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from NY Daily News 

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Aside from a wedding, it may be the most exciting night of a girl’s life.

It’s prom, and with the big to-do comes a big budget.

With after-parties and post-prom trips added to the cost of the gala itself, 2008 could be the most expensive year yet.

The average senior girl at the public schools we surveyed is spending an astonishing $1,000.

“Wow, it’s a lot more than I thought it would be,” says shocked Stuyvesant High School student Lauren White, 18, as she added up the money she has spent so far.

“It’s worth it, though,” added fellow senior Michelle Lee, 17.

In addition to doling out dough for a dazzling dress, teens are spending on shoes, professional hair and makeup, manicures and pedicures, limos, photographers – and, of course, the prom ticket.

But it doesn’t end there. After the dinner and dance, seniors set off for special “Prom Nights” at Manhattan clubs or to the Jersey Shore for a weekend getaway.

Some have part-time jobs, while others are counting on their parents to kick in the cash.

“My mom bought the dress, and is paying for the party bus and the hair and makeup,” says Christina Raspante of Staten Island’s Curtis High School. “But I’m going to be paying for anything that I do after prom.”

Prom season lasts from April to June, and since it can take up to two months to do alterations, many students ­started shopping for their outfits in February. Most are dropping $350 for a dress – around the cost of a bridesmaid’s frock – but some have paid as little as $90 for a Kitty gown at House of El in Brooklyn, and as much as $800 for a Yolanda Arce design.

There are limits, of course.

“I saw my dream dress at Bloomingdale’s,” says Bronx Science senior Jane Cheu-Liang, 17. “It was a Badgley Mischka and it was, like, almost $1,000. There’s no way you can justify it unless you go to Harvard on full scholarship and your date’s Orlando Bloom.” 

But hey, prom isn’t just any old night.

“You’ve been waiting for this moment to come and now it’s here,” explains Fort Hamilton senior Walbania De La Cruz.

“I want something that I’m going to remember and cherish for the rest of my life.”

FRANCIS LEWIS HIGH SCHOOL
Prom Date: June 5, 7 p.m.-midnight
Location: Crest Hollow Country Club, Woodbury, L.I.
Average Costs: Prom ticket: $80; photo package: $15 and up; dress: $200; shoes: $100; hair and makeup: $80; eyebrow waxing/threading: $10; manicure and pedicure: $25; purse and jewelry: $30; boutonniere: $30; after prom: $160 for heading out of town overnight; transportation: $120
Total: $850
Theme: “We are hoping to make our prom as starry as possible,” says senior class secretary Jessica Leung, 17. Everything is very elegant – the club will be decked in creams, with floating-candle centerpieces, a fancy dinner with linen napkins and a maitre d’. On arrival, there will be a “Coke-tail” hour of nonalcoholic beverages by an outdoor pool. Then the deejay will host a video slide show with pix of all of the kids from the past four years.
Style of dress: Long, elegant gowns are in. And anything poufy is way out. RoseAndrea Arcabascio, 17, senior class VP and soccer captain, is going to two proms this season and is shelling out dough on two dresses. She’s already scored a salmon-colored Lazaro gown for $200 in the city for her own prom, and a blue Bill Levcoff for her boyfriend’s prom at another school. Meanwhile, Melli Petridis, 17, is getting her turquoise gown custom-made by a tailor for $275.
Dates: It’s a pretty even split between bringing dates and going stag. Petridis has a boyfriend but is going to prom with her best friend, Antonio Melara, 17,  because she’ll have more fun with a friend: “I don’t want to have to sit and entertain him.” Kanushree Jain, 18, is piling into a limo with friends and buying herself a corsage because “I can’t find a guy my type. I’m very picky.”
After prom: Many students come into the city for comedy spots like Broadway Comedy Club as well as parties in clubs like Duvet and Columbus 72. Juliana Perez, 17, says: “We’re going to IHOP. I want a big breakfast at 2 a.m. with pancakes and strawberries. A lot of people go to the Jersey Shore, and they rent rooms for a couple of nights.”

BRONX HIGH SCHOOL OF SCIENCE
Prom Date: June 5, 7 p.m.-midnight
Location: Waldorf-Astoria
Average Costs: Prom ticket: $185; dress: $275; shoes: $100; hair and makeup: $70; purse and jewelry: $75; after prom: $200 (trip to Atlantic City in limo), or suite at the Waldorf-Astoria for one night – rates from $669-$909 (suite); transportation: $100.
Total: $1,005-$1,714
Theme: A glamorous Art Deco theme was inspired by the party setting – Waldorf’s famed Grand Ballroom and Starlight Roof. “I like the Old Hollywood glamour look.” says Jane Chen-Liang, 17. “There’s always an Art Deco theme,” explains Alex Thorp, 36, senior class adviser, because of the setting at the Waldorf and the style of the Grand Ballroom.
Style of dress: “I really liked Rihanna’s dress at the Grammys because it was playful and attention-grabbing … I also like Anne Hathaway because she always looks classy, yet youthful,” says Michelle Han, 18. “I love Alicia Keys’ retro-glamour look,” adds Chen-Liang.
How they’ll pay: Parents usually cover most of the costs, and kids are aware that it’s a burden. Many are trying to cut corners. “I feel bad about how much my parents have to pay this year,” said Vera Parra, 17, of Manhattan. “We’re going to college next year and our parents are going to be paying out of their pockets,” Chen-Liang adds. “I haven’t been shopping that much,” agrees Queens native Shazeda Ahmed, 17.
What they’ll hear: Rap and hip-hop and probably some techno. They’re hoping for oldies. As in the Spice Girls. “I notice when they play older songs – usually it’s rap rap rap the whole way through – if they play an old song, all of a sudden people get really excited,” says Parra, 17. Ahmed agrees and has one crowd-pleasing dance favorite in mind:  “People get really excited for the electric slide.”
Dates: “I don’t feel like you have to get a date. You don’t want to go with someone you won’t have fun with,” says Chen-Liang. “I’ve been going out with someone for a year and a half. So I’m going with him. But I think that most of my friends who aren’t going out with anyone are not too worried about prom dates,” says Parra. 
The after-party: “Our idea is for after prom to go to Atlantic City. I don’t think I’m going to gamble or anything. But there’s a beach there and a steel pier, so we might do that. And there’s mini-golf. So we’re thinking of getting the limo to take us there after the prom,” says Corinne Kwan, 17. “We’re getting a suite at the Waldorf. … For the weekend we’re probably going to go up to a friend’s house upstate,” says Parra.

STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL
Prom Date: June 14, 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Location: Waldorf-Astoria
Average Costs: Prom ticket: $180; dress: $250; shoes: $70; hair & makeup: $82; manicure & pedicure: $42; purse & jewelry: $100; boutonniere: $35; after prom: $180 for a hotel room and room service with four girlfriends; transportation: $125
Total: $1,064
Theme: The opulent Waldorf-Astoria venue is enough of a theme for the Manhattan students. “It would be too expensive to decorate the entire ballroom at the Waldorf with a theme, because it’s so huge,” says Michelle Lee, 17, senior class president.
Style of dress: Red-carpet trends from young celebs like Rachel Bilson have influenced the girls. “Rachel Bilson is my celebrity inspiration,” says Mei Lui, 18. “Big, puffy dresses are out,” says Cissy Lin, 18, who studied red-carpet looks for to get clothing ideas. “I’m looking for something slinky in a bold color.”
How they’ll pay: Parents are covering most of the expense, but the girls are earning too.
“My mom’s paying for half the stuff,” saysLauren White, 18. “I have a job working at a recruitment firm, so I’m going to pay about $400 myself.”
Dates: None of the girls have a date yet. “I’m waiting for a guy to ask me,” says Lauren Gonzalez, 18. But “it wouldn’t be a big deal to go stag with friends. That would probably be more fun.”
The after-party: Staying out at a hotel – girls only – is the hot after-party trend this year.
“Some girls are going to the Sheraton, but others are booking rooms at the Waldorf,” says Michelle Lee.

CURTIS HIGH SCHOOL
Prom Date:
June 6, 7-11:30 p.m.
Location: Cornucopia Cruise Line’s Majesty ship
Average Costs: Prom ticket: $100; photo package: $40; dress: $114; shoes: $30; hair: $50; makeup: $25; eyebrow waxing: $8; manicure: $21; pedicure: $18; purse: $20; boutonniere for date: $8; transportation: $135; after prom: $50
Total: $619
Theme:  A floating prom. The party ship will depart from Hoboken and circle Manhattan. “The New York City skyline is the background,” notes Fiona Gray, 18. “You have the greatest city in the world just lit up right behind the boat.” Curtis seniors wanted to incorporate stars into their theme since they’ll be sailing under the open sky.
Style of dress: Many seniors set out searching for short dresses but settled on long ones. “Most people wind up with long because it’s what’s available in the prom stores,” says Amy Cilento, 17. “I don’t think anyone ever gets that perfect dress that they have in their head unless they’re a seamstress,” says Gray.
Transportation: Party buses are more popular than limos this year, says Christina Raspante, 17, who’s jamming into one with dozens of her classmates and their dates. “There are 40 of us,” she says. “Most of the kids at our school are doing party buses. There’s more space than a limo and some of them have little dance floors in the back.”
After-prom clubbing: Most of the Curtis kids are planning to meet up at Webster Hall. “We’re such a close class that everyone wants to hang out with each other,” says Megan Newman, 18.

FORT HAMILTON HIGH SCHOOL
Prom date: May 30, 7:30-midnight
Location: Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers
Average Costs: Prom ticket: $160; photo package: $45; dress: $325; shoes and accessories: $179; hair, makeup, mani-pedi and waxing: $157; after prom: $48 theme park ticket.
Total: $914
Theme:  “For the prom, we are planning to get a centerpiece of an Oscar,” says 17-year-old Catherine Mendez, senior council secretary. To add to the Tinseltown glamour, students will walk in on a red carpet. 
Style of dress: Popular prom dress brands re-create looks worn on the red carpet. Maria Boulas, 17, tried on a $350 Faviana replica of a navy dress Eva Longoria wore. Leggy, high-fashion styles seen on “Sex and the City” are also a hit.
How they’ll pay: “I have a part-time job and I’m saving most of that and getting help from my parents,” Mendez says.

Miss NJ:  If this article doesn’t make you understand what is wrong with American youth, nothing will.  $1000 on prom.  Ridiculous.  Absolutely ridiculous.

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One Comment

  1. Great comment and my favorit Blog. Thanks and Best Regards


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