Enveloped in chiffon and lace, more than 1,700 girls had their Cinderella moment at Borough Hall.
Borough President Markowitz’s office was transformed into a designer boutique on April 17 as teens scoured overflowing racks for the perfect prom dress. Organized by Operation Fairy Dust and WGIRLS, the event provided free ball gowns to high school seniors unable to afford dresses for their proms.
“It’s a good opportunity because not everybody has a lot of money for dresses because of the recession,” said East Flatbush resident Josie Paul, 17.
Paul breezed past donated dresses, like an Oscar de la Renta frock worth thousands of dollars and a curve-hugging sheath worn by Kim Kardashian, in search of “a short dress, red maybe.”
Her friend, Khenemessteh Toussaint, was looking for a long and simple gown that was “not too much.”
Toussaint’s mother, Denise, was on hand to help — and make sure the teens didn’t grab anything too revealing.
Torn between an elaborately beaded moss number and a navy column, Toussaint picked an elegant silver velvet dress, reminiscent of the gold gown Sandra Bullock wore when accepting her Oscar.
“It’s pretty but not too glittery,” the 18-year-old said.
Even with thousands of dresses at her fingertips, Paul couldn’t find anything she liked.
In walked Lynn Kellert, who has two daughters and was volunteering as a stylist.
“Do you want a muted color or a popping color? Beads or no beads? Glitter?” she asked.
With the answers — popping, no beads and a little bit of glitter — Kellert played fairy godmother and led the girls on a fashion scavenger hunt.
In minutes, she had three knee-length dresses for Paul to try on in a makeshift fitting room set up behind tall pink curtains in Borough Hall’s Rotunda.
After an intervention from Toussaint’s mom, Paul settled on a swingy pink number with a ruffled hem and happily posed for photographers alongside her pal. Finally, the girls were all smiles.
©2010 Community News Group
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