The Dress Debate: What happened when girls were kicked out of prom for what they were wearing

by Rebecca Lumley

The prom, or debs/grad here in Ireland, is a rite of passage for school leavers and generally a lively topic of conversation for months in advance. Whether you’ve been dreaming of the dress you’d wear since first year (guilty) or just looking forward to a night out with your friends, it’s a big social occasion and something to look forward to amongst the stress of exams.

However, 2015 has seen a number of young ladies turned away from their prom because of what they were wearing. The last night of fun with their classmates was ripped away from these girls, all because the dresses they had chosen were deemed “too revealing”. When the cases were challenged by the students and parents affected, the schools refused to discuss the matter. You might be surprised by the offending dresses in  question.

Case 1: Mireya Briceno

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This gorgeous Michegan 18 year old was sent home after just one hour from her prom because the backless dress she wore was “inappropriate”. The school’s dress code stated that dresses showing skin “around the midriff” were forbidden, but had no such rule concerning backless dresses.The school principal, Brad Perkins, originally defended the decision but is now saying the dress code will be “reviewed” in the Autumn. Probably because of the internet storm the decision has caused.

Case 2: Alexus Miller-Wigfall

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This Pennsylvania teen wasn’t turned away from her actual prom, but issued a day’s school suspension after the event. This came as a complete shock to Alexus and her mother, who believes the targeting is weight related. The school’s dress code requires that “all body parts are covered”, including breasts. Alexus’ mother maintains that as Alexus has bigger boobs than several other students, she was punished over girls who were wearing more revealing clothing. To add insult to injury, her mother had emailed several photos of the dress to the school for their approval prior to the prom. “I don’t see anything wrong with that dress. What do they want her to wear, a turtleneck?” her mother said.

Case 3: Shelton High School

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This is perhaps the worst case of all as dozens of students have been affected and not just a few select individuals. Shelton High, a school in Connecticut, created an extensive list of dress code violations and have warned students that breaking the rules will see you denied entry from prom. The problem? They announced these rules a mere eight days before the event was set to take place. This late change in policy has naturally caused a wave of distress amongst students and parents, with many finding their pricey and often non-returnable dresses in violation. Above are two of the dresses rejected by the school. Determined to fight the unfair regulations, the students launched a petition that has gone viral in the last few days. They point out that:

“It takes a long time to pick out a dress or have one custom made, even longer for any necessary alterations to be made; it is unfair to release the dress guidelines eight days before the dance and expect every person to have a dress that follows them.”

The students also articulately  tackled the wider issue of double standards in the school.

“There is a sexist and backwards logic that girls must cover up so that boys are not distracted or tempted to behave inappropriately. If a girl wears a pair of shorts and a boy takes that as an invitation to touch her, who really needs to be told to control themselves? Don’t teach girls to hide their bodies; teach boys self control and that they aren’t entitled to a girl’s body just because she dressed in a way that made her feel beautiful or just didn’t want to get overheated.”

“There is no reason why the boys at Mr. Student Body should have been allowed to parade around the stage in nothing but their boxers but a girl can’t wear a backless dress to prom. This selective enforcement of school dress code is unacceptable.”

Read the full petition here.

The issue that the students of Shelton High so brilliantly address here is the crux of all of the prom debacles we’ve seen.

While prom is a school event and the school are entitled to ask for decent dress, the instances we have seen have gone too far. Is an exposed back really so “inappropriate” when women wear backless gowns getting married every day? Is a 1cm sliver of midriff really so offensive? Are people unaware of the fact that girls have boobs and are therefore startled when they see them in a v-neck dress? Is it reasonable to demand that ALL BODY PARTS be covered, as in the case of Alexus’ high school?

The idea these cases perpetuate is that it is unacceptable for women to show their bodies. These rules tell girls that it is their responsibility to cover up so boys aren’t distracted in class. They say girls should dress a certain way to avoid wolf whistles on the street or leering gazes in a nightclub. They tell people that there is something wrong with exposing skin. They place the blame on women for the way men react to womens’ bodies.

This often unrecognized attitude is an important mark of inequality in modern society. It shows society is still placing the blame on women for sexual harassment and even sexual assault because the inherrent attitude that women should cover up still exists. Is it fair for teenage girls to be banned from wearing sleeveless tops and shorts in school so the boys “aren’t distracted”? Is it fair that police still ask a woman what she was wearing in a case of sexual assault? Is it fair that girls were denied their prom because of the archaic idea that it is women’s duty to cover their skin?

The school administrations that are enforcing unfair rules clearly need to shift their focus. It is not the fault of the boys in a school, or men in general that such policies are being enforced but it is the fault of the policy makers. Instead of turning girls away from prom, maybe they should be teaching students that bare skin is never an invitation, that the female form is neither something to be feared nor overtly sexualised.

Take the blame off women as a whole for the actions of a few select men who believe certain clothes grant them entitlements. This is a minority mindset and one that must be done away with through education. As these girls have realised, this is about much more than missing out on prom.

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Everything you need for festival fun

by Bronwyn O’Neill

With summer fast approaching, everyone is excited to finish exams and enjoy the freedom. With the he scramble to buy summer clothes, book holidays and finalise those summer plans, eyes turn to music festivals.

Here in Ireland, festivals such as Electric Picnic and Longitude draw in crowds by the thousands. With the festival season already kicking off overseas with Ultra and Coachella, here is a quick guide to some essentials to pack, as well as some cute outfit ideas to make sure you’re fashion forward on the days.

  1. Dry Shampoo

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Realistically, you’re not going to have much time to use on-site showers. Especially not to give your hair the TLC it deserves. Dry shampoo is a godsend; any female can vouch for this. So, pack a bottle in your bag to make sure your hair looks fresh over the weekend.

 

2. Portable Phone Charger

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You’re going to be taking lots and lots of pictures and videos at the event (as well as receiving phone calls from mammy wondering if you’re okay). Make sure you bring a portable phone charger. It will save you a lot of hassle and you’ll have use of your mobile device the entire time.

 

3. Water/Hydration packs

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And lots of it. You’re going to be dancing and pushed into a crowd for hours at a time. If you can get your hands on a hydration packs this is even better. You can fill this up with 1 or 2 litres of water, and carry it on your back. Water is a safe choice to prevent dehydration. Always be safe kids.

 

4. Raincoat

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Let’s be realistic, this isn’t Coachella, we’re not in sunny California. It’s Ireland, it’ll probably rain. So a raincoat is always a good shout. Even if it’s really light, it’s better than nothing.

  1. Wellies

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Obviously, you’ll have to pack wellies. It’s great to see that we’ve moved on from green farmer willies to pattered wellies for the fashionista. It’s a festival. It’s going to be mucky. Don’t wear sandals.

  1. Travel size toiletries

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It’s just the easiest way to bring deodorant, sun cream, spray etc. The smaller the better.

  1. Baby wipes

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You’ll be sweaty and sticky by the end of the day. You probably won’t want to wait in a queue to have a shower, so baby or wet wipes are your best bet. They’re also handy for taking off makeup and cleaning up small messes quickly.

 

8. Earplugs

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What?! Yes, bring earplugs. You’re at a festival. It’s going to be super loud. What if you want to go to sleep early (an act you don’t like is performing) or your camp site is just too loud? It’s also helpful if you’re up at the front with extremely loud speakers. Just a thought.

Aside these, of course bring spare clothes, a tent, sleeping bags and food!!!

 

Now onto the fun part! The clothes.

Everyone is always inspired by the celebrity festival goers at Coachella. Vanessa Hudgens  in particular always seems to look flawless each year.

Shorts

Cut-off and high waisted shorts are still a huge trend. Try something with a cool print or just go for plain denim.

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 Crop tops and florals

This year crop tops are really popular.Especially those with a light flowing material and funky patterns. However if you don’t feel comfortable showing your midriff, a flowing floral top always looks great.

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 Layers

Bandeau bras and tank tops are always popular as layers. Kimono jackets are also a huge style trend this year. They are really easy to wear if you want to spice up an otherwise boring top.

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Flower crowns      

Flower crowns don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

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Snapbacks

If you can’t get behind the flower crown trend but still want to wear headgear, snapbacks are always popular on the festival scene. Cara Delevingne is often seen wearing them, during and outside festivals.

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Bowler hats

I am personally obsessed with bowler hats and any excuse to wear one is great. So why not try out the look at a festival? You definitely won’t be alone.

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Paint dots

A tamer version of rave paint, paint dots are a huge festival trend. You can’t go anywhere without seeing a famous face with dots on them when looking at Coachella fashion.

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Rave Kandi

Every teenage girl has gone through a “bracelet phase”. If you haven’t, I’m sure you’ve seen one of your friends with a pile of bracelets up to their elbows. How about bring that trend back with some rave kandi bracelets. People make masks and even bras out of this stuff. Trust me it’s cool.

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And if all else fails and you’re still looking for festival outfit ideas, look no further than Vanessa Hudgens, queen of Coachella.

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Bye Bye Bundchen- Gisele’s Top 5 Catwalk Moments

by Michelle Martin

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Before there was Delevigne, before there was Hadid, there was Bundchen – Gisele Bundchen.

The Brazilian bombshell became one of the world’s leading supermodels without the help of Instagram, and managed to maintain her top spot even after the birth of not one, but two children.

The 89th most powerful woman in the world (according to the 2014 Forbes magazine list) is credited for putting an end to the ‘heroin chic’ era of super skinny models, and for developing the foot stomping runway strut the industry calls the ‘horse walk’.

Earlier this year, the 34 year old announced she would walk her last show at April’s Sᾶo Paulo fashion week in Brazil, marking the end of her 20 year catwalk career.

Gisele told Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo that her body helped her make the decision to stop.

“Automatically my body tells me if what I do is worth it, and it asked to stop”

Thankfully, this won’t be the last we see of Bundchen. She hopes this new found free-time will leave room for “other projects” and is expected to continue doing photoshoots and catalogues.

As a tribute to the world’s highest earning model of the last eight years, we have sought and provided five of her most memorable runway moments:

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1.   Top of the list has to be baby Bundchen’s big break. After only two years in the business, 18 year old Gisele’s ability to walk in heels on a slippery surface landed her a spot walking in Alexander McQueen’s ‘rain’ themed show.

2. One of the original Victoria secret angels, Gisele was chosen to model the most expensive fantasy bra to date. At 15 million dollars, it earned a place in the Guinness book of records as the most ‘extravagant and expensive underwear ever created’.

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  1. Proving she’s got more than just the looks, the stunner flaunted her fun personality in Rio 2005.

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4.  Bundchen whipped back into shape and walked for Colcci just six short months after giving birth.

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5. Walking for Dolce and Gabanna in 2007, the world learnt two things: Gisele can do high fashion, and can literally pull off anything.

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The Biggest Fashion Fails

by Zainab Boladale

The history of fashion has always hit and miss.Sometimes strange things come into season that ought to be questioned.I look through some fashion trends that I think should never have existed.

Flared jeans:

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I can appreciate jeans but I don’t understand why flared jeans were ever legal in the 70’s. What was the idea behind them? To hide the shape of your legs? They are highly unflattering and remind me of leg parachute that are about to take off.

 

Mullets:

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The only thing special about a 70s mullet is that only a small amount of people can actually pull it them off. For the rest of the unlucky population, trying this hairstyle is condemning yourself to one of the world’s worst fashion decisions. Mullets look like the start of a bad hair day that never ended. Committing yourself to such an alternative hairstyle is risky and takes guts.

Luminous outfits:

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The fact that there was a time when owning a collection of luminous items was considered an accomplishment makes me question the concept of style.

Luminous outfits should be reserved for young teenage disco and luminous themed nights.


Harem pants:

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Apologies to anyone who actually think these look cool. They look like a really heavy diaper pants for adults. These should only be worn for comical reasons.

 

Patterned/colourful suits:

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From time to time the fashion industry tries to test us by throwing things like this at us. Yeah sure, they may look good, that is if you are going to a dress up party but correct me if i’m wrong but I thought the purpose of a suit is to make you appear official and powerful. If so, I wouldn’t advise wearing this to your next interview. Yes, you’ll make an impression but you might not get the job.

 

Metallic dresses:

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Save yourself from looking like you just got wrapped in the cheapest kind of tinfoil. Metallic dresses, especially metallic dresses that are made with cheap fabric, will make you look, well….Cheap!

 

Puffy sleeves:

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No, No,No, No, No! What was the fashion industry thinking? I thought the whole purpose of clothing was to accentuate your best assets. What do puffy sleeves do for anybody except make them look like they are about to take flight into another dimension.


Crocs:

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It’s funny that crocs are now one of those things people will forever deny owning. Crocs have now become something you only wear indoors. Heaven forbids someone actually finds you in them, your social status would be ruined!

 

Crimped hair:

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The 80s and the 90s took crimped hair to a whole new level, if your hair didn’t look like a packet of uncooked ramen noodles then forget about being one of the popular kids.

 

Socks with Sandals:

To think that someone looked at a pair of sandals and said to themselves “you know what would really go well with these sandals?…A pair of socks”  actually makes me a little sick. This look was doomed before it started.

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DCU Fashion Show: 10 Years of Style

by Shirley Donlon

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DCU Style Society’s annual fashion show is one of the biggest and most popular annual events on campus.

However, this year was slightly different – it was the 10thAnniversary of DCU Style’s Fashion Show and what better way to celebrate a decade of fabulousness than with another stunning display of this year’s top trends from the best high-street stores such as H&M, American Apparel, Tommy Hilfiger and many more.

The show was held last Thursday in DCU’s very own theatre The Helix and was sponsored by Bank of Ireland, FM104 and Bodywhys.

We were welcomed to the event by the lovely staff in The Helix, and of course the members of Style Soc, and were given a bag of free goodies (always a nice bonus!).

The show commenced with a webcam video of DCU graduate and TV presenter Laura Whitmore wishing everybody good luck and saying how proud she is that the Style Society has come so far since she left DCU. Laura studied Journalism here in DCU and established the Style Society back in 2005 along with fellow DCU graduate Mikey Robinson.

First up on the catwalk was H&M. The clothes worn by the STUNNING models really demonstrated some of the trends that are huge this Spring! Lots of black and white monochrome accompanied by stripes and other interesting patterns which created a sophisticated look overall.

Next up was urban brand American Apparel. A young and fresh collection was displayed here with lots of denim, jumpsuits, crop tops and pastel colours – perfect for the spring and summer.

Tommy Hilfiger was the next brand to grace us with its beautiful collection.  Throwing it way back to 1920 we saw the return of the drop waist in, my personal favourite of the entire show, a black and white monochrome chiffon dress. Also popular for Tommy Hilfiger were jackets of every colour and pattern and of course the classic men’s suit.

Speaking of men’s suits, next up was Louis Copeland and Sons, which displayed various classic tailored suits ideal for any black tie event. (Shout out to the male models who did a fantastic job walking in the show!)

My favourite brand of the whole night had to be Folkster. I had never previously heard of them but the minute the first model took to the runway I was immediately attracted to the different shapes and lines created with the clothing. From shoulder pads to fur shawls and prom style dresses this vintage collection was anything but boring!

Of course, we have to mention the beautiful makeup which was done by the very talented ladies at Inglot. They kept the makeup on the models very simple as far as I could see, only using a small amount of foundation and highlighter to create that flawless, dewy look. The eyes were defined using light brown colours and gel eyeliner while the lips were a soft nude shade. In order to spice up the makeup for the second half of the show the lips were changed to an orange/red colour.

Hair was handled by the stylists at Dylan Bradshaw who created a sleeked back look using lots of hairspray that kept hair off the model’s faces, which is very on trend at the moment.

So that’s it! The DCU Style society’s 10th Annual fashion show was an absolute success and a pleasure to attend.

We would like to congratulate all of the members of the style society for organising such a wonderful event and to everyone involved in the whole production we would like to say a huge well done from everyone at The Ink Ladies

Here are some of the looks.

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And now we have Amy’s take on the show.

By Amy Lawlor

This year DCU’s annual fashion show brought us through 10 years of incredible, glamorous style which was very fitting for the occasion as it was the 10th anniversary of this amazing event produced by DCU Style.

The atmosphere surrounding the show was electric. Upon arrival guests received a gift bag sponsored by Bank of Ireland stocked with goodies which started the night off with a bang. The staging of the show was symmetrical, ideal from any viewpoint and the music and lighting captivated the audience whilst the collections were on display.

The fashion show showcased many collections, the first being from H&M. This brand is the definition of high street fashion and the pieces put forward on the catwalk definitely lived up to expectations.

The H&M female collection provided us with monochrome tones as well as subtle burnt orange colours to act as a medium for some pieces. It was all about the oversized duster coats which worked well with the black skinny jeans, sleek tops and blocked heels showcased.

The men’s H&M collection however took a slightly different approach with a hipster chic every day look. Again the monochrome tones were in full affect accompanied with khaki greens and greys. Grey denim jeans were a feature in this collection along with accessories such as woolly hats and the occasional schoolbag.

The American Apparel collection next took to the catwalk displaying pastel spring tones. Spring/Summer vibes were given off while this collection was showcased with looks such as long sleeved crop tops/high waisted leather skirts, along with jumpsuits accompanied with sun hats for the ladies whilst the men’s collection was casual with plain t-shirts and jeans accompanied with snapbacks worn backwards.

The Tommy Hilfiger collection was comprised of casual every day pieces for both men and women. The outfits really stood out on the catwalk as they incorporated different eye-catching prints and textures.

A personal favourite of mine was the Louis Copeland and Sons suit collection. The collection was comprised of perfectly tailored mostly pin-striped suits. There was a combination of different black, grey and navy toned suits. The music and lighting really set the catwalk afire, while the models’ choreography was masculine and strong- perfectly pulling off such a masculine, powerful collection.

The fashion show also showcased pieces from the Ilac centre, Blanchardstown centre, Tola vintage, Folkster, Nine Grows, Covet Designer, Warehouse, Bertoni of Denmark and Feature.

As Shirley mentioned, make up was done by none other than the fabulous Inglot team who used creamy foundation accompanied with a mineralised bronzer which really contoured and highlighted the models cheek bones. They used the Inglot gel eyeliner to smudge the inner lid creating a natural look and the second half of the show saw the introduction of a red lip to add contrast between the different coloured outfits.

Top 5 Fashion Trends for Spring 2015

 by Shirley Donlon

Winter has finally come to an end which means that it is officially time to prepare ourselves for the onset of the fashion trends of spring 2015. I have combined this year’s trends in fashion with some of my personal favourites to create a list of the Top 5 Fashion Trends and must haves for this season.


    1. Head to Toe White

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White is a classic and fresh colour, and a personal favourite of mine, that never seems to go out of fashion. It is usually used as a base colour upon which other colours tend to sit, however, this season it is all about white from head to toe! I think the trick to achieve the perfect all white look is to combine different textures like leather and suede in various shades. This look is very wearable and a must do for all fashion lovers throughout spring 2015.

  1. Shirt Dresses

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Shirt Dresses are huge for spring 2015.
This is a great way to incorporate loud prints and lots of colour into an outfit while still looking elegant and chic. These come in various lengths and cuts and can be worn for any occasion.  Shirt dresses were very popular during the 1950’s and were usually worn to represent motherhood and domesticity. Now, 65 years later, they have returned and are as fashionable as ever!

3. Yellow

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A scary colour to some, but one of my favourites, yellow was all over the catwalks for Spring 2015. From PVC coats to long feminine dresses yellow can be worn in many different ways. The trick to pulling off a yellow piece is to understand the different shades of yellow and how they can compliment certain skin tones. People with pale skin should choose dark yellow and mustard shades while those with an olive coloured complexion can wear lemon and pastel coloured yellows.

  1. One Shoulder Cuts

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One Shoulder cuts were all over the fashion runways for spring 2015. I love this trend not only because visually it creates an interesting line but also as it emphasises one of the most feminine parts of the body – the décolletage. This look is classy and elegant and works well in almost any fabric and pattern. With an asymmetrical style like this I think it is best to keep the rest of the look simple and fuss-free by keeping the hair pulled back and leaving accessories to a minimum. 

  1. Gingham

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Known by most for being worn by the iconic Julie Garland who played ‘Dorothy’ in The Wizard of Oz, gingham is making a re-appearance this spring. The 1960’s trend is most commonly seen in tailored shirts, however, this year we can expect to see lots of different takes on the classic trend. From skirts to dresses and two-pieces a gingham item is one of the must have pieces for everybody’s wardrobe this spring!