Hot pink hair, neon green pants, and bright yellow sunglasses are some of the latest eccentric outfits that both U.S. teens and tweens have lately been sporting.
Formal wear has not escaped this trend and quinceañera dresses are no exception.
“Before, the quinceañera dress was a soft pink or white,” said Maria Castillo, owner of in South Gate. “That tradition is [now being] lost because the colors are strong.”
A quinceañera is a traditional celebration of life within Latino families, and a rite of passage to womanhood for 15-year-old girls.
According to Castillo, some of the trending colors are orange, turquoise and purple, among others.
“If you look closely, you will notice that the colors are of the season, the latest style,” said Castillo.
One such new age quinceañera dress, which hung from a rack at Princess Bridal, was a blue and green peacock-inspired gown laced with flower designs.
Paramount resident Nicole Acosta said she picked the dress because of its unique style and color.
“I wanted a color that no one had,” said Acosta. “I opened the catalog and saw it there. It was perfect.”
Colors have not been the only generational change. The cuts of the dresses are also evolving.
“Before, there were even quinceañera dresses with high collars,” said Castillo. “Now, the more revealing a dress, for the girls, the better.”
Risque cuts can clash with the traditional Mass that some Catholic families organize to accompany thee celebration. Revealing dresses can be deemed inappropriate in churches, which have different regulations for the quinceañeras.
“The girls wear gowns so it is usually not a problem, but they do come sleeveless, revealing too much [at times],” said Marco Reyes, a priest at Saint Emydius Church in Lynwood.
Sometimes, it is the mother’s dress style that clashes with tradition rather than the daughter's.
“Usually it is the mother that I have to have covered up, because [they are] either in a mini-skirt or low-cut dress,” said Reverend Reyes.
Alhough a large number of quinceañeras continue to be celebrated at Mass at Saint Emydius, the priest has noticed a heightened interest in trendy dresses and all-out parties, and a diminishing religious role in the festivities.
“They lose perspective as to what is important,” said Reyes. “A lot of people become too materialistic."
The coming-out parties can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000, and the dress itself can cost about $500, according to Castillo. Celebrating a Mass at Saint Emydius can be arranged with a $500 donation.
Some families choose not to hold a Mass. However, saving money is not the only reason for passing on the religious celebration.
A Mass will not be part of Acosta's quinceañera celebration because religion does not play a big role at her home.
“My family is not that religious,” said Acosta.
Whether a debutante chooses to celebrate her quinceañera fully decked out or in simple fashion, Castillo said she is prepared with catalogs that feature the latest styles to match each type of girl.
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