Updates from the Prom Girls!

By Jennie Chancey

April 10, 1998, 8:00pm, from Stacy and Joslyn: Hey! It’s the night before prom and we are bouncing off the walls! We are getting ready to make one last run to the mall and Wal-Mart. The local newspaper is going to do something on us and our dresses. One of the local stations wanted to do something, too, but they wanted to follow us around all day tomorrow and stuff so we still don’t know about that. Well, that’s about it for now. We’ll be going crazy until tomorrow. Let’s just hope we get enough sleep! Thanks once again!!! Everyone who has seen them has been so amazed, the dresses are absolutely breathtaking!


April 11, 1998, 10:00pm (EST): From Stacy’s mom:

Well, they’re off – to the prom. and I can’t tell you how fantastic they looked. You really should have been one of the twenty (or so it seemed) people here at the house between 4:00 and 6:00. What a lively mad-house, but Stacy (at least) seemed to eat it up in style.

Last night Joslyn and another friend (Sarah, who was asked to the prom just a few days ago) spent the night. It had been several years since we had hosted a girl’s slumber party! Sam and I crashed at about 11:00 PM (we are old!), but the girls stayed up doing girl-things!!

Up semi-early this morning. I rolled Stacy and Joslyn’s hair at about 10:00, and they relaxed around the house until it was time to go for their hair appointments at 1:00 (I stayed home and worked in the flower beds, but apparently Joslyn’s mother met up with the girls for their) Estee Lauder Complete Make-Overs (aka the make up guidelines the girls had from you and from a Titanic magazine) at the local mall. They also met up during their make-overs with the journalist from The Huntsville Times. Stacy was particularly pleased that the journalist asked them about extra-curricular activities at school, and about college plans. Me too!

Stacy got home at about 4:30, and even with jeans and an old tee shirt, she was stunningly beautiful. The hair was half-Kate Winstet/Titanic and half-Stacy, and she really looked gorgeous. (OK, I’m her mother, but I am NOT exagerating). The journalist arrived not long after Stacy got home, and she just sort of made herself comfortable (as I hoped she would) following Stacy around. Joclyn and her mother, grandmother and father arrived shortly after. Joslyn also looked STUNNING!!

The house was also opened to friends of mine from the neighborhood who were privy to the BIG PROM PLANS, and “viewing” of the couples began at 4:30. The television crew and the newspaper photographer also arrived at about this time. I’m telling you, you were the only person missing, and we all truly missed you. Wish you could have been here to see your girls.

Then the dates arrived a la tuxedo!!!!! When they were dressed and came out everyone was speechless with the awe of it all.

To make a long story just a little shorter, there will be a story (with color photo) in the newspaper tomorrow (you can be sure that I will mail you a copy on Monday), and the local ABC affiliate is covering the “story” on the 10:00 PM news spot tonight. We will make a copy for you but don’t look for that until next week. It will probably take a few days for Sam to make copies of the video.

You are a close third for Queen of the Day (following only Joslyn and Stacy). You must know that we had our doubts (although the girls NEVER did) about hiring a seamstress over the internet to do prom dresses. Of course, at this point, I regret any doubts I ever had. Actually, I knew when we met in Atlanta that I had no doubts. Although a lot of the girls’ thrill was that you were as excited about the project as they were.

Any way, I sort of suspected that at some point during today or this evening your thoughts would turn to Huntsville, Alabama, and you might say to yourself, “Gosh, I guess the girls are putting on their dresses right about now!” so I thought I would give you this Mother’s view of the day. I am sure that Stacy will give you a first-hand recount of the

evening’s events either tomorrow or Monday.

Thanks again for making Stacy and Joslyn’s Senior Prom such a spectacular, and truly, a night to remember.

Sincerely,
Suzanne (aka Stacy’s mother)


April 14, 1998, from Stacy and Joslyn:

On Saturday morning we had hoped to sleep in to be all rested up but, alas, we had to get up and get our hair curled. Stacy’s mom did the hair rolling while we ate breakfast, then we sat outside to let our hair dry. A friend of ours came with us to the hair place and to get our make-up done. The woman who did our hair is Joslyn’s long-time hairdresser, but we did stop by on Wednesday to discuss hairdo’s. We arrived at 1:00 P.M., and Terri ( the hairdresser) got started right away.

The newspaper woman ( Courtney Hardee) arrived soon afterwards. Joslyn’s hair was done first in a french twist with the ends curled. A piece of hair was swept to the side and placed behind it was the tiara. We couldn’t use your idea because the tiara was more like a headband. Little tendrils fell by her ears. Stacy’s hair looked almost exactly like Kate’s when she wore the dinner dress, complete with tendrils and rhinestones along with the beaded strand running through it. Your directions were perfect (Terri remarked on how good a job you did). Unfortunately, there aren’t any great pictures of our hair, but there are a couple side shots. While our hair was being done the newspaper woman asked us questions and got our story. It was a good article because she got the whole story plus a little about us.

After the hair, we headed over to the mall for our make-up. We were loaded down with magazines and pictures of Kate and her make-up explanations. The make-up people did a great job. They were careful to match everything, but didn’t go too far. While we were there we saw our senior counselor. She was very excited for us. We saw her today (Monday) and she said she clipped the article. We were doing great on time. We were back at Stacy’s house by 4:15. We started getting dressed soon afterwards. The newspaper woman wanted to be there to see the struggle to get in the dresses without messing our hair up! It was an experience! Stacy’s was the hardest since she can’t step into her dress. We managed okay, though.

Everyone at Stacy’s house went crazy with compliments on our dresses and everything else. There were parents, friends, neighbors, more parents and cameras. The camera man and interviewer showed up and set up in Stacy’s room. Ryan and Butch (the dates) had already gotten dresses and ready. The T.V. newswoman interviewed us individually as we sat on Stacy’s bed. We proceeded to tell them the whole dress story also. After the interviews, we went outside in Stacy’s backyard to meet with the newspaper photographer. She sat all four of us down and posed us and took quite a few pictures. There were also about four different family members & neighbors taking pictures at the same time! After, we had to walk down a little hill in the backyard and take some more pictures for the photographer and serve as background for the T.V. newswoman’s opening story monologue. Finally, the news people left and we were left to more family pictures. After this Butch and Joslyn went home to take pictures and show off to her family and Stacy and Ryan went to Ryan’s house to do the same.

Next, the four met up at Joslyn’s and Butch’s place of employment, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and showed everyone there our dresses. They were all very excited and more pictures were taken. By then, it was about dinner time. The reservations were for 7:30 P.M. Almost immediately after we got there, we could hear three women whispering off to our right. We heard them say “Let’s go ask them,” and they approached us, asking if our dresses were from Titanic and telling us how beautiful they were. Later, after dinner, Stacy and Joslyn went to the ladies room to reapply lipstick. There, we were approached by two other women who hadn’t seen the movie, but automatically told us how gorgeous our dresses were. They were really excited. After we told them that they were from “Titanic,” they were even more excited. They went so far as to insist on opening the door for us. Immediately after, one of the waitresses recognized our dresses and praised us to high heaven.

After that, we were finally headed to prom! When we walked into the room, our French teacher, who had come just to see us, came up to us and told us how great our dresses were. Her sister-in-law had also come to see us and they proceeded to take pictures. Friends came up to us with cameras and people we don’t know came up to us with cameras. Six teachers in all came to praise our dresses. All in all we had at least 150 pictures taken of us over the course of the night!

The first song we danced to was “My Heart Will Go On” (if you can believe it!) from “Titanic.” We stayed at prom for close to two hours, then headed back to the hotel for movies and Nintendo games. When Joslyn and Butch arrived (before Stacy and Ryan did) the hotel clerk immediately recognized her dress and had her turn around and show it off, saying how beautiful it was all the while.

The whole night was truly magical and none of it would have happened without you! Everything went just as we had hoped it would. It was perfect! Monday, two days after, people came up to us in all our classes. In Economics people we don’t ever talk to came up to us and told us how beautiful our dresses were. That put a wonderful end to the perfect prom experience!

Thanks for all you’ve done,
Joslyn & Stacy


From the April 15, 1998, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times:

“Silver screen silks”

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Like other teen-age girls, Stacy Johnson and Joslyn Hernandez have seen Titanic more than once. But their consuming interest was the dresses. The two figured the elaborate, expensive costumes – which won an Academy Award – would be a surefire way to stand out at Butler High School’s spring prom. The problem was getting replicas. On the Internet, they discovered seamstress Jennie Chancey, whose Sense and Sensibility Clothing in Virginia makes period costumes. She agreed to recreate two of the evening gowns worn by actress Kate Winslet. Chancey kept costs down by substituting silk taffeta for dupioni silk, and used lace overlay and beaded fringe for the trim. Each girl paid about $500. “Ours were the only ones she was making,” Johnson said. “And no one else would have any like them.”


Click on the thumbnail for the full-sized image.


May 5, 1998: NBC’s “Access Hollywood” featured the gowns last night on its show! Hope you were able to see the girls model their dresses.
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