RICHMOND – Every girl dreams about her prom dress, but not every girl makes it herself - especially not with duct tape.
Richmond teen Giles Ferrell is a rising sophomore who created a duct tape dress that reads more like a work of art. Her stunning photos in the dress have landed her as a finalist in Duck brand duct tape’s nationwide contest Stuck at Prom. The contest challenges teens to create prom fashion completely out of duct tape and awards two winners a $10,000 scholarship.
“Whenever an artist makes something, it is putting a piece of themselves out into the world. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. So, it’s really exciting that this one worked,” Ferrell said.
Ferrell’s dress was inspired by the spray-painted Robert E. Lee Statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond after protests last year.
She said it embodies the clash of old ways and new ideas. “A dress is not only a representation of themselves, but the time that they are living in. I suppose it was a way for me to make sense of everything that was happening,” Ferrell said. “I wanted to look at things with a lens of beauty and find ways that things could be beautiful.”
“I decided to create a dress inspired by the spray painted Robert E. Lee Statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. The monument embodies the clash of old ways and new ideas, so I embraced these conflicts in the design of my dress. The hoop skirt and corset style bodice are reminiscent of the antebellum era, while the brilliant colors of the graffiti on the skirt represent the modern era. The past and present merge in the front of the dress, but the back is left empty for the future generations. The chain motif on the bodice and the padlock necklace represent slavery and the continued suppression of people of color.”Giles' entry in the Stuck at Prom Scholarship contest
The brand agreed it was beautiful and selected her as a finalist. Now, it’s up to voters to win the competition.
It took her 17 rolls of duct tape and 84 hours spread out over two months to create.