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Brides-to-be get ideas for big day at 5th annual showcase


Nayla Velazquez, of Ledyard, is getting married next year in October and wants a small wedding.

Her mother, Aly Milan, wants to go in a different direction, with a big event and lots of guests.

Both came to Sunday's fifth annual Bridal Showcase, sponsored by The Bulletin and Norwich Magazine, to get some ideas for the big day next year.

"I like going to expos," Velazquez said. "It's great to have ideas. I just want something simple, not a big wedding. My mom wants a big wedding."

With 20 area vendors on hand at the Holiday Inn, there was something for every prospective bride. Visitors could sample catering options cooked on the spot, compare different wedding backless evening dresses, pick out flowers and even learn a few dance steps, which Milan did with Arthur Murray Dance instructor Marc Pernaveau.

Kim Blonar, of Niantic, will get married in May 2018. Her fiancé, Tom Morrissette, of Colchester, accompanied her to the showcase.

"This is literally our first wedding event," Blonar, 25, said. "We're here to get the feel of it."

Morrissette knew about the bridal showcase because he'd been to it in the past for a previous wedding.

"As far as specifics, last time I was here I wasn't paying attention to much, just free food," the future groom said.

The pair began planning their wedding soon after their New Year's engagement.

"We'd rather get a good head start and then kind of coast toward the date," Morrissette, 28, said. "That's the intention."

Amber Kudelsky, of Danielson, has a firm date - March 18, 2018.

"I'm looking for sexy prom dresses and a DJ," she said. "And I got cupcakes."

It was her first time at a bridal event.

"I was a little overwhelmed but I like it," she said. "People answer a lot of questions, and I see things that I didn't think of, like the photo booth."

Kirsten Nicholas of Love me Two Times Consignment and Bridal Boutique in Taftville was one of the business owners on hand Sunday to provide information to guests.

"We have several mailing lists and are doing some promotions for people that come to the show," she said.

It also was a good day for newcomers Patrick and Lenore Auger of Salon One, with locations in Pomfret and New London.

"It's going wonderful," Patrick Auger said. "This is the first time here. We're enjoying ourselves. It's been a nice diverse crowd."



Detroit auto show charity preview fashion time line


The North American International Auto Show's black-tie Charity Preview gala — affectionately called Auto Prom — is the biggest party in town, and every year, the clothes attendees choose to wear speak to the health of the auto industry.

Consider the last few years:

2008: Gowns and champagne. The gala is in its glory — champagne, limos and lots of gowns. North American Car of the Year: General Motors' Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan. Truck of the Year: the Mazda CX-9, an SUV. Gala attendance: about 15,000.

2009: Dark days. With attendance sparse — estimates put it between 6,000 and 7,000 — gala attire turns decidedly downscale and dark, reflecting an auto industry on the verge of bankruptcy. Women arrive in black wool pants, black sweaters and, in some cases, Christmas sweaters. Men wear business suits. Few people drink champagne; the drink of choice is Budweiser. It's a sad sight all the way around. Car and Truck of the Year winners: the Hyundai Genesis and the Ford F-150. Later in the year, Chrysler and General Motors will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Top designer creates fashions for Lexus auto show spokesmodels

2010: Color returns. With a bailout under way, things are looking better for the American auto companies. Ford sweeps the Car and Truck of the Year awards, with its Fusion Hybrid and Transit Connect van. The cautious optimism shows as some women opt for brightly colored pink prom dresses . When asked why, several say they feel the industry has turned a corner and they want their dresses to symbolize a fresh, new start. Gala attendance: about 8,400.

2011: Frugal is in. Humbled by hard times and economic realities of cutbacks and restructuring, gala-goers are intent on showing off their fiscal responsibility. They brag about how little their dresses cost, how many times they've worn them previously and that their jewelry came from Forever 21, the fast fashion store favored by teens. American automakers take honors for both the Car and Truck of the Year awards, with Chevy's Volt, a new car designed for a new generation of drivers who demand fuel efficiency and money-saving potential, and the Ford Explorer. Later in the year, the government will sell its remaining shares of Chrysler stock to Fiat, giving the Italian automaker control of Chrysler. Gala attendance: about 10,500.

Buy PhotoWendy Hamburger, left and Darcy Fischer of Bloomfield Hills pretend to be driving a fast car during the 2016 North American International Auto Show Charity Preview at Cobo Center on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 in Detroit. (Photo: Romain Blanquart/Detroit Free Press)

2012: Less formal, more fashionable. As new life is breathed into the industry, younger people show up at the gala and a new trend emerges: More women than ever opt for au courant short dresses and many choose to pair them with black opaque tights. While the look is less formal than it was before the downturn, it's more fashionable. It's also a more practical look because most people get more use out of short dresses than they do long. Meanwhile, GM introduces two concept cars at the auto show that are aimed specifically at millennials. Car of the Year: Hyundai Elantra. Truck of the Year: Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. Gala attendance: about 12,000.

2013: Confidence is back. In terms of age and ethnicity, the gala crowd appears more diverse than in previous years and more stylish. As confidence in the industry grows, bling returns in the form of shiny jewelry and sequined gowns and dresses. Auto companies show that they're trying to meld style and fuel economy. Cadillac introduces its first electric car. The Car and Truck of the Year awards go to the Cadillac ATS, Cadillac's first win in the award's history, and the Ram 1500 pickup. Gala attendance: just more than 13,000.

2014: A classic returns. As things improve even more for the auto industry, guess what makes a comeback at the gala? Fur! More than ever before, it appears in the form of coats, stoles, shawls and, in the case of one man, mink accents on his shoes. Women favor black dresses. The look is classic and here to stay. Just like the auto industry? The gala takes place about a month after the government sells the last of its GM stock. Meanwhile, cars get lighter as makers push for fuel efficiency. Chevy's Corvette Stingray and its Silverado truck win the Car and Truck of the Year awards. Gala attendance: about 13,700.

2015: More, more, more. In a year that celebrates enormous trucks — the Ford F-150 is the Truck of the Year — the fashion theme at the gala could best be described as more. More gowns with sheer accents, more cleavage, more dresses with thigh-high slits. And more floor-length dresses than in the most recent past. It's as if gala-goers have confused more for better when sometimes, it's just more. The Car of the Year: the Volkswagen Golf. Gala attendance: 13,350.

2016: Rented light pink prom dresses and a new lease on life for Huey Lewis. The Kardashian influence from the previous year seems to be gone, mostly. Seriously, gala-goers look classier than they have in years. And they're so fiscally responsible about it! Many women — especially millennials, who represent the future of the auto industry — choose to rent money-saving designer gowns from Rent the Runway. It's the Uberfication of fashion. Another trend: pantsuits! And a disconnect: If there's a new generation represented in the auto industry, why is the entertainment a guy from the 1980s? Nevertheless, gala attendees seem to enjoy Huey Lewis. Car of the Year: Honda Civic. Truck/Utility of the Year: Volvo XC90. Attendance: 13,075.

2017:Stay tuned! The 2017 Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year: Chevrolet Bolt electric car, Honda Ridgeline pickup and Chrysler Pacifica minivan.


09:35 Publié dans Fashion | Tags : fashion, dresses, marieprom | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Four ways to have a fashionable New Year's Eve

Whatever you think about sky-high cab fares and vomit on the streets, New Year’s Eve needs to be marked, even if just with a toast at midnight. And this New Year’s Eve in particular – it is a chance to bid goodbye and good riddance to 2016. How to do that in style? Follow our handy guide on what to wear wherever you’ll be raising that glass.

Finery’s Myrtle dress, £59.

A dinner party

You know the drill here – you arrive with the kind of raised-the-game look that is demanded of a special occasion and you finish up searching for your left shoe after a carpet disco, lipstick long faded on your mouth, as your Uber idles outside. The best rule of thumb is to be honest with yourself, and go with something that feels both dressed up and comfortable, that has over-the-table appeal (you will be sitting down most of the evening, remember) and is not really susceptible to spills as someone reaches over you for the wine bottle. Something like this Finery backless evening dresses– being wine-coloured already – is perfect. Also, what with food involved in a dinner party, think eyeliner flicks rather than lipstick. It’s just kinder when the host is running late with dinner and you’re stuffing your face with Kettle Chips.

Topshop’s velvet slipdress, £29.

Staying in

Staying in on New Year’s isn’t sad – it’s the height of luxury. Or that’s what you’re telling people, anyway. The way to zhuzh up the same experience you have on every other occasion where you sit on your sofa and watch telly is to dress up. Honestly. The amount of time you feel daft for sitting in your living room in a party dress will be far outweighed by the fact that any FOMO will be significantly reduced, especially with the addition of a regularly filled glass of prosecco. This velvet slip dress in duck-egg blue from Topshop is just the thing. Add heels and turn the heating up a tad. Now sit back, relax and watch the bells ring in 2017.

Fenty x Rihanna by Puma’s maxiskirt, £160.

Going to a club

Congratulations! You’re going out out! Time for a proper look, right? Wrong. Everyone knows the coolest girl in the club is the one that doesn’t look as if she tried. Therefore anything on the athleisure/streetwear spectrum is your friend. And who knows this best? Rihanna. So, her Fenty range is well worth a look here – a long skirt worn with a crop top, a sweatshirt with super-long sleeves, an XXXXL T-shirt, all accessorised (à la Riri, herself) with a glass of wine and trainers. Good for the queue, the dancefloor and – if the buses are full when you emerge at 3am – that long walk home.

Whistles’ Dakota dress, £150.

A house party

Ah, the house party – such a unpredictable one. What’s behind the door? Bright lights, bowls of peanuts and small talk with the neighbours? Or banging tunes, flowing cocktails and ever more pathetic attempts at the mannequin challenge? The way to dress for this is the kind of outfit that covers all bases. Here, the little black dress is your friend – it’s a no-brainer but one you’ll be glad of if it’s more option one, and happy in whatevs if it’s two. Of course, if the colour is standard, there’s no need for the style to be – that would make you as boring as the aforementioned small talk. Head to Whistles for “I’m interesting, honest” takes on LBDs – from the shimmy-fringed flapper ones and crochet velvet shifts. This Dakota sexy prom dresses, with spaghetti straps, is dressed up but won’t scare the horses (it’s also in the sale – bonus). Or if it’s the first scenario, the guy in the corner balancing a glass of chardonnay on his edge of his V-neck jumper.