They say you can make anything with a little determination and a lot of duct tape. Apparently that includes a stunning prom dress.
Seventeen-year-old Christina Mellot of South Riding is a finalist in Duck Tape’s Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest, which challenges high school students to design a prom dress or tuxedo entirely out of Duck brand duct tape or crafting tape.
The two grand prize winners — one dress and one tuxedo — will receive $10,000 from Duck. Winners will be determined by public online voting. Two runners-up will receive $500 a piece.
Mellot, a Freedom High School student who runs two businesses on the commerce website Etsy, learned about the contest from friends and family who believed it tailored to her creative talents.
“I love sewing, so I’ve been sewing my dresses and prom dresses for a couple years now,” she said.
Creating the dress was a true labor of love for Mellot; it took her around 80 hours and 36 rolls of tape to realize her vision.
“I wanted to do something that could transform between three different looks, something unique,” she said. “I also got inspiration from the flowers in my backyard.”
The finished dress features an intricate flower-and-vine pattern and features interchangeable skirts — one transparent, one opaque. The latter weighs between 30 and 40 pounds on its own.
“It was very hot — there’s not much air circulation — but it was very cool to wear. The skirt had a lot of twirling action to it. Some people at prom didn’t even know it was duct tape until I told them, Christina said.
“It was amazing to watch her make it,” her mother Nicole Mellot said. “She had the skirt laid out on our floor, and the flowers alone took hours and hours of time. She really put her all into it.”
Though she just finished her junior year and isn't set on where she'd like to attend college, Christina says she would use the contest winnings to help further her education in fashion or costume design.
Those who wish to vote for Mellot’s dress can do so online at duckbrand.com/stuck-at-prom. Online voting closes on June 28 at 11:59 p.m.