The imminence of prom season means we’ve been inundated with an array of press releases on the subject, one of which actually grabbed our attention because it involved, of all people, PR queen Kelly Cutrone. While we love her, she’s not exactly the first person we think of when we think about prom.
She’s teamed up with Nine West on a contest called Prom Crashers, wherein a high school class can enter to win full prom makeovers including hair and makeup, Nine West custom-made dresses and shoes, plus prom and style tips from Kelly Cutrone, who effectively convinced us over the phone this morning that she’s not the worst person for the job. She may wear a lot of black, but she’s got some pretty good advice for young girls. Her first bit of advice? Don’t let your mom pick out your prom dress, which is what she did and ended up with a dress she described as “if Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little House on the Prairie had a baby with Olivia Newton John’s ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ music video.”
Her prom experience that year wasn’t great either but that was her dad’s fault. “I didn’t have fun at my prom,” she admitted. “I just didn’t get to make out with the kid that I was going with because my whole plan was that we’d go to the prom, but we would spend most of the night just making out and maybe drinking a little bit, but that never went down…my dad pulled him to the other room apparently to have some kind of a talk and [he] basically said, ‘If you lay a hand on my daughter, I’m going to kill you.’ So all night long, I couldn’t get him to kiss me. He was scared and he had my home on time; it sucked.” Her senior prom was better–she went with a boyfriend–but the dress was not. It involved blue metallic taffeta and a “jellyfish skirt thing.” “Why do you think I wear all black? I’ve been traumatized.”
Her main advice for prom-bound ladies? “I think the thing is to a) not go with your mom and b) this is not a disco–it’s your prom. You go to the mall and see these dresses. It’s really scary. It’s like purple jersey with ruching with tassels up the middle with some kind of sparkly thing. It’s not pretty on anybody. It wasn’t pretty in the 1970s on Soul Train and American Bandstand and it’s not pretty now.”
It’s not necessarily the girls’ fault. “I think there aren’t a lot of really great examples out there of young women of how to dress chic for evening,” Cutrone said. “What I think we need to do is give more clear messages to young kids about what’s chic.” She says she’ll come to the winning high school girls armed with friends and stylists, but thinks the late Isabella Blow would have been the perfect person to bring. “I wish Isabella Blow were still alive because she was a friend of mine and I used to run into her at the Ritz hotel in Paris and we would have brunch Sunday and she would be dressed perfectly for prom. She would be the perfect cohort to come with me and make these girls over.”
We wondered, though, what Kelly’s thoughts were on her own daughter Ava, currently 10 years of age, going to prom. “She actually told me she can’t wait to go to her prom and I told her she could go but I’d be behind her with a gun and a bottle of Jack Daniels.” As for the dress, it sounds like Ava may have some fashion design aspirations. “Ava has great style. I’m going to let her dress herself for her prom; of course, I’ll make some phone calls to designers to help her get a better deal, but she’ll probably design her own dress. She wants to be a stylist or designer that’s what she tells me every day.”
Might Kelly be signing her own daughter as a client one day? Watch out.
If you or someone you know that’s in high school wants a prom makeover from Kelly, head over to Nine West’s Facebook page to enter.