Bling and black give way to burst of color this prom season
What a difference four years has made. Liz Boonnark, a sales associate for Betsey Johnson, said that when she was prom age, "I really had a hard time finding a dress."
Today, with many more choices available, it can be hard to settle on one out of a dozen you fall in love with that also suit your taste and body type. There's certainly no shortage of dresses at Betsey Johnson, where frothy, flirty minis are every bit as tempting as a frosted sugar-sprinkled cupcake or slice of strawberry shortcake.
'FASHION SHOW FOR THE EARTH'
Presented by Aveda Salon & Spa at Ala Moana with Betsey Johnson fashion show to benefit Hawaii Nature Center:
» Place: Pearl Ultralounge, Ala Moana Center Hookipa Terrace
» Time: 7 to 9 p.m. April 24
» Admission: $10 pre-sale at Aveda Salon & Spa; $15 at the door
» Call: 947-6141
"This is the year of the dress. You can walk into any store and see really pretty dresses," said boutique manager Marilee Mattson.
"Very few girls are wearing black for prom. It's mostly about color, pretty pinks, sherbets, even yellow," Mattson said. "It's a myth that Asians can't wear yellow. It just calls for a stronger cheek (color), stronger lip; you just need to change up your makeup a little bit."
Dominating the racks are cute baby-doll styles with empire waists and names like "Martini" ($315) and "Cafe du Paris" ($425), the former with a big bow in front, reminiscent of the late '50s.
The bling of past seasons is practically obliterated in favor of more sophisticated glamour derived from cut and style, rather than surface treatment. Any crystals and sequins are limited to a sprinkling of sparkle on bodices.
While prom dresses usually call for dressy fabrics, cotton dresses are an option for girls who expect to get plenty of mileage out of a $200-to-$300 dress.
At Betsey Johnson, white or blue eyelet can look just as dressy as silk or satin but can be worn casually. "Cotton makes it more reasonable. They can definitely wear it again," said Mattson.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Babydoll styles such as this white dress with pink ribbon sash also abound at Betsey Johnson. The dress is $385, worn with a double-strand necklace, $48. CLICK FOR LARGE
Prom is not the only occasion that calls for a special dress. Claire Dawson of Palos Verdes, Calif., was shopping for a white dress for her eighth-grade graduation ceremony.
And Mattson says you don't have to be 16 to 18 to enjoy the prom experience.
"Women come in all the time and say, 'I wish I had a place to wear these dresses,' but I say, make a place. You can walk into Bar 35 and find women who are creating their own prom nights, and they're my age, in their 40s. Women are much more confident than they used to be; that's for sure!"