Sweet sixteens and quinceaneras are a turning point for many young women and the elaborate parties thrown are their time to dazzle in front of an audience.
In this age of bigger is better, as seen on MTV’s hit reality series “My Super Sweet 16,” cutting-edge fashion trends play a huge role in making a party memorable for a fashion-savvy young woman.
This idea is not lost on designers either, who capitalize on the niche market of consumers out there who want affordable fashion trends for a teenage girl’s big day.
Wen Wu, of fashion brand House of Wu, caters to this demographic with his on-trend Quinceanera Collection, showcasing bold, striking hues for this season. “Everything is on the dress,” said Marie Racktoo, owner of Da Zone dress store, located at 116-18 Liberty Ave. in South Richmond Hill, noting that Wu’s designs don’t need any bustles or add-ons to stay fashionable.
“He makes something every girl wants to wear; to feel like a princess,” Racktoo said. The Quinceanera Collection by House of Wu 2011 comes in eye-popping colors such as grape, cobalt, fuchsia, turquoise and royal.
On trend this season are strapless tulle and organza ball gowns with sweetheart necklines, ornate bodices, sparkling bead®ork, dramatic ruffled skirts and lace-up backs. These designs sell for $400 to $600 and are so elaborate and well crafted that no additional accessories are needed.
Racktoo also suggests Quinceanera/Vizcaya by Mori Lee dresses for a trending style this season. These tulle dresses are reimagined classics with full skirts, scalloped lace and sweetheart bodices for extra elegance.
They come in a wide spectrum of soft and bold colors such as ballet pink, light blue, peacock, bubble and watermelon, and are also priced between $400 and $600.
For a more economical and yet still trend-conscious consumer, Racktoo notes that Allure’s two lines have options at a more affordable price. Evenings by Allure and Quinceanera by Allure showcase figure- flattering taffeta gowns, empire waistlines, ruched sweetheart necklines and three-dimensional organza ball gowns. These options start at $250.
Sweet sixteens and quinceanera trends don’t stop at dresses. Elegant tiaras, satin gloves and personalized kneeling pillows, for quinceaneras, can make a current trend more unique to the girl’s personal style, thus making it her own.
Jewelry also plays a big role in making a teenager’s birthday celebration special. In the past it was more common to see personalized pieces, such as name plates and name rings, as well as hoop earrings and classic hearts.
It does depend on who’s buying and wearing the jewelry, but now the trend is that young woman are looking for lasting items that are timeless to accessorize their dresses and gowns.
“They focus mostly on earrings; hanging earrings and necklaces,” said Danielle Croce, manager of Marlowe Jewelers, which has two locations, 160-55 Cross Bay Blvd., in Jamaica and 116-08 Liberty Ave., in South Richmond Hill, “not so much on rings and bracelets.”
The economy also comes into play, and prices of particular items that tend to fluctuate can cause consumers to be smarter about what they are willing to purchase.
“Less intense gold jewelry, like a diamond piece; gold is expensive,” Croce said.
Regardless of how much a teenager is able to spend on her fashions and accessories for her special day, there are trends available. She just has to be savvy enough to seek them out. Whether the party is on a budget or over the top like those seen on reality TV programs, a trendy sweet sixteen or quinceanera in Queens is possible.
For more information on the brands and styles, visit their websites dazoneprom.com or call (718) 323-2940 and for Marlowe Jewelers go to, libertyavenueonline.com and click on the Jewelry link and scroll to the “Marlowe Jewelers” boxed link, or call (718) 323-8730.