True Hollywood

By Chandra Orr

March 7, 2008 5 min read


Dramatic dresses to bring out the inner starlet

By Chandra Orr

Copley News Service

From edgy, high-fashion frocks ripped from the cutting edge of the red carpet to cool classics reminiscent of old school starlets, the look for 2008 is pure Hollywood glamour.

"This season, it's all about prom gowns with unique, sexy, dramatic details that really give you that red carpet, celeb-inspired look," said Tai Hamilton, assistant buyer for David's Bridal prom division.

Mix and match the season's top trends for a style that's distinctly you:


From sparkling rhinestones dripping down bodices in delicate, free-flowing designs to bold, flirty frocks shimmering with sequins, beaded gowns and metallic accents are the biggest trends this season.

Look for beaded bodices, sparkling hemlines and glitter-accented open-back gowns for over-the-top opulence.

"We're seeing a lot of colored gowns accented with metallic detail. If it has beading, it probably has metallic beading," Hamilton said. "It's something that really gives you that glam factor."

All-over metallics also shine for spring, but don't think disco - you won't be seeing any garish gold lame this season. Instead, soft heavenly hues transform pretty princess gowns into frocks fit for an angel. Look for plenty of platinum, brushed gold and iridescent green that mimics copper patina.


Sexy cutouts add loads of drama without breaking the dress code. Tiny cutouts revealing the smallest hints of skin make a bold statement when paired with plunging necklines, leg-baring slits and strappy open backs.

Designers are also loading up on layers. Modern ruching, softly gathered bustles and cascading waterfalls of fabric all add just a bit more to the look.

"Layering is the big message this season. It's perfect for someone who wants some coverage but still wants to be fashionable."

Add a hint of shimmer with beads or rhinestones and it's a look worthy of Hollywood's hottest starlets.


It's hot on the red carpet and even hotter for prom. The Grecian-inspired gown is the top silhouette this spring.

"The Grecian goddess look comes straight from the red carpet," Hamilton said. "Anything soft and flowing in chiffon or silk is very hot. It's all about the movement of the fabric."

The trumpet gown, fitted to the knee with a flare of fabric at the bottom, is another celebrity favorite. It's sophisticated without being stuffy - plus, it's flattering on almost any figure.

"Ball gowns are also back with an edge - and they all have something special about them," Hamilton said.

Softly bustled skirts, bodices detailed with delicate embroidery and layers of novelty fabrics like organza, tulle and lace turn this classic into a modern hit. Whether you choose a traditional pastel or opt for a bold black on white combo, you're sure to be the belle of the ball.


From sleek and slinky fuchsia frocks to handbags and shoes that add just a pop of lemon, this spring color is hot.

Look for sunflower-inspired yellows, golden oranges and perky hot pinks to make your ensemble stand out in the crowd. Muted jewel tones like emerald green, azure and plum also make a big showing, especially when combined with sophisticated, understated silhouettes.

"Purple is so unique and such a bold color, but it has the ability to make any skin tone pop," Hamilton said. "It's a pretty dramatic color. You can take a simple dress and put it in hot purple and you have a successful gown that looks great on all skin tones."

Bold black on white and white on black combos take the notion of the little black dress to the next level. Ornate black embroidery on an all white gown, white stripes crisscrossing the bodice of a basic black dress, the look gives a nod to pop art without going over the top.

"Black and white together are very modern and very chic," Hamilton said.

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