STAR students will be invited to ditch the ballgown or dickie bow in place of a look which reflects their true style or cut-price outfit at an alternative prom show.
Staff and teenagers at The Academy at Shotton Hall in Peterlee are preparing for Thursday’s catwalk event to show pupils how they can get a high-end result by bucking the trend or follow traditional prom fashion without spending a fortune.
While the American-style school leavers ball has become a highlight of the year, parents do not get as excited as their children as they pay out hundreds of pounds in some instances to meet the expectations of the big day.
Academy students will take to the catwalk to showcase second-hand, high street and vintage dresses and suits, alongside conventional prom wear.
They will also push the boundaries of prom fashion by “up cycling” old outfits and giving traditional garments a contemporary twist by accessorising, with baseball caps and Converse trainers among the items suggested.
The showpiece of the fair will be a Gok Wan-style fashion show, where the audience will be asked to guess which outfits are designer and which are high street.
Kathryn Harrop, community arts co-ordinator at the academy said: “We are really excited about the prom fair and helping students have a great prom night. “We think it is important to show students a range of options for prom fashion from designer to second hand – and importantly make it clear that you can look great no matter what your budget is.
“We want the fair to address some of the pressures many students and parents feel when it comes to prom and encourage creativity and individualism in our approach to this special night.”
The fair, which is also open to parents and students from other schools, will include hair and make-up demonstrations, new and second-hand prom clothes for sale and hire to suit for all budgets, a car showcase and accessories stalls.
Companies and organisations involved in the event include East Durham College, Just Perfect Prom Wear and Lily-El Accessories Boutique in Peterlee, Corner 93 Vintage Clothes in Station Road, Fulwell, 2 Touch Beauty Boutique in Sunderland and North East Classic Cars.
It will run from 4pm to 8pm at the school on Passfield and fashion shows will be held at 5pm and 6pm.
Tickets are free, but need to be arranged in advance by calling Mrs Harrop on 518 0222.