May 16, 2010

Night of nights

Prom season's here and the kids are, as usual, stylin.'

By Avery Yale Kamila
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Standing at the front of the crowd of well-dressed South Portland High School prom-goers last Saturday, Karleigh Bradbury, Alexis Bogdanovich and Danielle Dibiase wear gowns that show the popularity of embellishments, bright colors and printed fabrics.

Courtesy photo


THE MAINE SUNDAY TELEGRAM will run a special prom-only Scene & Heard section on June 13, and we want to include your snapshots. Send your best prom shots by June 9 with the full names of the people pictured and the prom they attended to All submitted photos will be posted to a slideshow on The top photos will be selected to run in the special prom section. Questions? Call Avery Yale Kamila at 791-6297.


Tuxedos are the fashion of choice for guys headed to prom. And while styles available this year include everything from the James Bond-esque classic to wild suits in bright orange or green, the majority of local guys select traditional black.

John Maalouf, who owns Antoine's Tailor Shop & Formal Wear in Portland, says 90 percent of his prom customers this year chose black tuxes, with the other 10 percent opting for white. Another small percentage go with pinstripes. He said long coats have fallen out of favor this year.

"The most important thing is the color of the vest," Maalouf said. "Most of the colors are very bright." These colors are dictated by the date's dress and come in the same vivid jewel tones showing up in gowns this year.

The popularity of the vest has made cummerbunds almost obsolete, since the two are never worn together.

Guys can further distinguish their look by the tie they select.

"Eighty percent are asking for a regular tie," Maalouf said. "You'll find a few people asking for a bow tie."

Either can be worn with a vest. Striped and paisley ties -- in colors that coordinate with this year's gown hues -- are another trend this year.

"A solid vest goes with a paisley or a striped tie," Maalouf said. "You see a lot of people asking for a striped tie. That's the most popular."


FOR LAST-MINUTE shoppers looking for a bargain in Portland, check out:

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Not wanting to stir up any rivalries, Pearl declined to reveal which schools tend to go classic, preppy or sexy.

However, what is clear is that not only does each school have its own signature prom style, regions of the country differ in what prom fashions they favor.

"Generally speaking, northern New England is more conservative in fashion (than the rest of the country)," Pearl said.

This is what South Portland senior Esther Palmieri noticed while shopping in the Sunshine State.

"In Florida, the dresses were more poofy and had more accessories," Palmieri said. "And the ones here were straight and more simple."

After trying on a few dresses in Florida, Palmieri returned home to purchase a dress that had originally caught her eye at Andrea's Bridal. The white, floor-length gown features two bands of rhinestones and a touch of ruching on the bodice. Black may be out this year, but white is definitely in.

"A lot of my friends are doing simple, straight gowns," Palmieri said.


Another trend that continues this year is gowns featuring flowers or bold, abstract prints.

"We've had good luck with the printed fabric," said Irace, who pointed out the printed Bari Jay Shimmer dress she stocked this year. "I ordered five of them, and they all went out the door quickly."

Sophia Nappi never thought she'd choose a printed gown, but a New York City shopping trip convinced her otherwise.

"I tried it on as a joke, and it turned out to be my favorite," said Nappi, a senior at Portland High.

The floor-length gown features a zebra print and a number of other colors. "I like the colors and it fit really well," she said.

Christi O'Halloran, a junior at Scarborough High, also opted for a printed style. She selected a BCGC dress with pink and blue flowers on a teal background. The chiffon dress is strapless and floor-length.

"I think it's more unique than a one-color dress," O'Halloran said. "So you don't have the same color dress as someone else."

Every girl wants to be the only one wearing a particular gown to her school's prom. To that end, many girls travel out of state to buy their prom dresses.

However, the ones who shop at locally-owned boutiques, such as Andrea's Bridal and Spoil Me, need not worry about having a twin, because these shops keep registries of which dresses are headed to which proms.

"You go to so many dances through your high school career," said DeCesare of South Portland. "But prom is the one your kids and grandkids will ask about. It's the dance that everyone remembers."

Which means the best dresses and tuxes are the ones that make the wearers feel fabulous, because that will make the memories all the sweeter.


Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:


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