Wanhat, ”olds”, is a prom danced in Finnish high schools in every February. Second-year students became the oldest of the school after last year students leave for a study period after their party, “penkkarit”, a day before.
Wanhat-prom is one of the most waited moments in high school. There is a course where dance is practised, partners are chosen already a year before, and dance appearance is thought for a long time beforehand etc. The prom is a big thing. Boys put on costumes and fix their look, girls wear most amazing princess dresses, get amazing hairdos and put on a beautiful makeup.
I had my Wanhat-prom in 2009. Since the dress style has changed a bit: 11 years ago, taffeta was in fashion, when now tulle takes over the dance floors. I had a quite simple, stripless, dark blue dress.
Today, my cousins turn to dance in her Wanhat-prom. I got to be part of her day in the form of a dress. I got an honour to design and make her dress. She asked me already in April last year if I could do her dress. Yes, I answered. She sent me inspiration pictures of dress styles and colours she liked. I have to say that turquoise fabric is not the easiest to find. In the end, I managed to find turquoise tulle and lining but had to think outside the box with the main fabric. I spotted the glitter fabric and suggested that to my cousin, who directly got excited and was IN!
In October we had the first fitting. Last weekend we tried out the final dress, I made the final adjustments and gave the dress to the dancer on Sunday. The same feeling took over that I described in Custom-made fuchsia dress -post. That happiness when I saw that the dress fit perfectly and the client was happy. The project took quite long since I live in Stockholm and my client in Finland so we couldn’t meet that often.
The dress is made the same way as the first prom dress that I made three years ago (already!!) to my little cousin. It’s in two parts: under is a shorter dress and over is a long skirt: That way my cousin can use the shorter dress again in some future parties. My little cousin, for example, used the shorter dress in her graduation party a year after the prom! I have never used my prom dress again, and that I think is a pity. I never got a chance to wear a long dress again, and now it’s too late with that dress (I was some smaller when 17). I wrote about why I design long dresses in two pieces earlier here.
I have already got a few sneak peeks from the prom tonight, but I can’t wait to see the rest of the photos. If you want to see the dress in action, go follow my Instagram: @viivilaakkonenofficial. I will post photos from Wanhat 2020 there as soon as possible. You can already find the first one on my Instagram story.