Designer dress and accessory rental company Rent the Runway decided to give back a bit of high-style hope to students who’s prom night dreams were all but washed away in the Hurricane Sandy fiasco. The wardrobe-recycling brand served up a Summer’s Night Dream-themed prom for students at East Rockaway High School—many of whom had been displaced when their school was hit by the storm and suffered $10 million in damages, remaining uninhabitable for several months. Hosted at the Hempstead House at the Sands Point Preserve on Long Island, students danced the night away in celeb-donated gowns to the sounds of live performances by Jordin Sparks and “Glee” star Darren Criss.
Rent the Runway birthed the contest idea to give back to students most affected by the storm. Seventeen-year-old Molly Bastow won over the brand with her essay nominating East Rockaway High for the prize.
“She told us not only how devastated their school and their homes were but also how they’d really come together as a school and how it brought them closer and how they found positives amidst a terrible situation,” Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss told Fashionista. “And that was the same for our company. Rent the Runway had a really difficult time with Sandy [the company lost power and business suffered], but it was the time that we had the closest bonding as a team.”
The students were treated to head-to-toe makeovers and outfitted in over 400 donated gowns (Solange Knowles and Sarah Jessica Parker even donated their red carpet dresses). Aerial bartenders served up sparkling cider while students danced across an LCD dance floor that mimicked the ground of a forest. The space was also outfitted with centerpieces made from actual trees and a plethora of flowers and greenery.