Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Now We Can All Be Prom Queens; Gown That's Made for Parties

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Now We Can All Be Prom Queens; Gown That's Made for Parties

Article excerpt

Byline: DEBORAH ARTHURS

DITCH your jeans and g ive you r sneakers the week off: the dress is still at the sartorial helm when it comes to festive fashion. Office-party outfit ennui may have set in, but there's still Christmas Eve and the New Year's bash to deal with. With the high street full of options to make sure this is one Auld Lang Syne that will never be forgot, it's time to hit the shops.

The dress has been the season's staple and it was about time designers got working on one that worked for us, instead of the other way around. And lo, here it is: the new-wave prom dress. It is positively made for parties: full-skirted and fabulous, it gives shape to the beanpole figure, and reins in the curves of the pneumatic.

And this season, far from its historical place as the students' comingout dress of choice, the prom has acquired a new edge.

Brit designer Luella gave a punk feel to her red- and- black plaid prom, while new Aussie designer Alice McCall added tuxedo details - buttons, bibs and belts - to bring us prom dresses with just enough spice to take away their done-to-death saccharine sweetness. Emporio Armani even broke away from the usual slick black with a polka-dot version.

So, once you've bought yours, how to style it without looking like an extra from Grease? The answer is to avoid being too literal.

An "up do", clutch and girly sandals is a oneway route back to the bobby sock.

For a more deconstructed and less obvious approach, use the yin and yang rule: if your dress is all feminine guile, make a contrast with roughed-up hair and a slouchy bag. Shoes should be chunky, vertiginous platforms - remember - the bigger the shoe, the thinner the ankles look.

Another option is to break up block colour with a belt: a bog-standard black prom dress suddenly becomes inventive just by adding a bright belt high up on the waistline. …

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