This year we played the Prom Fairy Godmother and made two fashion wishes come true for two very lucky students’ special night. We’re talking about the Prom Queen competition we launched in early March, when we encouraged our Pinterest-loving fans to create a board dedicated to their dream prom dress with the chance to win a fabulous frock inspired by the very same mood boards. Months passed, entries flooded in and finally, our prestigious design team sifted through the incredible submissions to find two of the most enticing boards that they were eager to turn from theme to bespoke gown!
Enter Alina Pena, our US winner from La Guardia Performing Arts High School whose ‘70s-style, glitter-tastic and butterfly covered mood board caught the design team’s attention. This wasn’t just any dress-winning-competition either. Alina had initial design sketches sent over to her before being whisked over to Topshop HQ in London for a fitting with our pattern team and time to put the finishing touches on the gorgeous gown. The result has a sumptuous lilac gown with a sheer overall and puff sleeves – a dreamy, romantic silhouettes that all of the staff at Topshop HQ were swooning over. What more could a girl ask for? Oh, an article on Teen Vogue following the whole experience wouldn’t go a miss either!
We stole some of Alina precious time in London and chatted to her about the competition, prom beauty looks and what she’s expecting for the big night.
What are blogs or magazines are you’re into at the moment?
I’m a big fan of Tavi Gevinson, her blog and Rookie, I’m on there quite a bit. I’m subscribed to Teen Vogue and Marie Claire and whenever we go to airports I get Vogue and more high fashion magazines that I normally wouldn’t get. Also, my friend has a really cool blog called You’re A Tulle, that’s great.
Where is your prom?
it’s on Park Avenue. It’s supposed to be a really nice. I’m hoping it’s going to be just like Virgin Suicides. Nice and sparkly.
What are you thinking for your make-up look?
I think I’m going to keep the nail polish I have on now, it’s a light pastel, periwinkle blue. I’m probably going to get streaks in my hair in like a pink or lavender colour extensions maybe.
Is your dress what you imagined?
We fitted it today and pinned me in and it felt very glamorous! It’s so perfect. I was so highly specific about butterflies and now they’re all over it.
Where did the main inspiration come from?
I was torn between two things. I didn’t know if I wanted to do a strictly Virgin Suicides, ‘70s, flowly thing or more of a rockabilly rebel look with a fitted gingham dress. When I started making the board I went through my fashion and shoes folders and saw that a lot of things I loved were sheer and floral so I pulled all of those things that were similar. It’s a similar vibe to Meadham Kirschoff. I threw all of those images into my Pinterest board and I never thought that this would happen!
What are you listening to at the moment?
There’s this band called The Growlers, their aesthetic is totally not consistent with the dress they’re really dark and sun soaked at the same time. Evil carnival-meets-The Beach Boys that reminds me of chilling with your friends by the pool.
Do you have any fashion people who you look up to?
Tavi again and pretty much every Wes Anderson character like The Royal Tenembaums. I looked for a tennis dress that Margot wears for so long and finding one felt like such a success. Audrey Hepburn is everyone’s right? I’ve got little bangs just like hers.
What have you planned for prom so far?
It’s hectic. There’s pre-prom where I’m hoping to get ready with the girls. Then actual prom, which I hope, will be lots of eating ice cream, plenty of dancing, saying goodbye! And then there’s ‘After Prom’ which is like a big party with pretty much everybody from the school. Hopefully staying out as late as possible. Falling asleep on the beach, etc.
Do you have a date?
My friend Josh asked me so he’s probably going to be dressed equally as wild, I think everyone will be impressed by him.
What’s planned post-prom?
I’m going to Queen College in September for their Macaulay Honours programme. As for over the summer my best friend and I are probably going to go to Greece, I’m looking forward to that. I might go to Florida with my friend Gabi and all the girls. I’m gonna try and take trains places and cross state lines with my friends.
We asked Alina what she’d like to hear at prom and she very kindly made an awesome playlist just for us Topshop gals.
“It’s a bit of a mix. I knew the whole prom/leaving high school was going to be a pretty wild mix of emotions, so I figured I would let the playlist do the same. The majority is, of course, all that sort of chaotic-self-centered-I-don’t-care-about-anything-but-having-fun type of music that has everything to do with prom night, but there are also songs that are there just ‘cos they’re great to dance to or they contain the kind of sentimental and nostalgic feelings that I’m having at the moment.”
Stay tuned to hear more about our second winner from the UK.