I'm always so impressed with the skill and creativity of the young people who enter the "Stuck at Prom" scholarship content every year, and this year the finalists did not disappoint. The contest is sponsored by Duck Brand duct tape and encourages high schoolers to create prom outfits—they have a "Dress Category" and a "Tux Category"—out of duct tape. The rules for the outfits were explained on the contest website:
(i) must be an original creation, (ii) may not have previously won any award or contest, or (iii) may not copy, incorporate or be based on the work of a third party . . . Assistance from family and/or friends is permitted in creating the prom attire; however, paid professionals cannot participate in any way.
A panel of judges recently chose the finalists, based on workmanship, originality, use of colors, accessories, and use of Duck Brand duct tape.
If you click on each finalist's name, you can read about the creation and see how many rolls of duct tape they used making the outfit, and how many hours they spent. I perused the gallery, and honestly all of the creations are so cool and creative. If I had to choose, though, I'd probably vote for Ziqin C. in the dress category. They explain their beautiful red and black creation, which took 18 rolls and 100 hours:
I hoped to combine my studies of herbalism, woodblock printing, and costume design to make an ethereal and modern piece. Herbalism informed my choice of flowers. The chrysanthemum that lies on my chest expels windheat nodding to its placement between my lungs and the association red has with fire and passion. In combination with the Chinese rose in the center panel, liver heat is expelled and blood flow is regulated. My passions grow instead of burn because I regulate my time and combine my approach to each study. Woodblock printing encouraged my understanding of the flower's shadows and the order in which to layer colors. The time devoted to this art conditioned me for the time spent simply laying the tape. Following the ethereal concept, I found inspiration in Tang and Qing Dynasty clothing, as they seem to float without any wind and layer pieces effortlessly. The beauty of those times reached far past clothing, so I also showcased other art forms to honor the richness of the culture. As I am a mix of my Asian roots and my American reality, this dress credits everything that makes me, as if my own costume.
I'd also choose Emma C. for the tux category. They describe their steampunk-inspired tux, which took 13 rolls and 75 hours:
My tuxedo was inspired by steampunk fashion! I have always been interested in science fiction, so I decided to incorporate it in my look. The tuxedo, pants, and accessories were all made from scratch using paper, Duck tape, and some thin sheets of plastic. One of my favorite parts of creating this outfit was adding whimsical elements like the wings and gears on the clothing!
Ten scholarship prizes will be awarded among the finalists, including a $10,000 cash scholarship for the first place winner of the dress category and the tux category. You can vote here until July 12.