I love prom. It’s the fashion equivalent of a wedding, but with zero commitment. This week, I’m showing off some of my favorite movie prom looks. For boys too!
Ariel and Ren (Lori Singer and Kevin Bacon) in Footloose, 1984
Costume Designer: Gloria Gresham
Ren and Ariel fought hard for their prom. Kevin Bacon’s red tux jacket is still classic, and who can deny the classic combo of pink frills, curls and pearls?
Lux (Kirsten Dunst) and Trip (Josh Hartnett) in The Virgin Suicides , 2000
Costume Designer: Nancy Steiner
This Sofia Coppola movies takes place in the 70s, but you never really understand that until the prom scene because the girls live in a sheltered religious house. Kirsten Dunst’s crazy mom (Kathleen Turner) makes the girls’ prom dresses. This dreamy shroud of innocence makes the perfect dress for Lux to lose her virginity in (which she does, on the football field, with Josh Hartnett and his excellent velvet suit). She later kills herself to teach her oppressive parents a lesson. And because the dress had grass stains all over it.
Julie (Deborah Foreman) and Randy (Nicolas Cage) in Valley Girl, 1983
Costume Designer: Maya Lieberman
Julie totally goes to Prom with the “right guy” but leaves with rebellious doofus Randy in this oft- overlooked 80’s chick flick. Julie got to keep the crown, though.
Andy and Ducky (Molly Ringwald and John Cryer) in Pretty In Pink, 1986
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance
Meet the mother of all bad prom dresses. Andy takes two perfectly good dresses donated by the two people who love her most in her life- her dad and Annie Potts- and hacks them up to make this hideous potato sack. The 80’s had its share of fashion nightmares, but non quite so heinous as Andy’s prom dress. To add insult to injury, Andy ends up with the rich guy. “Molly hated that dress,” Vance told Chicago Tribune in 2016. “She wanted to be like the other girls, you know, in a strapless dress with kind of a full skirt.” The REAL cake goes to Ducky’s bolo tie. Molly does look pretty in pink, though.
Cat (Julia Styles) and Patrick (Heath Ledger) in 10 Things I Hate About You, 1999
Costume Designer: Kimberly A. Tillman
Cat wasn’t the only one wearing this perriwinkle version of Gwennyth Paltrow’s 1998 Oscar gown- it was the most knocked- off dress for Prom 1999 across the nation. Ever the rebel, she sticks the rose Patrick (Heath Ledger) gives her into her updo. Forget corsages! Heath Ledger pulls off a blue tux and greasy hair with a winning smile.
Nova (Aimee Teegarden) in PROM, 2011
Costume Designer: Shoshana Rubin
I’ll admit: Prom was not the best. It would probably be a made for TV movie today. It features a classic clash between the prom- loving student council president and prom- shunning bad boy, but in the end he decides love matters more than making a statement against prom and carries Nova off on the back of his motorcycle. She wears this pretty nude cocktail dress. I really just love Aimee Teegarden. Ever since Friday Night Lights. Love her.