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!

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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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