Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Mid-Week Lift - Prom Bling


It's that time again - time for the Mid-Week Lift. Is it the middle of the week? Yes! Do you need a lift? I do. I found the perfect story for this time of year. It's prom time this spring and you may see scads of well-dressed teens haunting steak houses and Chili's restaurants this time of year on their way to Prom.

I remember for my senior prom I went stag with a group of friends and we all met up at my friend's house before going out to eat. I was very financially challenged at that particular time in my life, relying on babysitting money and the occasional monetary gift at birthdays and holidays to get me through the year. So, I was very proud to have found a really wonderful plum-colored dress at an even better price. Walking up to house in all my stunning loveliness, I was dismayed to hear my friend's brother-in-law (our driver for the evening) exclaim, "You look just like Barney!"

Yes. He. Did. My evening wasn't as fun as I had hoped it would be from that point on. Oh, well. Perhaps I should have been as innovative as this girl. I give her full marks for a)being so totally comfortable with herself that she would show up in such a FUN dress; and b)for being so totally crafty. Read on...

By MECHELE COOPER, Blethen Maine News Service May 19, 2008
Courtesy photo

Vanessa Randall of Wayne made her prom dress out of 3,000 gum wrappers.

WAYNE — Walking into the gym on prom night with a girl on his arm draped in a chewing-gum-wrapper dress was definitely different.

Max Pistner, a Maranacook Community High School senior, said he thought it was "very cool" that his girlfriend, Vanessa Randall, made her prom dress out of 3,000 gum wrappers.

Randall, a 17-year-old senior from Wayne, started collecting Wrigley gum wrappers three years ago to make the dress. Friends, relatives and co-workers saved wrappers for her.

Pistner, who lives in Manchester, said he was just glad she got the dress done in time. She started sewing it together only a week before their recent prom.

Randall said she reinforced the dress with duct tape inside along the edges and used elastic braids around the straps and collar and in between some of the chains down the back so she could easily slip into the dress.

She came up with the design after drawing sketches all year.

"I came up with how it was going to look like the week before the prom," she said. "The theme of the prom was Japanese, so I was inspired by that in making the collar and flower pattern around the middle and back."

Her father, David Randall, an artist and sculptor, said his daughter got the idea from an article she read about a Lewiston girl who made her prom dress out of Starburst candy wrappers.

"We had that newspaper article on the refrigerator. That was the inspiration for it," he said. "Vanessa wanted to do something different and came up with the gum wrappers. She was really enthusiastic about the whole thing. My only concern was that she wasn't going to get it done in time, but she kept at it."

"She has a lot of creative energy and uses it in a great artistic way," said her mother, Ellen Randall. "She is following her dad's footsteps in creating art."

She said her daughter enrolled in a yearlong internship program in Germany, where she hopes to study art. Last summer, she studied fashion design under the auspices of the Early College program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Vanessa said she will continue to fold gum wrappers into chains and turn them into her own designs, possibly one day to profit from her work.

"I have some extra that I was thinking of making corsages out of and accessories like purses," she said. "I might be able to sell them on the Internet."

Go, Vanessa! I'm sure we'll be hearing about her in years to come.

Stay on the path...

1 comment:

Em said...

Wow - that is SO cool! This girl is going to be famous (really!) someday! What a great design too... Love that little lift for today!