Tuesday, 20 May 2014


In the fairy tales, all Cinderella needs to be the most beautiful princess of the ball, is a magic spell from the Fairy Godmother that provides dress, hair, make up, shoes, accessories and driver.

Unfortunately real life is very very different and Fairy Godmothers are in these days, quite rare to find.

So when the Prom ball (held usually at the end of the secondary school) gets closer, these girls are on a mission: be admired, be remembered and let's be honest, be just the best dressed girl of the school.

I though it was just all about finding a nice dress a couple of weeks in advance...wrong, I was very very wrong.

During the last Arndale event, called "prom takeover" I learnt how everything, from the dress to the accessories and the all hair/make up make over is planned months in advance and, for God sake, girls (and their mums!!!!) can be quite competitive!

Just to be more clear, I want to share with you some results of a survey of Mancunian mums in UK, about their children going to prom:

* Average spend for the whole prom is £428.

* 40% would be happy to be helped by a personal stylist.

* 10% of the husbands doesn't have a clue how much the dress is gonna cost (to protect them from an  heart attack maybe?).

* 70% of Mums admitted they would do anything to guarantee their child is the best looking of the ball.

And I though a wedding was a serious matter....

The first shop we visited for our  tour was Pastiche, situated on the upper mall.

This is a little shop packed with gems, trust me, stocking the most accurate selection of prom dresses in every style, colour, fabric you can think about.

 Once the dress is purchased, the girls are given the exclusive on that particular colour for that school, so the worse nightmare of finding somebody wearing your same prom dress can be avoided.

Browsing (=dreaming) through the shop made pretty clear why girls travel all over the country to find their dresses here, with orders taken since -wait for it- January!!!

Sizes go up to the 22 and there are always new stocks coming.

The trends for this season in terms of colour are ivory, red, minty and glitter, with the dear old nude that is always a best seller.

In terms of styles, well, name it, they have got it: long, short, strapless, backless, and lace, lace, lots of lace and sparkling crystals are all over this years trends.

On their facebook page you will be able to find more pictures of the dresses and girls wearing them for their prom.

This was one of my fave dresses: pink, lace, blings...it has got my name on it.

With eyes still full of pastel lace and sparkling silk, we headed to Coast; I have always looked at this brand as a safe harbour where to find some classic designs for special occasions.

I must admit that as soon as I entered inside the shop, I had a feeling I was gonna be surprised and I was indeed.

I was greeted by some great bold and intense colours, prints and few high impact pieces with a very sartorial cut that could be seen on a fashion week catwalk!

We were curious to know which was the best seller dress for prom and here is it, the first one from the left, which is available, on line and in store in a short or long style and in lots of colours, with the chance to add straps.

 The good thing about Coast is that they provide a Personal Appointment service with their stylists (not only for the prom girls, this is available for every customer of course) to help the girls to decide which style suits them best, which colour and maybe help to accessorise the chosen dress.

If you are not Julia Roberts, there is a Petite section available on line for you...I'll have to tell my sister!

Talking about accessories, look at the jewellery..

I have to repeat myself now, but my fave dress was another short style one, the Naomi dress..look at it, isn't it adorable?

Third round of Prom Takeover was in Lipsy.

The Lipsy Prom Girl is fresh, young but sexy at the same time.

Again, I saw a lot of lace and pastels, with short dresses a bit easier to pull off so maybe more suitable for younger girls or if they want to use it again.

What caught my attention were the jumpsuits (that I didn't notice in the other two shops) and the SA explained us as this is often the choice of girls that are more of a tomboy kind and they will not be maybe comfortable in wearing all of a sudden a long mermaid style dress.

I had to pick up this red wax lace swing top as my fave, it just ticks all the boxes, the lace, the bright coral red, the peplum style, WANT IT!

Now, let's go back to the Cinderella theme and let's think straight: Seriously? Running away leaving a shoe behind? And second, dear Fairy Godmather, you could have put a bit more effort in the serch of the shoes, what is that plain, boring, style.

She should have gone to Aldo, which was our last stop in the Arndale.

From platform tho kitten heels, from patent to glitter, we learnt how Prom Girls have got no limits in terms of shoes.

The real surprise of the shop was the variety of accessories available as jewellery and bags.

If the dress is quite a simple and plain style, why not put a big statement necklace on top and a full bling mode on bag?

Here are some nice ones..

If I had to choose which shoes to wear at prom, I would go for these Barstad sandals, they are sassy, sexy and the platform makes them more comfortable.

Now, are you ready for my top of the tops???

Let's go then...

The Pastiche red and nude lace dress: bury me in this

The Coast acrylic and crystals bangles: I had to buy one!

The Lipsy crystal platform shoes: heat your heart out Cinderella


The Aldo golden statement necklace: more statement than this!

I want to conclude what looks like an endless post with a very useful link from the Manchester Arndale website with some advices about how to get ready for your very special night and with my very personal advice: dress, hair, shoes, make up are important but being yourself will make you shine more than ever!

Thank you so much to Manchester Arndale for having me (and for all the biscuits and cuddles my Precious Baby had during the event, I bet he cannot wait for next year's prom!)

Have a fantastic night girls!!!!

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