Prom Dresses 2011: Designer Is De Rigueur

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Photo: Getty Images
Fit for a corsage? A look from Prabal Gurung's Spring 2011 collection.

Step aside, Jessica McClintock. It’s prom season, and high schoolers are going high end.

The New York Times investigates the growing trend of teens taking red carpet cues for their proms and choosing gowns from the likes of Dior, Prabal Gurung, Roland Mouret, and Marchesa.

“[Traditional prom] brands are more for bat mitzvahs,” Lily Cohen, a high school senior who picked Moschino for her big night, told the paper. “At prom you’re graduating to a more sophisticated look.”

The “more sophisticated” look comes with a more sophisticated price tag, naturally, with many dresses pushing the $1,000 mark. “I generally find what fits me and then speak to my dad,” another student, Philippa McCully, said.

Teen Vogue senior fashion news director Jane Keltner de Valle says young designers who cater to younger aesthetics, like Alexander Wang, might have something to do with girls leaning toward fashion rather than typically pretty prom fare. “Every girl might not be wearing a Miu Miu dress to prom"—though we would put money on new 14-year-old Miu Miu face Hailee Steinfeld picking the brand for her school dances—"but there is a shift towards more fashion-forward dressing in general,” she said.

In related news, check out model Lindsey Wixson’s custom-made Jason Wu prom dress.