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Anything goes in flowers for today's prom

LEANNE ITALIE
The Associated Press
Modified: April 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm •  Published: April 17, 2013
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The elaborate invitation has been proffered and accepted, the limo rented and the outfits coordinated, so what's next when planning for prom?

That traditional pop of spring, of course, in the corsage and boutonniere.

Once a sweet surprise and often all white to go with any outfit, prom flowers have made the leap into the new millennium with glitzy embellishments, jewelry attachments and a world of creativity for the florists who design them.

No more scratchy, throwaway wristbands (unless you want one) and no more fumbling with straight pins as your nervous date squirms. Today's corsages don't even have to be corsages. Flowers can be worn on the head, upper arm or shoe, at the shoulder, on a necklace, as a ring or even stuck right onto a bare back or leg.

These days, flowers have taken their place as a key accessory rather than mere appendage handed over in time for photos before heading out the door.

"Everyone wants to be unique and different from someone else and that's a big deal, trying to do something different," said Jasmine Snow, accessories editor for Seventeen magazine. "It's so cool to be able to try these new modern takes on using fresh flowers as opposed to just doing the normal."

ATTACHMENTS: Bangles, beads, multiple strands of rhinestones, fancy cuff bracelets in silver, gold or any wire creation imaginable have replaced the cheapy wristlets of corsages past. Slap bracelets are also used as a base, easily painted or sprayed with glitter to match an overall look. Some florists stock options but invite customers to bring along their own jewelry.

"These days you can safely glue on so you don't damage the jewelry, and then the girl has something to keep after prom instead of us being 20 years later with dry old roses. You've actually got this bracelet or this necklace that you can look back at and go, 'Oh, that was so much fun,'" said Della Mendenhall, a manager and product developer at Gillespie Florists in Indianapolis.

Boutonniere holders (think ice cream cone shape) often anchor the traditional male floral in metal. They come in filigree, vine and many other designs. Magnet sets can be used to keep them in place, and they can be reused for high schoolers who plan to attend more than one prom.

Sparkly broaches or decorative pins can also be used as an attachment for teens of any gender.

EMBELLISHMENTS: Anything goes regardless of where you decide to place your flowers — and whether you're the one in a dress or a tux. Colored feathers, ribbons of different textures, prints and widths and silk leaves can be mixed. Arrangements can have dangling strands of beads or rhinestones or bejeweled pins. And in a trend borrowed from the wedding industry, plant succulents and pods are used as accents.

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