By Sum Xin Yi (13A01B)
You could already sense the competition in the air at Orchard Hotel’s porch, where there was an excitable flurry of stiletto heels, fitted blazers, and exclamations of “oh my god!”. As the tourists and staff at the hotel (admittedly located in quite an isolated area) strained their necks to catch a glimpse of the red-carpet-worthy Rafflesians, the Year 6s made their way through an air of perfume and hairspray to the extravagant ballroom on the 3rd floor.
The theme for this year’s prom was Film Noir, which means black film, a cinematic term for the period of time Hollywood, hit with the Great Depression and Cold War, abandoned its ditzy jolly past to adopt a thoroughly depressive quality. That means heightened cynicism, social estrangement, cops with stone eyes and hearts, femme fatales and a prevalent (sexual) tension between everyone and everything. Hence, I expected Grad Night attendees to turn up looking as though they were embroiled in a seductive murder conspiracy. And they did not disappoint!
The ladies were definitely very glamorous. It was thrilling to see many taking risks to exert their sensual charms with higher hemlines, lower necklines, open-backed dresses or bold makeup; all while retaining a feminine elegance. The gentlemen of the night did not lose out, with many sporting classic suits with ties or bowties, effectively channeling the sexy, dangerous vibe of detective heroes. There were definitely some who did not adhere strictly to the theme, or experimented wildly. “We didn’t enforce a dress code,” explained Year 5 Councillor Seet Yun Teng. Nevertheless, they still looked stunning!
However, the theme meant that most dressed rather similarly or generically. A very common look was the businessman look, due to the very sensible colours or rigid structures of many blazers that night. On the bright side, we now know that many Year 6s have inherent CEO potential, at least appearance-wise. There were quite a number of glittery dresses too, with some hits and misses depending on how they handled the rest of the outfit.
Beck Sung Hyun
Beck stole the limelight easily with his preppy-dashing outfit. His grey Topman suit stood outamongst a sea of black, and that leather footwear combo is adorable. He topped it off with sleekly swept-back hair that just declares it all: he is one stylish gentleman.
Blazer, trousers: Topman
Shirt (with suspenders!): Suit Select
Pocket Square: Suit Select
Cufflinks: TM. LEWIN
Natasha was insanely attractive on prom night in her all-vintage outfit with a most adorable story behind it: her mother wore it on her engagement day. Although vintage, it still looked modern and fit Natasha in all the right places. The dress’ daring bare-back and hemline, along with its burst of colour, made it a stunning show-stopper.
Dress: Vintage Club 21
Watch: Vintage Versace
Dyon stood out easily with a pop of colour and sparkle. Focusing the attention on his clothes, he kept his hair neat and slick and left accessories out. All that is for a good cause though: the burgundy velvet blazer clashes sweetly with his studded Versace tank top; finishing off with some trendy Doc Marts to produce an eclectic outfit.
Tank Top: Versace
Blazer: D&G (burgundy velvet)
Shoes: Dr Martens
Gi Won Baik
Gi Won dazzled in her cream goddess dress, which also accommodated a thigh-high slit, injecting just the right amount of sensuality. Her natural makeup and loose hairdo also complimented her look for the night. She proved that you can still look downright stunning on a budget.
Headband: Forever New
Earrings: Forever 21
Isabelle looked effortlessly mature with a sexy bright lips and, uncommonly, short hair (a result of Hair for Hope) – it was definitely a sexy kind of mature. She upped her attitude with a studded, boxy clutch and chose a printed halter-neck dress from Guess for the night – though perhaps a slight hemming up of the dress would have enhanced her look.
Clutch: New Look
The high-low skirt has indeed been a persistent trend this season. Xaviera exudes elegance in her dress featuring a high-fronted skirt that descends to reach her calves at the back – perhaps it would have been more dramatic if it was floor-length. Nevertheless, the glittery top also included strategic cut-outs that showed off her great figure.
Bracelet: Forever 21
Heels: Anna Nucci
Shawna completely stole the show with her stunning black Gucci number with a sizzling high-thigh slit and deep bare-back. However, it was the tinted cut-outs that glided smoothly across the dress and the subtle sparkle of the fabric that made the dress truly stand out. Her makeup of the night, with dark, sultry eyes, also complimented the whole look. Truly well-executed.
As one of the Prom King nominees, Marcus was observed with a great deal of anticipation – and no doubt did he look charming in a classic black suit and a navy tie, which added a subtle touch of colour to the monochromatic outfit. He also shows that G2000, in fact, faces unnecessary hate. (Marcus chose the brand because, quoting him, he is “cheap”.)
Tang Li Yong
Li Yong sizzled in her little black number, which also had little peplum layers at the side to accentuate her curves. The dress also featured intricate embroidery and jewel designs. She paired the dress with some killer heels from Miss Selfridge and kept her hair neat by combing it into a slick, high ponytail.
Earrings: Iliana, Diva, Lovisa
Shoes: Miss Selfridge
In a sea of bare backs and legs, Emily’s outfit was a modest one. She was all covered-up in her dress, which featured an elaborate damask design on both its front and back. Finishing it off with light makeup and elegant curls, she looked demure and beautiful.
Dress: River Island
Shoes: New Look
Bracelet: River Island
As the victorious Ladies’ Man of the batch, Fadhli definitely dressed the part. His outfit was entirely tailor-made, meaning that it was well-fitted, and well-fitted suits always translate into dashing outfits. He would have been even more handsome if his pants were a little more fitting though. Still, he finished it off with the most gentlemanly black bow-tie one could find in the ballroom that night.
Everything: National Tailors (Balestier Plaza)
Shoes: old shoes, can’t remember
Chantel donned a dress that was truly one-of-a-kind – it was designed by fellow batchmate Dyon Ang specially for her. With a leather bustier, which had pearls and jewels hand-sewn on by Dyon himself, and a full-length skirt of sheer chiffon, it was a sexy show-stopper. She paired it with messy curls and classic smoky eyes.
Dress: Dyon Ang
Earrings (pearl): Vintage
Sean looked downright stylish in his navy blazer, brown leather shoes and two-toned bow-tie. The adorable blue of the blazer and cheeky red highlights of the bow-tie ensured that he stood out in a sombre sea of ashen colours. He completed his gentlemanly look with clean swept-back hair.
While the most important feature of Grad Night was undeniably one of the final opportunities for the Year 6s to spend time as a batch, the stunning and fun outfits on show certainly helped to make Grad Night a night to remember for all.
Photos courtesy of Zara Toh, Daru and an assortment of Year 6s.
One thought on “Grad Night 2012: Fashion Watch”
so if film noir was developed when “Hollywood [was] hit with the Great Depression and Cold War”, when exactly did it develop? those two events are more than a decade apart.