Hey there, you wonderful person! As you may know, prom season is upon us, and that means a flood of adorable couple pictures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I remember envisioning how my very own senior prom would be: a fancy dinner with my gorgeous Adonis-esque boyfriend, a wonderful night of dancing and of course, the perfect prom dress.
Flash forward to the future. Senior year. The weeks started to wind down and I realized that prom was just around the corner and I was still without a dress. All my friends were already planning which salons they needed to make appointments with before prom, and there I was, flipping through the screenshot photos of their dresses, feeling the panic set in.
The heavens obviously heard my cry for help, because then, Lady Gaga, (my hero as you may all know) premiered her Artpop film: G.U.Y.
After crying over the video for a good fifteen minutes, I felt a surge of inspiration. The whole entire video left me in awe, and the visuals were completely flawless. Every single shot of her at Hearst Castle had me drooling, but one shot in particular caught my eye.
It was after Gaga made her way back to the castle, and became submerged in the pool, that the colors and the atmosphere got my attention:
This color combination was absolutely perfect. I loved the dark purples with the pops of pinks and orange details. The texture looked so light and girly, but not princess pink throw-up. This was symbolic of her healing process after her hip injury (or so I believe), and for me, this scene was all about reinvention of the soul, rejuvenation of the body, and rethinking of the mind in order to create ARTPOP.
I took the color scheme and the idea of reinvention and applied them to my prom dress design. Here is my original sketch:
I wanted a full tulle gown, similar to a Cinderella shaped dress, but I also wanted a special twist to my simple dress, which would be the packed with flowers and butterflies. My fabric shopping trip proved to me that this dress would be much more difficult than previously imagined, which forced me to rethink my concept.
I opted for an easier option, a full tulle dress with butterflies and no flowers.
Here’s what I needed for my dress:
1. Fabric for the bottom layer of my dress (white satin, approximately 1.5 yards).
2. Lots and lots of white tulle (approximately 20 yards).
3. Butterflies. Originally, I was going to make the butterflies for my dress out of feathers. I even went to the craft store and threw in thirty bags of feathers. However, as I was taking a stroll through the floral section, I saw all these butterflies dangling from a garland, and I knew it would be a much easier option.
4. Hot Glue Gun (uber-importante for my butterflies).
5. Fabric Paint & Brushes (good for painting the butterflies).
6. Needle & Thread/Sewing machine (to construct the dress).
I wanted to get the hardest thing out of the way, which was painting the butterflies.
I painted 200+ butterflies by hand, and I didn’t even end up using some of them because they didn’t fit my color scheme. It took a ton of work, and was extremely tedious, but it gives my dress more heart and soul.
The next thing I had to do was make my dress. I have zero experience with sewing or designing the cut of the dress, but thank goodness for Moms! My mother and I traced another one of my strapless dresses in order to recreate the bottom layer. The white satin slip was perfect! Then I added all the tulle, which was fairly simple. All I did was bunch together all my tulle and sew it into skirt form. I attached the skirt to my slip and cut off the excess. For the top, I wrapped layers of tulle over one another until I reached my desired texture and look. It basically looked like a wedding dress before I added the butterflies.
I did not mention this before, but I had a state tournament in Modesto on the day of my prom, which is two and a half hours away. So the morning of prom and my tournament, I completed my prom dress at 4 a.m., went through two rounds of competition, drove back to San Francisco and attended prom. It was crazy!!! The following pictures capture me in the whee hours of the morning, putting the finishing touches of my dress.
It was a complete success. I saved so much money on my dress. The total ended up being about $75! Here are some pictures to show you how my prom dress worked out, Photo credits to my homie Jason Leung!
My date and I!
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and are inspired to make your own prom dress. Save money and stand out!