A prom dress and tux made from duct tape might help pay for two students’ college tuition.
Senior Amber Squires and her prom date Kody Britt wore a matching ensemble made entirely of duct tape to Thursday night’s Green Sea Floyd High School prom.
The idea started in her 9th grade art class, when Squires’ art teacher Miss Hull mentioned the Stuck at Prom duct tape scholarship contest. The contest awards $5,000 to the best duct tape outfit, factoring in workmanship, originality, accessories and use of color. The school that hosted the prom also gets the same amount. The contest runs from March until June and winners are announced in July.
Three years later when her senior year rolled around, Squires remembered the contest while she was out shopping for prom dresses.
“I thought ‘Senior year, I’ll remember that forever and it’ll be like no other,’” she told ABC News.
Once she decided to enter the contest, she checked with her cousin, Britt, to make sure he was okay with the idea. She told him “you’ve gotta wear your duct tape suit.” After a little hesitation, he agreed.
She started designing the dress three months in advance. Squires,18, knew how she wanted the dress to look but didn’t draw anything in advance. Instead, she went to the store and chose the colors she liked the most.
“I’m a big cheetah fan,” said Squires, who chose cheetah, blue and black tape. “I didn’t really think about all of the colors of duct tape they had,” she said.
Once she had stocked up on supplies, 25 rolls of tape for her outfit and 15 for his – she was ready to start creating.
“I had arms full of duct tape and everyone was looking at me like I was crazy,” she said.
With the support of their family, the two helped each other make clothes, which cost $250.
“He had to stand there like a mannequin,” she said, describing the process of creating Britt’s cheetah suit.
It was difficult putting everything together. The duct tape would stick together or get crinkled and then they’d have to start the section over again. Squires created a corset back in the dress with string made from tape. Her aunt sewed in a zipper. Even her high heels were taped to match.
Sixty hours later, the clothes were done. Once they tried them on, the designs weren’t as comfortable as they had imagined.
“It was very uncomfortable. It was hot, it was like a sauna suit. But it was fun; I believe it was worth it,” said Britts, a junior at Aynor high school.
Only Squires’ art teacher knew about the duct tape clothes. “All of my classmates were really surprised and all the teachers were really proud,” she said.
Despite her taste for fashion, Squires hopes to become a nurse after high school.
“I love fashion and I love creating stuff but medical field is where I’m likely going,” she said.