Hello my fellow readers,
There are three magical occasions for an American girl to dress up for: her Sweet Sixteen, her Prom, and her Wedding Day. One occurs when a girl transitions into an age of a mature young lady; the other occurs when that young woman finds herself a partner in crime-someone who will stay by her side throughout her lifetime; and the final one occurs at the age when she passes the first of many life tests-the end of high school. The idea of high school seems to be an easy concept, however, the amount of meaning it contains is out of proportion. It assists young individuals with finding themselves, their interests, surround themselves with the wrong people in order to eventually find their way to the right ones. College also works the same magic yet, high school is the beginning of it all.
To mark that first step into a thing titled, “Life,” a yearly symbolic event occurs: prom. Short for promenade, prom is a formal dance at which every young man and woman dress to the nines, and transform themselves into their utterly yet, true-to-form versions. It allows young individuals to experience the process of preparation and the excitement before the grand momentum, and with any important event, there comes several rules.
The first big step that is typically taken prior to the prom itself is a promposal. Traditionally, a promposal is a question posed by a young man or woman to their significant other, however, as the times have changed, the question can now be posed to a close friend or even to a group of friends. If a young man takes a date to prom, he is supposed to purchase a corsage, which is a wrist accessory made out of flowers that match the color scheme of the date’s dress and/or tuxedo (if you rock a tux to prom, you go girl!). On the other hand, a young woman who has been asked to prom typically purchases a boutonniere, which is a floral accessory traditionally worn by a man on a lapel of his tuxedo. A boutonniere is a single flower or a bud, meanwhile, a corsage can consist of one or multiple flowers, with ribbons and other details pinned onto them. Both pieces should synchronize with the color scheme of the pair’s outfits, however, prom traditions have gradually been altered in the past decade.
When I was looking for a dress, I was actually considering custom designing a gown that would resemble Emma Watson’s 2014 Golden Globes Dior masterpiece. I was really aiming to branch out from a standard idea of a prom dress, which usually is a fitted or an A-line dress with lots of corset beading. I wanted to wear a pantsuit, then I was inspired by Emma Watson, and finally, I have found a dress that ironically did not fit into any previously mentioned idea; it was a dress that resembled me through the fabric, and to me, having a dress which expressed who I am is more important than fitting into the criteria. The cut, the pattern, the color, the cutout on the back-everything about this stunning Monique Lhuiller gem felt as my own; a dress that was made for me.
If you’ve ever been to prom or any other black-tie event, you know how important it is to choose your hairstyle and makeup prior to your appointment. Once again, traditional chignon or curls were not my way of executing things, so thinking of an idea, I was settling on a “Brigitte Bardot ‘do”. But, things took an unexpected turn when my hair stylist suggested to do a half-up-half-down hairstyle, with a very sleek and distinctive ‘do on the crown of my head. Spontaneous decisions are often the best ones.
As for my makeup, a little tint of several shades of purple on the lids, and black eyeshadow instead of eyeliner were the ways to go. My makeup artist also played around with false lashes, which created an illusion of an almond eye shape and eyeliner, while there wasn’t any on the top lash line. Incidentally, the ideas for the makeup were also not the originally-planned ones because at first, we were aiming for a silver smoky eye look. Fortunately, a collision of ideas between my makeup artist and me produced a fascinating product.
Prom was an experience. It was a teenage version of a gala, which allowed us to feel beyond beautiful for one night, and expose a different side of ourselves to the people we saw everyday in the past four years. Besides, I had a very non-traditional high school experience because I went to school in one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in the world, where prom was not as grand of a deal as it might have been in other cities or towns. For my friends and acquaintances, prom was about gathering together, absorbing the last moments of high school before we step into the next stage of life, and it was about having fun in pretty dresses and dapper suits. Prom-the night of joyful dancing, mesmerizing people, and unforgettable experience. Congratulations to the Class of 2016, and as for you, my fellow readers, I hope you enjoy this gallery of photos I was able to gather prior and during prom.
Photography by Vlada Ostapenko and my friends.
Thank you for reading, and have a beautiful day.
Sophia for Fashion Caption.