German architect, Mies van der Rohe, known as a pioneer in Modern Architecture, is given credit for the oft quoted aphorism, “Less is more.” Mies referred to his new style of building design as “skin and bones” architecture. Of course it could not have occurred to this great architect that the little phrases he tossed out to validate his new designs would take on a whole new meaning down the road in the form of dresses high school gals wear to proms.
During this spring prom season, I’ve seen newspaper ads for current prom fashions as well as models showing them off on television. I’ve noticed two trends. One is to have the skirts well above the knees as opposed to the traditional long gown. The other is to have long gowns made of silky fabrics that cling to whatever happens to be beneath. That would be skin.
Where is our sense of fashion and where is Edith Head when we need her? Well, Edith has been gone from this world for a while and I can’t explain what has happened to our sense of fashion.
Edith Head was a Hollywood designer for many years and she held great influence over fashion there, and in turn over fashions that were available on clothing racks across America. One of Edith’s little snippets of advice was, “Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to show you’re a lady.” Another of her quotes, “If it’s not pretty, don’t show it.” Good advice, both. Of course if I followed the latter advice at my age, I would probably need to shop for a burka.
I can only imagine what Edith would have thought of this year’s prom dresses, but some creative person will no doubt come up with a plan for taking bets on how many “innies” and “outies” will be spotted beneath the skin-tight gowns at a single prom.
And, yes, I am really, really old.
Check out some prom dresses being marketed to our high school girls.