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Style Voyeur: Prom is princess time

By Dennise Smith
Rosalie Earle
Thigh slits are back this season as shown by this sophisticated black and white "yin and yang" design. Very Bond Girl! Brooke Harless in a dress from Caché.
Rosalie Earle I love the silver beading, robin's-egg blue hue and one shouldered dolman sleeve on this gown. The look is regal elegance, reminiscent of the Belle Epoch, when formal galas, long gloves and horse-drawn carriages were de rigueur. Model Olivia Morrison in a dress from Caché.
Rosalie Earle This lovely lemon chiffon gown and flattering one-shoulder silhouette reminds us all that summer is right around the corner. Dress from Caché modeled by Summer Perry.
Rosalie Earle The ruffled strapless bodice and silver sequined belt add an element of playfulness to this romantic prom look. Vina Flores in a dress from Macy's.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ahhh ... the glitz, the glamour, the giddiness of prom season!

For most junior and senior schoolgirls, this is the pièce de résistance of the school year. Prom is and always has been an event for which the planning, energy and anxiety associated with it is rivaled only by a wedding. It involves countless hours of leafing through fashion magazines, browsing websites and numerous visits to the mall, first for inspiration and then for various fittings.

Then there is the scheduling of appointments with hairstylists, makeup artists, manicurists, pedicurists and tanning booths.

All of this for four hours or so of princess time.

Even a former punk rocker such as I spent over a full month researching and planning the perfect "I-really-don't-care-about-the-prom-but-I-am-still-a-Goth-goddess" prom look, right down to the perfect shade of glittery black nail polish. In my humble opinion, the logistical and creative process leading up to the prom can be just as much fun, if not more so, than the event itself.

One venerable tradition of prom season is the Charleston Town Center Mall's Annual Spring Fashion and Prom Runway Show, held this year on March 16. The event showcased the hottest spring and prom trends of 2013 as modeled by members of the Town Center Mall's Young Faces Modeling Team, Teen Board and Junior Board.

Prom fashions this year featured confectionary pastels, bright pops of color and floaty chiffons. The asymmetry trend is still going strong, both for bodices and high-low hems, as is the ever-popular sweetheart neckline.

For those who get "washed out" by a watery pastel palette, no need to bite those freshly painted nails! Strong-colored graphics, including the super-chic black-white trend, are a sophisticated and elegant alternative for prom.

Dennise Smith is a Charleston lawyer, fashion designer and co-founder of the local arts group Nomadic Tribes Collective.


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