It's prom time. Designers, hairstylists and retailers are...

Style File

March 30, 1997|By Janice D'Arcy | Janice D'Arcy,Contributing Writer

It's prom time. Designers, hairstylists and retailers are all offering advice on the latest styles for a fun, fashionable prom. What follows are suggestions for a night that will be remembered, maybe even cherished.

Elegance in color

The black sea of dresses that washed across dance floors in recent years is giving way this spring to prettier, more feminine colors and sheer lightweight materials. These are not, however, the frilly layers that dominated proms of yesteryear. The latest styles include elegant floor-length dresses with long satin gloves or chiffon scarves, like this David's Bridal celadon ball gown for $140.

Girls who wear their hair straight and down every day for class usually want to pull it back, twist it, curl it or braid it for the prom. If drama is the intent, who better to emulate than the most fashionable icon of the year: Eva Peron. Sally Beauty Supply has come up with a simple method for creating the look of Eva Peron, or her on-screen counterpart, Madonna, at home. First, divide hair sideways across the top of your head into a front and a back section. Pull the back section of hair into a pony tail. Divide the pony tail into two sections. Tease, then spritz with a strong-hold hair spray. Curve each section into a large conical curl and pin at the nape with bobby pins. Divide hair in front of the crown in the center, lightly tease and spritz. Form symmetrical curls and spray in place. Add pins as needed. Ta-daa: Evita.

One of the hottest designs for proms is the one-shoulder dress that has been such a hit on runways this spring. The asymmetrical dress definitely shows a girl's up-to-the-minute fashion sense, but it poses a dilemma. What goes underneath? Answer: The "One Shoulder Wonder," by Nancy Ganz Bodyslimmers. These undergarments are available as either a bodysuit for $37 or a slip for $39. The slip, which is shown here, can also be worn as a body-hugging dress. The Bodyslimmers collection is available at Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom. For those who could use a little help selecting their gowns for the night, Seventeen magazine is holding live fashion shows at Owings Mill Mall at 7 p.m. April 4 and at 3 p.m. April 5. The magazine's editors will provide tips on choosing the right dress and show off the dresses featured in their March Prom issue. Owings Mills is one of only five malls in the country where Seventeen will hold the fashion shows. If you go, go early. Seventeen editors will also give out gift bags to the first 500 attendees.

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