By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
THE NIGHT ended in smiles as well as tears as the local boutique The Guest List hosted its first ever prom expo and fashion runway show.
The “Once Upon A Prom” event attracted a large crowd of young women and men to Breezes Bahamas last Sunday.
The aim of the event was to provide a one-stop shop experience for young ladies preparing for their prom night.
“We know how stressful prom time can be, and so at this show we had every aspect of prom night covered – from the dresses, which of course are available at The Guest List, to hairstylists, photographers, limousines, to the tuxes for their date to help them plan,” said Aquelle Tuletta of The Guest List boutique.
Via their Facebook page, The Guest List posted a photo earlier this month asking young ladies to submit the following: a photo of themselves, a brief essay on their academic achievements and why they should be chosen to win the ultimate prom package. The second part came in where the 12th grade participants were asked to have their family members and friends vote for them online and at the actual event.
On Sunday, 18-year-old Rhodesia Johnson, a student at CV Bethel High School, walked away with the ultimate prom fairy tale package after receiving the highest number of votes.
“She won her prom gown, hairstyle, makeup, nails, and basically everything she would need for prom, including photography,” said Aquelle.
During the fashion show segment, more than 50 dresses which have been worn by celebrities on red carpets were modelled on the ballroom runway.
Aquelle said it is The Guest List’s goal to bring that kind of style to the Bahamian shores.
“We know a lot of ladies are interested and want to know where they can get that particular gown that they saw maybe on VH-1’s ‘Single Ladies’ fashion inspired show or at the Grammys. If people are familiar with the show ‘Single Ladies’, that is the concept of The Guest List. The dress I am wearing now, Draya from ‘Basketball Wives’ just wore this last week. This is the first ever prom expo and fashion runway show for us and I am impressed and cannot wait for next year,” she said.
Aquelle said they decided on the “Once Upon A Prom Time” theme because they wanted to incorporate a few Disney characters. The gowns and other elements throughout the show depicted fairy tales such as “Alice in Wonderland”.
In an interview with Tribune Entertainment, prom package winner Rhodesia said it was awesome to come out victorious, but at the same time it made her sad to see the runner-up, Delshama McKenzie, shed tears after hearing the results.
“I knew that it was going to be someone that was behind me and seeing her cry really touched me. Prom is very important to me and I needed it bad because my mom has two children and we don’t have (money) like that, said Rhodesia.
“People only look at you on the outside and they don’t know what is going on the inside, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I appreciate this from The Guest List; I give them a special thank you and I will enjoy my time at prom on June 12,” said Rhodesia.
Aquelle said she was touched to see the runner-up, Delshama, a student at CR Walker, cry on stage. However, she said she was also happy to see how it all turned out, seeing sponsors of the show, the hairstylists, nail technicians and the co-host, Kedar Clarke, decide to step up and offer their services to Delshama free of charge.
“It was almost like it tied in to theme where the fairy godmother came in and took over. I am happy for the both of them because you only see these things on television. Just to see it on stage in our own little town is amazing,” said Aquelle.
The co-host of the show, Kedar Clarke, took to his Kedar In Style Facebook page to post the following heartfelt message: “Over the weekend I had the pleasure of co-hosting The Guest List’s ‘Once Upon A Prom’ event.
The store hosted an online competition where the winner would have been given everything she needed for the most fabulous prom experience.
First, I’d like to say congratulations again to the winner Rodeisha.
The runner-up Delshama touched me when she buried her head in her mother’s shoulder and cried. As I was about to wrap up and just end the show, I felt urged to just do my best to share what I could with Delshama,” said Kedar.
He said he offered his styling services and promised to find everything else she would need. That is when a flood of blessings started coming in.
“Mrs Tuletta offered to handle her shoes; photographers Jay Issacs and Shawn T stood up and offered to be her photographers; makeup artist Lucy Lu, Mandisa and beauty specialist from Jaya’s Hair x Beauty salon offered to do her hair, makeup and nails; designer David Rolle offered to design and construct her gown; a local jewellery store owner offered accessories, and a random attendee at the show offered to sponsor cash wherever it was needed,” Kedar said.
“In one quick moment, this young woman and everyone there experienced the power of love and God. I swore her cries got louder, but I heard the happiness through them. I can’t wait to show you all her finished prom look.”
A guest of the event, Jessica Farrington, said it was amazing to be in the audience and watch this event unfold right before her eyes.
“She went there and after she heard she didn’t win, she thought she would have left with nothing, but through God’s grace she got more than enough to have her Cinderella prom.
“It was inspiring to see the number of local artisans, stylists and photographers who were willing to give their services free of charge for the young lady’s dream to come true as well,” she said.
• For more photos from ‘Once Upon A Prom’, see ‘Made U Look’ on PAGE 8.