By: Emily Hom
Ball Gowns on the Red Carpet
Dresses fit for a princess were all the rage this prom season. Skirts were full and brushed the floor, fabrics were tulle and satiny, and adornment simple. These gowns may be reminiscent of ones worn for hundreds of years by the wealthy and nobility, but wearing a ball gown inspired dress to prom is in fact a style from the 1950s. Though tea-length was more common in the 50s, dresses were also designed to be floor length. Gowns such as senior Fiona Cheung’s and junior Maria McAlister-Young’s, with a skirt of white or pastel colored tulle and fitted bodice, were a must at any prom in the 50s. However, these students’ dresses are anything but retro. Designers have given these ball gowns trendy twists to bring them into the 21st Century. Seniors Bibi Wong and Cheung wore their gowns strapless, junior Ally Shirman chose one with an ombre pattern, and McAlister-Young designed her’s to include the popular two-piece style.
The Backless Dress
Backless dresses have been a flirty evening gown choice for almost a century, and this season they were a must-have trend for high school prom dresses. First designed in the 1920s and popularized by the 1930s, this daring style was perfect for showing off that golden tan Coco Chanel introduced at the time. Seniors Joelene Latief, Victoria Khaw, and Savanna Summers looked stunning in their backless gowns. Both Latief and Khaw’s dresses were not only backless, but had high halter necklines, landing their prom choices right on trend. While Latief went with a more classic 20s vibe in a gown covered in glittering beading, Khaw’s fabulous and unique yellow dress is immediately recognizable as reminiscent of Kate Hudson’s iconic dress in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Summers went in a different but equally bold direction, channeling the 90s in a bright pink minimalist slip dress.
Though it can be a little more challenging for guys to put together a standout look while working with the standard suite and tie ensemble, these three certainly managed. Junior Malakhai Martinez went bold by adding a splash of color. Instead of the more traditional choice of matching the color of the tie to a date’s dress, Martinez chose to incorporate sophomore Julia Green’s dress color into his shirt. Junior Vlad Morozov stuck with his signature sailor hat, opting for a more formal simple black one to match the occasion. Lastly, senior Nicholas Garland was representing the 80s in his modern take on a look popularized by fictional character Gordon Gekko in 1987’s Wall Street: suspenders and slicked back hair.
When prom season comes around and stores fill their rooms with dozens of gown choices, it may seem like one has a million choices. However, as any high school shopper can attest, many of the dresses begin to look the same, as most trends become ubiquitous. However, these d.tech students managed to put together prom looks that were one-of-a-kind. Senior Sofia Jones was stunning in her intricate black lace and nude gown. Though lace is nothing, it’s the placement of this delicate fabric that is. The lace on Jones’s dress, beside being completely unique, created the illusion of sheerness in combination with the nude fabric. This trend can be credited to Dior and celebrities such as Kim Kardashian who walked the carpet last year in sheer dresses with strategically placed lace and beading.
Senior Natalie Cheyette and junior Malia Savella chose to make a statement in suits instead of dresses. Cheyette modeled her look after Fred Astaire, complete with a top hat, cane, and tails. Sevella went more modern and chose a simple suit and tie. Junior Izabella Guerrero looked as beautiful as a ballerina in her dainty pink tulle tea-length dress that also seemed inspired by the 50s. Senior Amy Natarajan was a vision in a gold sari beaded with delicate pink flowers and gold detailing. Saris were popularized in 1970s United States by Eugene Novack, who ran the successful Royal Saree House in New York City. Natarajan was not only able to embrace her culture but stay on trend with recent 70s, 80, and 90s styles resurfacing. And, who wouldn’t take prom as an opportunity to don a sari if they could pull it off as well as Natarajan did?
Off the shoulder
This lovely neckline that gained popularity during our recent 90s throwback is one that effortlessly made its transition into prom dresses. Seniors Julia Wang, Gabby Harrold, Sophia Pena, and Tiffany Bynum looked beautiful in their trendy prom dresses. While Harrold chose a dress with the recently popular full skirt, Wang, Pena, and Bynum went with slimmer cuts. Wang and Pena were exquisite in their ever-so-popular bodycon dresses and Bynum stood out in her soft and elegant sheer gown.
Perhaps the most impressive gowns of the evening were those designed and sewn by d.tech students themselves. Junior Jaya Reddy was inspired by a classic Indian design called Lehenga and transformed a simple white dress she found at Goodwill into a unique and goddess-like look. Both sophomore Kate Hayashigatani and McAlister-Young created their dresses from scratch, ensuring their dresses were one of a kind.