PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — The dress stuck with judges: Grace Vaughn won the Duck brand's Stuck at Prom 2022 Scholarship Contest!
She will be awarded a $10,000 cash scholarship to fund her future path, according to a news release Wednesday. So, too, will Chidinma Onwuliri of Mississauga, Ontario, for winning Best Tux.
"Each of our contestants had a special story to tell this year, from hoping to empower others with their designs to pushing their artistic abilities to the limit, and they should all be very proud of their Duck Tape® looks," said Ashley Luke, the senior product manager at Shurtape Technologies, LLC, the company that markets the Duck brand in a statement.
"We congratulate Grace, Chidinma and all of our participants for making masterpieces that show the world what can be achieved with some creativity and originality."
The previous version of this story is below.
It took 45 rolls of duct tape and 143 hours for Grace Vaughn to construct a floor-length ball gown for the Duck brand Stuck at Prom 2022 National Scholarship Contest.
The Duck brand holds this competition yearly. The winner is offered a $10,000 scholarship prize, and the top five finalists receive $500.
The 17-year-old Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School rising senior began her dress in late March. This is her second year participating in the contest.
"Last year, I made my dress, and I submitted it," Vaughn said. "Even though I didn't win, it was so much fun. So, I decided to do it this year."
She began by sketching out different designs.
"I started making the dress, and my dress and idea completely shifted," Vaughn said. "Sometimes that's how the creative process works. It just completely changes and definitely in a good way."
At a table in her family's living room, Vaughn would spend hours after school and track practice working on the dress.
Yin and Yang inspires Pasco teen's dress made out of duct tape
Three months and several store trips for more duct tape later, her dress was finished, weighing in at 13 pounds.
Her visual inspiration for the design was based on the Yin and Yang theory, which she said represents balance in one's routine. She layered black and white tape to create a fitted bodice and a skirt that resembles layers of petals.
Despite the dress' beauty, Vaughn didn't get to wear it to prom.
"It would be pretty cool, but it's very hard to maneuver in because it's duct tape," she said.
Vaughn enjoyed playing around with fabrics and sewing when she was younger, but the two duct tape dresses she created were her first finished pieces.
However, she hopes to increase her design skills and study fashion at The Savannah College of Art and Design. Winning the contest's scholarship money would be a huge help.
"It definitely means a lot because I want to go into fashion, and getting some money for the school that I want to go to really helps out," Vaughn said.
She finds out the results of the competition on Wednesday, but until then, she's happy with her finalist position.
"I was really excited, and I felt like I was finally getting the recognition that I deserved from the last dress," Vaughn said. "Even if I wouldn't win, I know that my family and friends are really proud of me."