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PortWatch

May 3, 2013

Award-winning prom dresses

Dresses take their inspiration 
from the red carpet

You might as well roll out the red carpet in front of the school gymnasium or hotel ballroom and line it with parental paparazzi: Prom season provides many girls a chance to have their moment in the spotlight.

It’s likely that this year’s parade of fashions will include a few starlet lookalikes. And why not?

Today’s young celebrities span many styles. There’s Jennifer Lawrence, who has come to awards shows dressed both sporty and sleek, and like a princess; Taylor Swift, who moves seamlessly from vintage to ethereal; and sometimes funky, sometimes artsy Chloe Moretz.

There are also Rihanna and Selena Gomez, notes Gina Kelly, fashion director at Seventeen. “You’ve got Selena Gomez, who’s a little sweeter, and Rihanna, who’s edgier. Within that range, you’ve got a lot of options.”

Coming just off the Hollywood awards season, all the options are fresh in girls’ minds, she says, and they’ve gotten ideas on how to put a whole package together. Lawrence, for example, wore a bona fide ballgown — and there are girls who want that — but her delicate jewelry and loose updo added youthfulness, Kelly observes.

Georgina Chapman, designer of red-carpet favorite Marchesa, is now offering a significantly less expensive version of her party looks at JCPenney under the Pearl label. With a toddler daughter at home, a brand new son born last week, and teenage stepdaughters, she was itchy to do something for the younger crowd.

For even her older teen stepdaughter, Chapman says she felt like Marchesa’s dramatic signature might have been a little too much. “You want to look vibrant. You’ve got that young glow, work with that!”

She hopes Pearl adds a little “more tongue in cheek” than Marchesa, with the same level of attention to details, and you’ll have the embellishment and ruffles.

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