RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. It's prom season, folks, and we all know what that means - dresses, lots and lots of dresses. But it's been more than a hot minute since anyone here at WEEKEND EDITION has been to a prom. And so we were wondering - is tulle still a thing? Does anyone still wear kitten heels? Justina Sharp knows. She's been blogging about fashion since she was 13 years old. Her blog is called A Bent Piece Of Wire. And Justina joins us now from Sacramento, Calif. Hey, Justina, thanks for talking with us.
JUSTINA SHARP: Hi. Thank you for having me.
MARTIN: OK, so first of all, how did you get into fashion?
SHARP: (Laughter) I just want to say, my blog is probably the only proof I have in my entire life that I have ever proven my mother wrong.
SHARP: Basically, I started blogging when I was 13 because I wanted to be a fashion blogger. And my mom said that I wouldn't last longer than two weeks. So five years later (laughter)...
MARTIN: Take that, mom.
SHARP: I know. But it's the only time I've ever managed that, so...
MARTIN: All right, you are now 18 years old. You've graduated from high school. You went to a senior prom, I'm guessing.
SHARP: Yes. Yeah, we had a prom.
MARTIN: And what did you wear?
SHARP: So I wore - for my last prom, I wore a vintage dress - it was from the 1960s - that I found in - I want to say I found it in a thrift store. And I saw it, and I fell in love. And it was beautiful. It has this beautiful, like, hand-beaded belt on it. And it's bright pink - like that bubblegum, "Mad Men," 1960s pink. Like, you don't find pink like that anymore because I'm pretty sure that the fabric it's made out of is extremely flammable.
MARTIN: (Laughter) And I'm now going to ask a question that is going to make me feel really old. But I'm going to do it anyway...
SHARP: Let's do it.
MARTIN: ...Go there. So, kids today, what's hot right now? What are girls wearing to prom this year?
SHARP: What I'm seeing this year in terms of trends for prom and formal dresses in general is a return to sort of a classic elegance - a lot more structure. But also, in order to kind of bring it to the age level of the girls wearing it, there's a lot of, like, cut-outs and bright colors. There's lace happening, embellishments, patterns. But the actual form of the dress - they're long. They're ball dresses. It's classic.
MARTIN: What do you see fading away? What is definitely not in?
SHARP: The super short and super tight - it's not happening this year. Prom is such a big, special, formal night for so many girls. It's something that they're going to remember for the rest of their lives. And they're starting to dress like that.
MARTIN: And it's sounding like - you're saying it's more sophisticated.
SHARP: Yeah. I honestly believe that it's because we're - we are the generation where we're always watching each other. Everything's going on Instagram. Everything's going on Twitter. And everyone wants to look good for that. So social media is almost driving this return to what I would say is a more sophisticated look.
MARTIN: Is that more expensive?
SHARP: Yes, absolutely. Prom dresses right now - I just - I did a little research on this - were running between anywhere - $200 to $800.
MARTIN: What? That's crazy.
SHARP: Yeah, prom is a big investment for a lot of young people.
MARTIN: So the other thing, Justina - you say that a lot of this is driven by people who have really large social media followings. I'm thinking of Kylie Jenner, who's out there and has gotten, like, a huge following. But I don't think of Kylie Jenner as having a classic look.
SHARP: Kylie is someone who, I think, is an influencer. So I think she's heavily influencing, like, the makeup look that's in right now - the contouring, the lip liner. I mean, her lip kit is obviously a smash it. I don't think that people are going to, you know, take her Coachella looks and wear that to prom. So I think teens right now, and the youth in general, are extremely aware of style and fashion and how to kind of take little pieces of different people's looks and really turn that into their own style. At least, that's what I do. And that's what I hope my readers are doing.
MARTIN: Oh, man, times have changed. Justina Sharp blogs about fashion at A Bent Piece Of Wire. Justina, thanks so much for talking with us.
SHARP: Of course, thank you for having me.
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