B. coutures traveling trunk show of prom dresses was supposed to start at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the Sunlight Room of the Durango Community Recreation Center.
By 3:02 p.m., half a dozen girls already were rifling through the racks, some with mothers in tow, and all with determined gleams in their eyes.
As a remix of the 1980s tune I Had The Time of My Life blasted from speakers, Emily Goodin of Chattanooga, Tenn., owner of b. couture, grinned.
I opened my store in 2006. This is our sixth prom season, but we decided to take it on the road because there are lots of big small towns that dont have access to prom dresses, cocktail dresses or formal wear. My brother lives here, and when he mentioned that a lot of the local high-schoolers would need dresses for prom, I decided I should come, said Goodin.
For the trunk show, which will be open 3-8 p.m. today and Thursday, Goodin had 350 dresses shipped to Durango, which sell anywhere from $250 to about $500 but they average more around $300-$350. We also have catalogs and can order anything in any size and colors.
One-of-a-kind dresses, or dresses once worn by celebrities, hung from a special rack.
As one young girl wistfully eyed the $495 price tag on a short gold number that mimicked the shape of a ballerinas leotard and tutu but boasted a rhinestone encrusted bodice and tulle petticoat, Brie Cramer, a junior at Durango High School, flipped through magazines with her mother, Sandy, debating the relative merits of two green dresses.
Cramer said she was excited for her first prom, and wanted a gown, something more formal. I wanted to see what the b. couture trunk show had to offer. Its the first time theyve come to town, said Cramer. Otherwise well have to look for dresses in Salt Lake City, Denver, Albuquerque and California.
Sandy Cramer noted that while she was happy to spend money on a nice dress, the price of prom dresses had been subject to inflation.
You dont need to spend a million dollars to have a fabulous wedding, she said. Same thing with prom. In this economy, its just not practical.
My friend and I are planning to do our own hair, instead of getting it done, said Brie Cramer.
Goodin said that designers prices had increased since the recession, as in this economy, its more difficult to get fabrics. She added, But over the years, my stores still managed to keep prices in the $300-$500 range.
Goodin said parents usually subsidized the lavish cost of a prom dress.
Theyll shop with friends, but when they buy, theyll bring their moms. Dads will come in the store too. Theyll want to make sure their daughters appropriate, added Goodwin, with a sly smile.
Haley Cotgageorge 16, and Hannah Chapman, 17, both juniors at DHS, hoped to spend much less money. Cotgageorge said, $100 maybe, or less, and Chapman agreed that she was looking for something really, really cheap but it depends on how much money my moms put away.