After two unusual years due to COVID, proms are back on in many areas, and young women are waiting for the day they can put on the dress they’ve carefully selected for the big day.
Kathleen Ryan, of Brudenell, P.E.I., is a 2022 graduate who will be attending the Montague Regional High School prom this spring.
She chose a dark navy blue dress – a colour that’s on-trend this year, according to several dress shop owners.
Ryan describes her dress as “a plunging V-neck natural waistline ball gown.”
The fabric, she says “includes brushed satin, embroidered lace and stone accents.”
One of its more endearing features for Ryan?
“It has pockets,” she says enthusiastically.
Ryan says the reason she chose this dress was how she felt when she tried it on.
“It was as if I was in a Disney movie – the scene of the princess having to step largely into her layered gown,” she says.
Kathleen Ryan says it was love at first sight when she found her prom dress. – Contributed
“I loved how it wasn’t overly eye-catching but still had enough little details to make it pop.”
The dress was really meant to be, as it was the first one Ryan tried on.
“I proceeded to try on a dozen more at the same store, and then went to a different store and tried on more there. Something in my brain kept comparing all the other ones to this one, so I knew I had to get it. Talk about love at first sight.”
Ryan is excited to be graduating.
“I am overall excited that the restrictions have been lifted, and the year we are graduating is looking to be as close to normal as possible,” she says.
“It’s heartwarming to know that our graduating class and family can spend the day together and cherish all the little moments – without the worry of COVID’s plans as much!”
Neela Anderson’s dress is a replica of Queen Victoria’s 1840 wedding dress. It was made by a dressmaker in Ukraine. – Contributed
Inspired by history
Neela Anderson of Lower Sackville, N.S., is also 2022 graduate. This spring, she will attend the Millwood High School senior prom
Anderson’s dress was directly inspired by her love of regency-era literature.
Her champagne pink dress, another popular choice for prom dress colours this year, has white lace detail and is a Victorian-era inspired gown that is a replica of Queen Victoria’s 1840 wedding gown.
“I have been in love with regency-era literature all my high school career,” says Anderson.
“So, when it came time to choose something that would match my personality, I scoured the internet for a vintage-inspired dress. I finally found a dressmaker on Etsy who makes exactly these types of gowns.”
She says this dress will bring her dream of being a Jane Austen character to life.
Anderson acknowledged the work of the seamstress.
“I would like to note that my dress was custom made by a lovely and talented seamstress in Kyiv, Ukraine. Natalia Zinkevych made the gown with all of my measurements so it fits like a glove.”
Anderson says her gown was shipped just days before the Russian invasion, which sent Zinkevych and her family fleeing Ukraine for safety.
“I want to give her an acknowledgment by wearing blue and yellow ribbons in my hair for prom,” Anderson added.
Denise MacIsaac is the owner of the dress shop Beautiful in Bedford, N.S. – Contributed
What stores are seeing
Prom dresses for 2022 are going dark – colour-wise, that is – according to several dress stores in Atlantic Canada.
Denise MacIsaac is the owner of the dress shop Beautiful, located in Bedford, N.S., and says the most popular colours for prom dresses she’s seen this year have been dark tones: black, hunter green, red, and sapphire blue.
Blue dresses are also high in demand in Corner Brook, N.L., says Colleen Warren, owner of Colleen’s Bridal Boutique, which opened in November 2021. As the only bridal store on the west coast of the island – the next is in Grand Falls-Windsor, two-and-a-half hours away – she’s seen a lot of high school girls shopping for dresses this spring.
“Hands down, the blue family were the most popular colours this year, followed by pinks, then red, then black,” she says.
Marie Sheahas operated Marie’s Bridal and Sewing Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L. since 1990, selling everything from wedding to prom dresses.
“Red is always a good choice, as well as light blue, and hunter green,” she says.
This slim style dress is very current, according to Denise MacIsaac. – Contributed
Shea says that popular styles this year for prom dresses are proving to be fitted dresses, ball gowns, and A-line dresses.
Style-wise, MacIsaac agrees that the classics are still beloved – the most-sold prom dresses in her store were classic ball gowns with sparkle lace over tulle, followed by classic ball gowns in an A-line style with no sparkle and minimal details and slim fit dresses made primarily of lace in this year’s popular colours.
Warren saw something similar, with 44 per cent of the dresses she sold ball gowns and A-line dresses, 28 per cent slim or sheath dresses and 28 per cent flowy dresses.
Those flowy dresses were also popular with Prince Edward Island students, says Caseley’s Bridal Boutique owner Kathy Caseley, who has been dressing Island prom girls in her boutique in Kelvin Grove, near Kensington, P.E.I., since 1985.
Caseley says this season’s popular looks are “delicate embroidered organza, lace and tulle in flowy A-line shapes with high leg slits and slim fit and flare styles. The beadwork is subtle in tone, sending the attention to the overall gown.”
She says “while navy blue, royal blue, red, light pink and powder blue never go out of style, this season you will find more options in colours like emerald green, black, yellow and lavender.”
Caseley also says that the hottest new color for prom 2022 is fuchsia.
Each season, Caseley says, they stock hundreds of beautiful gowns in all price ranges.
“Our goal at Caseley’s is to offer personal assistance and years of expertise so that every prom girl walks out of our boutique feeling confident and beautiful in the gown that she chose,” she adds.