Prom chic in English lit |

Prom chic in English lit

Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Bekah Owen, 16, a South Tahoe High junior, is fitted Thursday during the prom dress exchange.

Kylie Knab-Irish didn’t have to go far to find her prom dress after the final bell rang at South Tahoe High School. She didn’t have to spend money. Advice on how to style her hair was nearby.

Thanks to teacher Bridey Heidel, who transformed her English room into a chic boutique, about 100 dresses along with a seamstress, hair stylists and a table covered with shoes were available for money-tight teenagers.

The formal feminine garb was donated. There were strapless, sequined, two-piece and fur-lined dresses. Some had big shoulders. A few were designed for cocktail parties. Colors ranged from sea-foam green to salmon orange. And, of course, black. “We have so many varieties on the little black dress it’s amazing,” said sophomore Alex Boyar.

Knab-Irish seemed relieved when she found a black-and-red tea dress for the June 16 prom with the theme of “Arabian nights” held at Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort.

“I thought it all would be pink puffy dresses,” she said.

The price of prom could be laid out in the form of a Mastercard commercial. While attending prom can be priceless, a dress, pair of shoes and hairstyle costs hundreds.

With that in mind, Heidel created a dress exchange last school year with a few dresses and a couple interested students. This year, armed with more dresses and more planning, dozens of girls twirled in gowns and solicited advice from friends as if they were in a department store.

“I think it’s a pretty good idea because it gives girls a chance to get a new dress without spending hundreds of dollars,” Knab-Irish said.

In one corner, the straw-colored hair of sophomore Jade Copple was curled by stylist Jill Walthers of Lavender Hair Design. Copple, who would be attending two proms, one at Whittell High School and the other at South Tahoe, was going for the half-up, half-down look.

“We’re teaching them to do their hair. Isn’t that cute?” Heidel said. “They can go home and do it themselves.”

Heidel said she received requests from male students to offer tuxedos next school year. But on Thursday afternoon, the oohs and aahs belonged to the girls.

“Everybody is happy and helping each other,” said junior Camilla Johansen.

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