A few months ago a friend of mine asked me whether I would make a prom dress for her daughter. All the pastel, strapless ‘princess’ dresses didn’t appeal to her, wouldn’t suit her and, as a girl with style, she wanted something that was ‘anything but ordinary’. This blog is her story of her perfect princess prom dress.
Prom. Four letters, three consonants, one vowel.
One word that for the last year of secondary school is all that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue- ready to be planned pondered and panicked over from as soon as the year begins all the way up until the big day itself.
For the female half of the school year, the main talking point was of course the prom dress. As soon as the term had started, a Facebook group was set up ensuring that no one committed the ‘unthinkable’ faux par of having the same dress, and any lull in conversation would be filled with the same question: “Have you got your prom dress yet?”
I always had to answer no to this question, because despite numerous searches in shops and online, I had found nothing that I liked or more importantly would be comfortable wearing. I could find nothing that I felt suited me or was in a colour or style that I liked. Everything was strapless, sleeveless and short. Everything I didn’t want!
Mum however, had a solution or at least an idea for one, which led to a quiet afternoon being spent at the lovely studio of Wendy Harrup. I then haphazardly tried to explain what I was looking for in my ideal prom dress. I got as far as something historic themed, maybe a little like the Disney princess Elsa from the recent movie Frozen, but most of all must have sleeves and a long skirt.
Despite my horrifically vague instructions, Wendy enthusiastically helped me pick out fabrics and after a couple more fittings – in which I had to do a lot of getting used to breathing with a corset on, and work out how to walk while simultaneously trying to keep the hundreds of pins in place.
I had never been to a dress fitting before, let alone had a dress made for me. I needn’t have worried about any of it though, because Wendy was always supportive and ready to answer any number of silly questions, as well as also always keeping us informed about the progress of the dress.
With prom just a week away, we arrived after only seeing small parts of the dress to then be completely astounded by the final product. It was everything I had dreamed of, and everything that I could never have imagined. I loved the colour, and the design.
Prom came around and my love for the final product Wendy so masterfully created was echoed by every
one else at prom. The rest of the prom-goers were even more astounded when, after being asked where I got it from, I could proudly say that it was handmade. And that I had helped design it!
I had a wonderful time at prom, and I think a large part of that is down to the wonderful dress Wendy made for me. The dress looked amazing, was certainly different enough to cause a stir, and didn’t make me feel self-conscious at all.
As well as this, the durability of my ‘prom dress’ was shown the following weekend, as the corset part of my dress worked just as well over shorts on a hot summer’s birthday party as it did over a long ball gown skirt.
I cannot say enough thank yous to Wendy for all her amazing work, her welcoming atmosphere and her willingness to go along with what must have at first seemed to be a far-fetched and very vague idea. I will never forget my prom, and will definitely be wearing my dress again, even if it separated into different parts!