STYLEwise: Embracing old school etiquette

Isabella DiMattia ready for last Saturday’s South Grafton Debutante Ball after some hairstyle handiwork by mum Kerrie.
Isabella DiMattia ready for last Saturday’s South Grafton Debutante Ball after some hairstyle handiwork by mum Kerrie.

It was just like a scene from Downton Abbey when, on Saturday night, 11 beautiful girls in chiffon, silk, satin and tulle were taken by the hand by 11 handsome young men in suits and ties and lead to the floor to begin the debutante waltz.

But a far cry from Yorkshire England post 1910, this was South Grafton High 2015, and I'll fess up, my daughter Isabella was one of those young ladies making her debut this year. 

Loosely arranged for a casual ‘formal’ look.
Loosely arranged for a casual ‘formal’ look.


You would think with the fairly free and liberal social lives of today's teenagers, the thought of young women being formally presented to society could at first seem a little outdated and possibly even a little insulting to the modern progressives.

To their credit the 11 girls and their partners on that cool autumn evening have not only elected to be there but embraced the lesson in history and etiquette along with the encouragement of their parents who drove them to and from dance lessons, helped outfit them and sat with abated breath along with other families and friends as we waited for them all to make their big entrance.

Not only was I lucky enough to attend the ball, I had the privilege of sharing the morning with some of these young ladies in the salon and shed a tear or two with a few of the mums.

If we look at it through their eyes this literally is the biggest event of their young lives so far, the girls are by this stage extremely organised, they have chosen the dress of their dreams and possibly had last minute alterations by the amazing Leah from Lasting Impressions (thank you Leah) to ensure they fit perfectly. They have also worn out the Pinterest app on their phones looking for hair and make up ideas and walked their mums legs off looking for the perfect shoes, a pair that had just enough height to look 'hot' but something they could still manage to descend the stairs in without breaking a limb.

That morning they each walked in confidently with three or four pictures on their smart phones of hair and make up styles they had picked out. But they were also happy to take the advice of our team. The only nervous one in the bunch was me. After all the up styles I've done over the years nothing makes you feel like a beginner again than having to impress your own child.

The stand out trend in hair for this year's deb season has been a braid/twist or two, usually incorporated into a low chignon or unstructured bun but a few have also leaned towards the trend that we saw a few years ago of a more contained, less dishevelled look bordering on a little vintage.

No matter what hairstyle or make-up look they chose, the 18 or so young ladies we had the pleasure of pampering over the past few months (Grafton High's was back in April) have all looked and felt like the princess/A-lister they dreamt they would emulate for their big day. It's McAuley's turn next on June 13. Enjoy the moment.

- Kez x

Topics:  fashion hair stylewise

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