The teen says her dress, which she made out of 38 duct tape rolls, represents the 'specific elements of our world that can live together.'
Improvised and sustainable fashion is no stranger to the fashion industry today. The Stuck at Prom Scholarship contest, held earlier this year in 2023, was quite a creative and vibrant one. The iconic pieces were created out of rolls of duct tape combined with an excellent energy and thirst for fashion. The contest aimed to create the most stunning outfit out of duct tape to earn a $10,000 scholarship from Duck Brand. Ritika Singh, a graduate of Wisconsin High School, who also took part in the contest decided to do something beautiful and selfless.
USA Today reported that she spent over 100 hours and 38 rolls of duct tape to put together a mind-blowing earth-themed gown. The graduate who plans to move to Hofstra University made a call to donate her mesmerizing dress to the Mount Mary’s Fashion University Archive. Though the prize was bagged by another teen from Los Angeles, Singh made a more profound win. Her creativity will be displayed in the university’s welcome center throughout the fall 2023 semester. The dress will also be used for referencing by fashion students. This means Singh’s dress does more than adorn, it will aid in learning, experimenting and inspiring unique creations.
The article further mentioned that Mary Elliot Nowakowski, a former member of the university contacted Donna Ricco, an executive at Mount Mary University regarding the dress. “The collection is about 10,000 pieces of historic clothing and accessories that range back to about 1760 right up to the present day," Nowakowski said. "It's a resource for Mount Mary's fashion design students because they learn the history of clothing and they can study techniques, understand designers, and look at clothing construction and fit. It serves as a tremendous inspiration for students."
Like many participants, even Singh was upset about not having made it to the first place with her hard work and struggle. “But then Mount Mary called, and it was a complete turnaround with everyone being so happy for me that my dress will be somewhere where it will be remembered." The dress is more than a fashion inspiration at its core. It is designed to represent unity, humanity and several other symbolic concepts. The dress has duct tape representations of every continent, symbols for eight major religions and 198 countries' flags. There's also a human chain. It is a dress that imbibes more than just a sense of fashion.
“If you look closely, the arms and legs make hearts which shows that everything is about love because that's one thing we genuinely know how to do naturally," Singh said. "I want people to see the dress and take a minute to listen to other people's opinions, put their differences aside and just look at people as fellow humans." Singh’s dress has encouraged budding designers to add emotion and thoughtfulness to their creations. To spread a message that will be remembered along with style. Though Singh didn’t win the contest and earn the scholarship, she was gifted $1000 by Nowakowski which will go into her further studies. "We have this young woman who is not pursuing a degree in fashion design, but she's using fashion and this dress to further her education," Nowakowski said. "I think that's just fantastic."
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