June 23, 2011

The Hoop Skirts of Metro East

If you grew up in one of the refinery towns on the Illinois side of the river near St. Louis, your prom dress probably had a hoop skirt. Your mother's prom dress probably did, too: As this week's feature, "Hoops Dreams," explores, in the close-knit communities of Bethalto, East Alton, Wood River and Roxana, antebellum gowns have been the prom attire of choice since the mid-50s. Photographer Jennifer Silverberg attended this year's Roxana prom -- and brought back plenty of pictures to share.
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The hoop skirts of Southern Illinois prom fame.
The hoop skirts of Southern Illinois prom fame.
Chelsea Evans and Aaron Warning
Chelsea Evans and Aaron Warning
Jane Pratt
Jane Pratt
The hoop skirts of Southern Illinois prom fame.
The hoop skirts of Southern Illinois prom fame.
There's quite a bit of waiting around before the students are able to enter the room where the prom is held.
There's quite a bit of waiting around before the students are able to enter the room where the prom is held.
There's quite a bit of waiting around before the students are able to enter the room where the prom is held.
There's quite a bit of waiting around before the students are able to enter the room where the prom is held.
The setting certainly lends itself to the fairy tale atmosphere.
The setting certainly lends itself to the fairy tale atmosphere.
The Hoop Skirts of Metro East
The hoop skirts of Southern Illinois prom fame.
The hoop skirts of Southern Illinois prom fame.
From left to right are Morgan Kutter, Gage Liley and Molly Stinson.
From left to right are Morgan Kutter, Gage Liley and Molly Stinson.