The Top 10 Most Anticipated Trends for 2016 National Prom Market

Style expert Carson Kressley might not have attended his prom, but he sure does know a thing or two about what we can expect to see on dance floors and pageant stages this upcoming spring. The charming TV personality was the resident tastemaker at the 2015 WORLD OF PROM Market at AmericasMart Atlanta.

Carson scoured the Market in search of the best new looks and hottest trends for prom, pageant, quinceañera, homecoming and social occasion in 2016.

Bring a bit of Carson’s je ne sais quoi back to your store with these style suggestions inspired by the style expert’s favorite items from the 2015 national prom Market:



Fashionistas of a feather flock together. Feather details add a delicate whimsy and tons of movement to gowns. Look for them in a variety of colors on the skirts of both long and short styles.

Geometric Patterns

geometric patterns (6)

The WORLD OF PROM runway looked like the world’s most chic math class with geometric prints appearing throughout the show. Whether as an accent piece or the dominant design of the dress, these bold prints solve the equation for a memorable prom gown.


florals (3)

While a floral frock may be a mainstay for spring fashion collections, the look is a fresh for social occasion. The floral representations are as diverse as the blooms they portray ranging from printed fabrics, to appliques and beading.


metallics (3)

No spotlights are needed with these shiny and shimmery dresses. New shades such as rose gold, pewter and platinum join classic sparklers gold and silver. Bold ladies go head-to-toe shine while others use it as a show-stopping detail.


fringe (2)

The ready-to-wear fringe trend has made it to social occasion. When this dance-floor-friendly element is paired with posh fabrics and the right accessories, there is no doubt the look is just right for a special evening.


white, crop top

The wedding day is not the only opportunity for a show-stopping white gown. Youthful silhouettes, fun embellishments and party-ready accessories confirm that the wearer is going to the dance rather than going to the chapel.

Crop Tops

crop top, pastels

The crop top has been on trend for a while now and continues strong for 2016. Designers are updating the look with a crop top/cut outs hybrid that still shows some skin, but keeps the dress as one continuous piece.

1970s Glam

70s glam

Disco fever abounds with 1970s-inspired looks. Dancing queens make a statement with cut-outs, sparkles and party-ready pants-suits. Make sure the styling is modern to keep the look classy instead of costume.


new lace

Ladies are turning to geometric patterns in lieu of the traditional floral lace that has dominated the social occasion run way for the past few seasons. Blooms are used in a color-on-color technique that adds an interesting texture to gowns of all styles.


Pastels, lace

These sweet and feminine shades take it up a notch with head-turning elements. Crop tops, embellishments and even head-to-toe sequins in these heavenly hues yield modern looks that are perfect for spring celebrations.

The WORLD OF PROM market will take place from August 4-8.

Making Prom Dreams A Reality

Tips for giving back from TLC’s Say Yes to the Prom

syttp15 m 08 monte advice 106 lrProm can be the highlight of a teenager’s year full of celebrations and the opportunity to wear that oh-so-perfect-dress.

TLC is helping to make that perfect prom night more attainable for deserving high school students with its Say Yes to the Prom initiative which brings dresses, tuxedos, makeup, accessories, style advisors and mentorship opportunities to young men and women across the country.

syttp15 ss 13 group 014“Say Yes to the Prom continues to give participants the opportunity to feel empowered and confident and to build valuable relationships with mentors that can grow and develop for years to come,” says Adria Alpert Romm, Chief Human Resources and Global Diversity Officer, Discovery Communications, parent company to TLC. “By pairing like-minded organizations across the industry, we will harness the collective power of our assets, from on-air talent to local relationships and employee resource groups, to create meaningful change across the country. As a mission-driven company, Discovery is committed to giving back to the communities where we live and work, and Say Yes to the Prom makes a real impact for deserving girls across the country.”

Head to for more information on how you can support the initiative, and don’t forget to stop by TLC’s Say Yes to the Prom cocktail reception on Floor 12, N-300 on Thursday, August 6, 2015, from 3:30– 5:30 p.m.

Looking to also make an impact in your local community? Try these additional tips for giving back:

syttp15 denver 14 runway 557Pre-owned Pop-Up. Create a pop-up shop with gently used dresses staffed by your sales team. Give the dresses away or charge a small fee. Host the event at a specific time in your store or see if there is another location close-by.

Dress Return. Encourage your customers to bring their old dresses back to the store to donate to a charity or to use in your own pre-owned pop-up shop. Offer a small percentage off new gowns for old gowns that are donated.

Prom Tip Jar. Place a tip jar by your register for customers to drop in their change. Use the money to help off-set the cost of buying dresses for deserving girls in the community.

Host a VIP Night. Create a special event that lets shoppers preview your prom gowns before they officially hit the floor. Charge admission to the event and donate the proceeds.

Show Your Colors. Research colors that are associated with different philanthropic organizations. Donate a percentage of the sale of dresses in that color to the charity.

WORLD OF PROM takes place August 6-10 at AmericasMart Atlanta. RSVP Now.


As we prepare for the WORLD OF PROM this month, we can’t help but day dream about all of the amazing prom styles that will be trending for 2016. With so many breathtaking and flattering designs, this could very well be the most fashionable prom season yet.

We’ve gathered together a list of trending styles to get you prepared to shop prom 2016 here in Atlanta. With so many different collections, you are sure to find just the right variety for everyone’s prom needs. From classy and timeless detail, to fun and unique shapes, there is something for everyone to achieve the perfect look they have been dreaming of for a night they will never forget.


TWO PIECESIt’s easy to see that crop tops have been a huge trend piece during the past couple years, and they are better than ever for the prom 2016 season. While still keeping the look of a traditional prom dress, the idea of two pieces adds a fun touch for young girls. We’re seeing this in many different styles, including pieces with short or long sleeves, as well as full-length and short skirts.


We’ve seen necklines such as strapless, sweetheart and one-shoulder, but now the art SLEEVESof sleeves is gracing the prom dresses of 2016. Short, long, off the shoulder… you name it and you’ll most likely see it in some shape or form. Although this aspect gives prom dresses a much more conservative feel, it only adds more of a special touch. It also allows plus size women an option to feel more comfortable while dressing for a formal event!


MIDI LENGTHThis trend debuted in the 1940’s and made a comeback recently in 2011. After dying down quite a bit, designers have decided to try a new take on the midi skirt and incorporate it into formal fashion. For prom dressers looking to embrace a more elegant and conservative style, this trend meets perfection. It’s feminine and classy, just the way a prom dress should be!


We can’t really think of a time when lace hasn’t been a good idea. Prom dresses covered in lace or with simple lace accents have madeLACE them that much more beautiful. Combining lace with mesh fabric creates an illusion of  lace covering the body, which we’ve seen all over the fashion industry lately. Multiple brands have been incorporating this trend into their 2016 designs, and we can’t wait to see more.


EMBELISHMENTSEmbellishments have been popular in past prom seasons, and this year they are back and better than ever. We are seeing a lot of fully embellished looks, as well as some partly embellished looks mixed with mesh to create the desired illusion. Dresses covered in embellishments, such as this white Sherri Hill look, make the perfect statement.

RSVP for WORLD OF PROM, the nation’s #1 Prom & Social Occasion Market, taking place during the Atlanta Apparel Market on Thursday, August 6 – Monday, August 10, 2015. Join us for our WORLD OF PROM fashion show on Thursday, August 6 featuring prom trends for the 2016 season!

Market Tips From Tony Bowls

Tony Bowls speaker at AmericasMartThe VISION social occasion Market kicks off tomorrow. In preparation for this spectacular fashion event, widely successful prom dress designer Tony Bowls has shared his tips for a successful Market experience.

MAKE A PLAN. Decide what you want to accomplish at the Market and share it with your team.This will help you manage their expectations and get more done.

MAKE APPOINTMENTS. Set up a time to meet with your rep in the showroom. If they know you are coming, they will be better prepared to give you their undivided attention and show you looks that are curated for your store.

TAKE THE TIME TO SEE THE WHOLE LINE. Coming to Market allows you to see more of the collection than you can see with traveling reps or online. Seeing a gown on a model or a mannequin can change its whole look.

Tony Bowls Fashion Show at Mon Cheri Showroom At AmericasMartATTEND THE FASHION SHOWS. There is nothing like seeing how a gown moves in person. In addition to the VISION fashion show on Wednesday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m., attend in-showroom shows and presentations.

EDUCATE YOURSELF. Use the Market’s educational opportunities to learn tips for growing your business. Atlanta Apparel presents a great speakers’ series – including industry experts like me – that is completely free of charge. I give the VISION Market’s keynote presentation “Retail Success from a Designer’s Perspective” on Wednesday, April 2 at 8:00 a.m. The whole list of Market events and speakers is available at

SHOP OTHER CATEGORIES. It may be tempting to spend your whole market on the social occasion floors, but make time to explore the rest of Atlanta Apparel’s expansive collection. The April Atlanta Apparel Market’s overlap with the VISION market on April 3 allows you to see its complete showroom and temporary collection of apparel, accessories, jewelry, shoes, swimwear, activewear and intimates. Exploring the collection will keep you up to date on ready-to-wear trends and you may find pieces to supplement your social occasion offerings.

USE AMERICASMART AS A RESOURCE. Want to book a hotel for the next market? Looking for a place to have lunch or dinner? Need to find a particular line? The AmericasMart staff is always willing to help. Look for help desks next to the elevators or visit for all of the information that you need.

The new AmericasMart app, available on in the Apple App Store and on Google Play, is also a great resource. Use it to discover new and existing exhibitors, categories and lines and make note of Market events and promotions. On the app you can browse exhibitors by floor map or in a list, record favorite finds, and plan, organize and manage Market details to optimize your visit.

HAVE FUN. Take advantage of networking and social events to get to know your fellow social occasion retailers and celebrate our special industry.


Trends for Prom: 2014

Many prom trends this year are formalwear interpretations of both high fashion and street style that is relevant to this age group. Young celebrities like Selena Gomez, Chloe Moretz, Vanessa Gomez, and Carly Rae Jepsen spark many trends by what they wear to events such as award ceremonies and premieres. Some of the most notable trends are explored below.

1. Peplum

Peplum has exploded in popularity over the last few seasons. Peplum tops, skirts, and dresses can all be found at almost any location and for almost any budget. We will begin to see peplums making their way into the formalwear sector this year. They are fun, flirty and flattering on any figure. It’s an age appropriate way to make your dress (and you) stand out.

Trends for Prom 2013 2014Trends for Prom 2013 2014 2


2. Lace used in dramatic ways

Lace has made a big comeback. It is super feminine and really gives you the “princess, belle of the ball” look on your big day. An especially noticeable trend with lace is that it is being used as a prominent, striking feature on dresses instead of just in small details. Examples include large lace insets, and high lace necklines.

4"PUNK: Chaos To Couture" Costume Institute Gala


3. Neon/BRIGHT hues (esp. Coral and Mint!)

Colored dresses have always been a major player for prom, but this year, the brighter the better. The recent surge in neon hued clothing in general is spilling into the prom world, meaning that bold hues are a great way to make a statement. The great thing about this trend is that it can also be combined with other trends, such as peplum or lace. We especially are seeing a presence of bright yet soft/fresh colors through the use of mints and corals.



4. High-low

The high-low trend gives designers an extra opportunity for innovation, a surprise element, either with a pop of a different color for the lining, a print underskirt, or a more elegant sheer train. It’s also ideal for teenagers that want that princess feel to their dress, but still want it to be fun and flirty.  



5. Ombre

Ombre is huge this season; we see it everywhere, from nail polish designs to hairstyles, and now prom dresses. The ombre can fade from one color to the next, or show a variation of one color.


6. Short with Sheer Overlay

A short dress that has a sheer overlay gives that elegant look, but with a modern, sexy twist. It’s the perfect combination of a party dress and a gown, and gives young ladies a tasteful way to be sexy on their special day.


7. Pastels

Pastels have been all the rage for the past two seasons, and the trend continues to show up in prom wear and the red carpet. The pale mint green and the light pastel pink seem to be the most popular.

248. High slit

Ever since Angelina Jolie’s high slit black velvet dress at the Oscars 2012, we have seen the high slit in formal wear everywhere! 


Look for all these trends and more at Atlanta Apparel’s World of Prom, August 8-12, 2013.

Trend Report provided by Atlanta Apparel at AmericasMart Atlanta.

Big Plans for Day Two

We’re wrapping up the first day of the August Apparel Market at AmericasMart and we’ve got a great lineup of events that you won’t want to miss on Friday.

Start out your day at Prom Style Watch 2013 presented by TeenPROM & Seventeen Prom on floor 12 a 8 a.m. TeenPROM’s editor-in-chief Jane Fort and Linda Korman, director of Prom Fashion Advertising for TeenPROM and Seventeen Prom will forecast the looks teens will be seeking in 2013. Plus, you’ll learn about their national retail program “THE DRESS SHOP,” incorporating three important marketing components for your business.

Next up is the Daily Strut at noon featuring our Emerging Designers Showcase. This will immediately be followed by our seminar Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World’s Most Powerful Consumers Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor and author of “Why She Buys,”she’ll educate you about the fundamentals of gender psychology and the global trends driving women’s purchasing decisions. With women buying nearly 80% of all consumer products, this is a market you certainly want to court. She’ll provide you with a roadmap for how to evaluate sales, marketing, branding and product design from a female perspective. A book sale and signing will follow. Both of these events will be on Floor 2.

At 3 p.m. the latest fashions from Esley will be strutting down the runway at the Daily Strut on Floor 2.

We’ve got a full evening planned beginning with the introduction of our new 12th floor with more special occasion designs than ever! Celebrate with us and take a look around. We’ll have live music, delicious food and cocktails for you to enjoy. At 5:45 p.m. head down to Floor 2 for more complimentary food and beverages at our Pre-Style Runway Party followed by the Style Runway Fashion Show, where you’ll see all of the hottest trends.

For more information on AmericasMart and what’s coming up next, visit our website. You can also keep up-to-date with us by giving our Facebook Page a like or by following us on Twitter!

Runways Rule in August

AmericasMart Atlanta is THE place to discover the latest and greatest in Prom, Pageant and Social Occasion and have a first look at Spring 2013 during Atlanta Apparel®, August 9-13, 2012. Big runway shows on Thursday and Friday night will uncover the upcoming trends in fashion including styles by Milano Formals and Kiss Kiss Formals. Daily Strut runway shows will feature the designs of Esley, RYU and many more.

The fashion runway is always the centerpiece of Atlanta Apparel with new looks featured at least twice per day. Among those scheduled to showcase their styles: Esley, scheduled for Friday, August 10, at 3 p.m. and RYU, scheduled for Thursday, August 9 at 3 p.m. during the Daily Strut runway shows in the Floor 2 Atrium.

The ever-popular Thursday night Haute for Prom Fashion Show always draws raves as a first look at upcoming prom, pageant and social occasion collections. Look for mermaid and goddess cuts, sleek minimal elegance, hi-lo hemlines, lace overlays, shoulder detail, ombre shading and, of course, beading, sequins and ruffles. The Haute for Prom Fashion Show is sponsored by Milano Formals and Kiss Kiss Formals.

The Friday night Style Runway Fashion Show promises to be a blow-out of spring style, themed to invoke style worthy of Marie Antoinette. It will be juried and styled by internationally famous designers David Goodrowe and Tim Hobby. They personally select the fashions, the models, the music and the lighting to create a visually sensual fashion trend experience using selected holiday/resort and cocktail ready-to-wear pieces from a wide range of Atlanta Apparel Market temporaries and permanent.

As an ever-growing, fashion-forward Market center, a brand new element for August spotlights fresh talent in The Emerging Designer Showcase on Floor 2. Lines from the emerging designers will be spotlighted in the Daily Strut on Friday, August 10 at Noon. Learn more about each of the emerging designers online.

There are Daily Struts at Noon and 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Atlanta Apparel Market – August 9-13 2012; VOW-New World of Bridal – September 20-22, 2012; Atlanta Apparel Market – October 11-15, 2012.For more information visit Atlanta Apparel Market. Follow Atlanta Apparel at #AtlApparel.