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your look ● fashion forecast By Kaye Davis Emphasize Individuality Innovative approaches in showcasing unique looks and style trump clichéd designs for Prom and Pageant 2015 W hether stepping onto the dance floor or the red carpet, young women and beauty queens alike will step out in style with unique gowns expressing their individuality. Welcome to the 2015 Prom and Pageant season, which dis- misses formulaic looks and embraces personal flair. Defined details, cuts and embellishments create the magical mix that will please both the wearer and admirer. Today’s events usually require more than one dress. For pageants, there are usually multiple competition categories and proms almost always have after-parties. In each case, that means a girl can extend her dream look into more than one outfit—or show a completely different side. While a mermaid cut inset with tulle could be a dream dress for prom, a girl might want a short style or even sequin shorts for the after-party to be more comfortable. Perhaps even one of the palazzo or café pants for a completely different look from ruffles or all-over sequins. Keep in mind that every culture and region is different so retailers obviously have to stay on top of the nuances of their area and consumers. Where quinceañera is widely cel- ebrated, many girls want a completely different look for prom, often something more sleek than the traditional ball gown styles associated with the birthday celebration. Prom and pageant emphasizing individuality mirrors today’s overall consumer preference for personalization to define one’s distinct brand. This is especially true for Mil- lennials, as evidenced by their heavy use of social media and favoring tattoos as trademarks. Personalization is more im- portant than ever. Perhaps not through monograms as in the mainstream fashion world, but by ensuring each look suits personal style. Fashion trendsetters are creating a visu- al difference by choosing one-of-a-kind over one-size-fits- all and small-scale over mass-produced. Exclusive, 80 PAGEANTRY TULLE