by MIKE CHAIKEN
The time of year has arrived when high school girls in their junior and senior years have been hitting the local boutiques and department stores in search of their perfect prom gown.
Trends for gowns tend to change each year. Sometimes, skirts are full. Sometimes, they are more fitted. Sometimes, solid colors are in. Sometimes, prints fill the racks.
Dazzle Boutique in Oxford, Bangle in Southington, and Lord and Taylor offered some insight as to what girls will find on the racks for prom in 2019.
For this year’s colors, Lord and Taylor’s fashion stylist Tanya Tauthong-Kass said, “Pink is still going strong this year. You can find prom dresses in all shades of pink.”
“Light blue and soft pinks have become the top colors whereas in the past years, it was navy and burgundy,” said Christine Romano of Bangle.
“The top color trends this year that we have noticed are yellow, light blue, metallics and all shades of shimmer fabric,” said Laurye Natale of Dazzle.
Romano said she also is seeing dresses in silver, gold and yellow.
Those colors continue to be strong, said Tauthong-Kass. But, for those seeking sparkle, she also suggested colored sequins, crystals, or studding.
For silhouettes, said Tauthong-Kass, “There has been a resurgence of the tulle ball gowns and all its iterations.”
Ball gowns are selling more briskly than previous years, Natale said. “And they are coming in all fabrics with varying degrees of ‘poof;’ from the simple, one layer of tulle, to the multiple layers of tulle and layers of waterfall ruffles.”
“Whether it’s a two-piece cropped top with a tulle ball gown skirt or a more classic style ball gown ‑ there’s no better way to make a fairy tale entrance,” said Tauthong-Kass.
“Girls are wanting to feel like a princess this year, and the designers have stepped up and are catering to that desire,” said Natale. “There are a variety of fabrics to choose from, beginning with the more ‘traditional fabrics’ like chiffon, mikado and taffeta. But they are also available in more ornate fabrics like brocade, sugar glitter, sequins and embossed with metallic thread.”
In addition to ball gowns, Romano said, straight flowy skirts also are popular, Romano said.
Romano added, “These different silhouettes help to accommodate a variety of body types.”
However, said Romano, the prom look doesn’t begin and end with the dress by itself.
“The most important accessory to a girl’s dress is her jewelry,” said Romano. “Rhinestones are the top choice with such a variety [available], but this is how you make your look come together. A dress can look one way with a simple necklace versus a bolder statement one. Others will prefer just earrings and a bracelet – but sparkle is big.”
For girls who are undecided about what they want, Romano and Natale said the staff at a boutique such as theirs is available to help with their selection.
“We love working with the girls to help make their dreams of the perfect dress come true,” said Natale.
“Finding the right dress for a prom girl is as easy as listening to her,” said Romano. “They usually know what they like, but sometimes it takes a bit for them to figure it out.”
Despite what the trends are this season, Tauthong-Kass advised girls to go with their gut and not just what the fashion experts say.
“Choose the dress that makes you happy and reflects who you want to be at prom,” said Tauthong-Kass.
“There are only a few times in a young woman’s life that are truly special like this ‑. the most obvious is her wedding,” said Natale. “But her first magical experience should be her prom.”
For more information about prom gowns, visit Bangle, 48 North Main St. Southington (bangle.buzz); Dazzle, 300 Oxford Rd., Oxford (dazzleboutiques.com); and Lord and Taylor, with locations at the Westfarms Mall in Farmington, the Trumbull Shopping Park and the Danbury Mall (lordandtaylor.com).
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN
Hair for the Dazzle photos by Amanda Pepin. Makeup by Kaitlyn Bogue.
Models for Bangle shot on location in Southington: Rielley Coles, Brooke Cooney, Keishla Rosario.
Models for Dazzle shot at the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol: Gia Stanco, Monika Korbusieski, and Lindiana Frangu.