Designer Prom Dresses
Designer prom dresses versus department, chain and discount stores. Designer dresses are fashion savvy, one of a kind garments that offer better quality and a uniqueness that is hard to find in a regular store.
Department stores do not carry true designer prom dresses. Typically they carry a few styles with limited color choices. Usually the colors do not vary within shades of the color family. For example, there may be just one pink instead of an array of pinks like light pink, hot pink, fuchsia, lipstick, bubblegum, watermelon, etc. However, they tend to have lots of stock on each style. But who wants to see a mirror image of themselves at prom? The prom dresses carried by chain and discount stores will not ensure quality and integrity like those found in boutiques or specialty shops. There is a difference in fabrics, bead work, and the actual process used to make the gown. Chain stores typically manufacture their own styles so they won't compare to the uniqueness of your specialty designer shop.
The bead work on designer prom dresses is highly contrasted from the beading on gowns in department or chain stores. The bead work is often limited on these gowns and there is very little detail throughout their designs. Most of the dresses are solids with few prints. These stores have different styles like cocktails, ball gowns, straight gowns, strapless, halter, etc. but each style resembles the next. Sometimes it is hard to find a hip, young look in a chain store. Most of the formal gown section is geared toward an older consumer instead of teens looking for prom. Gowns you find in specialty stores and boutiques tend to reflect the personality of young women today, and are looks taken straight from the runway!
Discount stores carry designer prom dresses, but buyers beware... be careful when purchasing a prom dress from these stores. Discount stores carry old styles that manufacturers have discontinued. These discontinued dresses may have been on clearance because there was not a high demand for this particular style. Also, discount retailers may sell gowns that have been damaged either in-store or by the manufacturer. Some damages can include: runs in fabrics, incorrect sewing, bad zippers, missing beads, missing hook and eyes, broken straps, etc. Some of these problems can be fixed, but you need to be careful when purchasing these gowns. Because the styles are often discontinued ones, they tend to not be quite as fashion forward or up-to-date, whereas designer prom dresses are typically high fashion designs. Discounters will not receive their dresses at the beginning of the fashion season but afterward; because styles change so swiftly between seasons…your discount gown could be a trend of the past. If you want to stand out and make a statement at your prom, stay away from discounters so you are not last year's news.
Here at CB's Limited, we carry over thirty different lines of designer prom dresses! The range of designer is immense, as are the ranges in price. Of course, higher end merchandise is priced according to how delicate the fabrics are and how elaborate the beadwork is. Designers like Jovani and Sherri Hill use a lot of hand painted fabrics and intricate hand beading.
Most of the line produced by these designers is done in silk and silk charmeuse. Silk is naturally produced in places like China, South Asia, and Europe. Silk can be dyed which also makes the fabric costly and more delicate. Silk charmeuse is made from silk with a satin finish. Silk charmeuse is lightweight and drapes well which is why it is commonly used when designing prom dresses. Both fabrics should be handled with care due to their fragility.
Another detail, setting designer gowns a part from the sea of formal dresses, is the use of rare beadwork like Swarovski crystals. These precious crystals are found in Austria and are stones that are precision-cut lead crystal glass. These Swarovski crystals range in color and size. Designers are also using over-sized gem stones, a trend that was popular in the 80's and is steadily making a comeback! Over-sized gem stones are showing up not only on gowns but also on jewelry and shoes! Most all designers hand-bead their gowns during the manufacturing process, having the beads sewn on by hand makes the beads more sturdy and less likely to become detached.
Designers produce gowns you see on runways and the red carpets of Hollywood, which are then moved from the runways to prom days! Commonly known as knock-offs, designers make prom dresses from famous dresses used on the red carpet or in movies. Perhaps the most popular knock off is from 2003 when Kate Hudson wore a simple yellow charmeuse gown in How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days! This gown is still featured in designer prom dress lines to this day. There are other famous knock offs such as Kiera Knightley's gown in Atonement that was emerald green with thin spaghetti straps and a v-neckline. Also Faviana, another designer, designs gowns for the game show Deal or No Deal for the ladies with the briefcases. Mischa Barton also had a knock off gown designed after the she wore a champagne and black charmeuse gown on the red carpet! Carrie Underwood also inspired a gown for Prom Season 2009 that was a multi-colored artistic print that was very popular. Sometimes, when copy-catting a celebrity style, the designer alters the gown slightly to fit the demands of teens and young women.
We’ve explored all the elements that make designer gowns stand out in a crowd. When you consider the quality fabrics, intricate beadwork and the runway styles captured by these designers, there is no comparison to gowns you find in a chain, department or discount store. When shopping for prom or any other formal affair, look for quality, look for sophistication, look to CB’s Limited for designer gowns.