The Corsage Project: Making Prom Dreams Come True at Boutique Ball 2014

Prom season has officially arrived. Though we’re a little on the old side for invitations, we were more than happy to live vicariously through the lucky ladies who attended Corsage Project‘s recent Boutique Ball in Toronto. A non-profit organization, Corsage Project is dedicated to giving young women in financial need the opportunity to celebrate prom with their peers by providing them with all the ingredients to a chic prom ensemble free of charge: the dress, matching accessories, and even a mini makeover.

As prom stylists in training, we dutifully shadowed the lovely Thurika K. as she embarked on her prom prep journey at Boutique Ball with her real life fairy godmother for the day Gail McInnes. As co-founder of Stylist Box, Gail knows a thing or two about styling celebrities for red carpets – a skill that, as it turns out, is very transferrable to the prom scene. From the before to the after shot, we followed along step by step as Thurika and Gail expertly navigated through a sea of generously donated gowns and accessories to arrive at the perfect prom look.

STEP 1: Thurika meets her Boutique Ball personal shopper fairy godmother, Gail. Also, she remembers to bring her younger sister (right) along for moral support (and some manual labour).

STEP 2: Team Thurika attacks the dress racks, gathering potential candidates (see Step 1 re: sister and manual labour). After a few rounds in the dressing room, we knock it out of the ballpark with a stunning magenta mermaid gown. It’s The One!

STEP 3: Team Thurika hits the shoe tables…

…the handbag tables…

…and the jewelry tables. Success on all fronts!

STEP 4(a): With her prom outfit in hand, Thurika gets a makeup consultation from the pros.

STEP 4(b): Quick selfie with the talented makeup artist, obviously.

STEP 5: Gail gives Thurika an impromptu prom hair consultation. Because there isn’t anything Gail can’t do. This is further evidenced in 3…2…1…

STEP 6: Fairy godmother Gail truly earns her wings when we encounter a major alterations emergency. The solution? She makes a quick phone call to Toronto-based womenswear designer and Project Runway Canada alumnus Lucian Matis, who generously offers to save the day. A personal visit with Lucian is scheduled for Thurika for a future date. #NBD.

Team Thurika cheers – her prom ensemble is officially complete, and she looks smashing!

STEP 7: Find Thurika a hot prom date worthy of her jaw-droppingly gorgeous look. Currently in progress. (Ssshhh, that last option might be more for S…).

Warmest of thank yous to Thurika and Gail for inviting us to join them on their Corsage Project adventure (we can’t wait to see your prom photos, Thurika!). We’re already looking forward to next year’s Boutique Ball, where we hope to graduate from Assistant Personal Shoppers to full-fledged Fairy Godmothers ourselves.

Want to learn more about The Corsage Project? Find out how you too can get involved over at

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