Preparations for prom, held in high schools around the region, are taking on a new look.
“The junior class is aiming for a ‘green’ prom,” said Heather Kaja, class adviser at Downsville Central School. “Dresses and decorations are being repurposed.”
The trend of repurposing has ramped up the level of creativity when it comes to prom. Months before the prom at Downsville School, a dress swap was held.
“The juniors sent notices to the other schools,” Kaja said. “Kids brought their already-worn dresses to the school to be repurposed or resold. A dress that was worn at the Delhi prom can be worn at the prom in Walton without a problem.”
For more than a century, prom has been approached creatively. Prom started out in the early 1900s as a simple affair where youths came together to dine while donning their Sunday best. Dancing was included in the 1920s and ‘30s. With the increase in affluence during the 1950s, proms kicked into a higher gear.
By the 1990s, prom had become like a competition as to who can dazzle the most. “Sunday best” clothing was put aside for impressive, ornate dresses and tuxedos. Limousines were hired to escort the teenagers to a place of prominence for dancing. Coronations of a prom queen, king, and court became ubiquitous. Sashes, tiaras, photographs, corsages, boutonnieres and uncomfortable shoes had become the norm.
However, conspicuous consumption and pointless excess are becoming passé for many. Between a conspicuous dip in the economy and a growing empathy to save our world, rather than waste its resources, repurposing has become fashionable.
“We are recycling Valentine decorations to be used for the prom this year,” said Joey Eppich, Downsville junior. “The decorations are kept in the school basement and we can do something imaginative with them again for prom.”