – the dress came to me. I don’t remember doing my hair in any special way or what makeup I wore, although I think it was minimal, and I didn’t get a mani-pedi. At the time I didn’t know what that was. Looking at myself I see that I have a tan, which is rare for me; I’m pretty sure that I haven’t been that tan since. But the tan was natural because I knew nothing about spray-tanning. My date and I met at my house and my parents took a few snapshots, simple and easy. There was no pre-party photo-taking. And in this picture I am sitting next to my friend Karen who is still my dear friend.

In about a month, high school juniors and seniors will be attending their proms. Girls will be shopping for their dresses, and preparing for the special event in whatever way they can. I’ve heard that often means registering your dress on Facebook so that others won’t buy the same one, and not only getting your hair done in a salon, but having a mani-pedi, and perhaps getting a spray-tan as well.

to be continued

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Ashley

Ashley

Ashley

What a treat! I met with Ashley, a lovely seventeen year-old and a junior in high school. We talked about her love of fashion, how she and another classmate started a fashion club this year in school, her desire to be involved in the world of fashion when she gets older, the pressures of being a junior, and of course … prom! (Ashley is going! Much more on that conversation is coming!). Here is Ashley

The first year of upper school I joined several clubs with friends – mostly political clubs – but they weren’t really me. I was looking for something more creative and different from what was being offered. Last year, as a sophomore, the school began accepting applications for new clubs and my classmate and I applied for a fashion club. After several months of waiting, our club was approved …

I would like to leave the club as a legacy for others. I want it to keep going. Since we started, we have designed several DIY projects, including t-shirts, and held discussions on fashion. The fashion club is still evolving …

I would like to stay involved in fashion – perhaps in branding and more of the business and merchandising end. There is something about department stores that I love! …

Currently, I am taking class at FIT and I am scheduled to do an internship in pattern-making this summer at Anna Sui. I am very excited for that!” ~ Ashley

After meeting Ashley, I just know she will do whatever she wishes! And stay tuned for more on her summer experience at Anna Sui.

 

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More prom …

Not long after I wrote about prom, The Wall Street Journal carried a piece, entitled For Prom, Schools Say ‘No’ to the Dress. Apparently, certain high schools around the country are outlining for students (girls and boys) what is acceptable to wear versus what is unacceptable attire. They are issuing clear and unmistakable guidelines for students to check and re-check before they spend money on an outfit that may not be considered appropriate in the schools’ eyes. The goal: to avoid being turned away at the door, and to keep prom about the dancing.

Perhaps this will make an already difficult shopping process a little easier for everyone involved. Or will it?

What do you think?

Your thoughts?

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Prom

Prom. A date, a dance, a dress. Of course, it all starts with the dress. I went to two proms in high school, my junior and senior years. I remember liking my first dress for junior prom; a blue and white empire-waist gingham check with spaghetti straps, ankle length, which I think was a Gunne Saxdoes this age me?  But I truly loved my dress for senior prom; a one-shoulder soft peach floral print, full length, that floated like a cloud as I walked and danced. The best part was that my cousin Drew lent it to me, so it came with love. I never forgot my prom … at least not the dresses!

Today, there is still prom but it seems as if the stakes are a little higher. Shopping for the perfect dress has already begun, and mothers, daughters and friends are caught in the fray. The key seems to be finding a unique, if not one-of-a-kind dress that others won’t be wearing, while at the same time not looking too different or out of place. My dear friend, who is in the process of shopping with her daughter, told me that there is a protocol that the girls follow: as they purchase a dress, they post it on Facebook so that no one else will buy the same one. Now that is pressure! And there are some other big decisions to be made – long or short (trend is moving toward long), how much to spend, etc. It’s enough to send a girl and her mother off the deep end.

I hope you find the dress of your dreams and have a good time.

What do you think?

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