The class of 2020 has not had the final year of school anyone anticipated. However, with most states and territories already allowing formals with certain conditions and the New South Wales Government recently announcing that school formals are back on the table, students have a glamorous night ahead to look forward to – for those based outside of Victoria that is.
"No one can deny that the senior students have endured the year from hell as COVID-19 sabotaged so many cherished rites of passage. School retreats, sports carnivals, musical productions, and so many other popular Year 12 activities have been cancelled, which is why the New South Wales (NSW) Government's announcement last week to allow school formals to go ahead was so great," Abby Kheir said.
Abby Kheir is the founder, chief designer and CEO of international, boutique fashion label Abyss by Abby. With a cult following of more than 800k Instagram followers, Abby knows exactly what is on-trend and how to make a statement at your school formal.
"Since the good news was announced for NSW, we have had an incredible surge in demand for formal dresses. Students and parents are looking for the best of the best to make up for the punishing year they have endured," Kheir explained.
"We have heard from countless school-goers who have said they expected their post-school celebrations to look a lot more like pyjamas and slippers, than ball gowns and stilettoes. Usually we see Year 12 students starting to look at dresses anywhere up to a year before the event, so this two-month window is going to see a lot of last-minute purchases.
"In just the last week, we have seen a number of hot 2020 trends fly off our racks. While students search for the dress style that really feels like them, there are some key trends that will make their wearer stand out from the crowd.
"Most of the trends are around the wow factor. Everyone wants to celebrate through fashion this year. The more bling the better. Everyone is tired of being cooped up and they want to take glam to the next level. They want to enjoy themselves and look and feel fabulous.
According to Kheir, cut-outs have emerged as an attention-grabbing trend.
"Side-stomach cut-outs, back cut-outs, feature shoulder cut-outs are all super popular this formal season. In a number of our latest pieces at Abyss by Abby we have incorporated the cut-out trend and it is proving incredibly in-demand," Kheir said.
"The added detail of a cut-out really brings the cool-factor to any garment – its purposeful and playful."
"Bling has been a beloved feature on formal dresses since before I can remember. But this year the traditional bling is getting a 2020 shake up. Beaded bodices with sewn-on large crystals are out, and fully sequined gowns are in," Kheir said.
"This look will make anyone look like a star – and that is what your end-of-school formal is all about. So many students are loving this fresh take on ball gown bling. It is total glamour!"
"From slinky slips to corseted gowns – satin is in, and in a big way. Satin is classy, stylish and incredibly luxurious," Kheir added.
"Satin is a great alternative for students who want to shine bright but without the extravagance of a sequined dress. It also pairs beautifully with sparkle, so statement earrings and be-jewelled shoes are the ultimate combination if you are looking to catch the eye of everyone in the room."
According to Kheir, two-pieces scream fun and fashionable. Kheir has taken this street-wear trend and transformed it into a modern formal fashion statement on her online store.
"When we saw the way two-pieces were coming back in-trend, so we started drawing and have released some exciting new co-ords. If you're hitting your formal this year, a two-piece suit or a bralette-style top and matching skirt teams for a fashion-forward look," Kheir emphasised.
"Asymmetrical gowns are on trend this formal season in two big ways – a glamorous side leg slit and a show stopping one-shoulder feature," Kheir said.
"The infamous leg slit has been around forever – and it is not going anywhere. A leg slit is fun, exciting, and – of course – makes hitting the dance floor all the more easier. When it comes to the one-shoulder look, this trend is only growing more and more momentum. I am expecting to see this trend really take full force in the 2020 formal season."
To view the Abyss by Abby range of dresses & separates visit https://abyssbyabby.com
Abby Kheir started her career twenty years ago as a 21-year-old wanting to make her mark on the Sydney fashion scene. Today, her global fashion empire is online and her designs are worn all over the world. Kheir's designs have a distinct and recognisable theme that has caught the attention of fashion icons. An internationally acclaimed self-taught fashion designer with the ear of celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Nicole Scherzinger and Sofia Ritchie, Kheir has turned 'sexiness' into a multi-million dollar business.