Arts & Entertainment

This Teen’s Coronavirus-Themed Prom Dress Will Amaze You

Her creativity is off the charts – and might even earn her a $10,000 scholarship.

When most people think of fashion, they don't usually think of duct tape.

But that didn't stop 18-year-old Peyton Manker from entering the Duck Brand's "Stuck at Prom" contest to create a dress made entirely from the sticky stuff.

Participants in the contest were challenged to create a prom outfit entirely out of Duck Brand duct tape, with the winner receiving a cash scholarship of $10,000.

Peyton created a coronavirus-themed dress entirely out of duct tape. Susy Smith Manker/Facebook

At first, Peyton thought she would model the dress after the work of one of her favorite artists, Leonardo da Vinci, but after the coronavirus happened and both her prom and graduation were canceled, she decided to go with a different theme.

"I decided to make the dress based on the pandemic because I knew no one in the competition was going to be able to re-create it," Manker told Insider. "I knew I would stand out in that way and wanted to base it off of what was happening in the world."

Peyton spent over 394 hours and used 41 rolls of duct tape to make a flowing, off the shoulder gown that would please any princess. She used blue tape to create the dress and hand painted scenes that represent the pandemic including a virtual graduation, front line workers wearing masks and people running from the virus.

Peyton created the dress for Duck Brand's annual "Stuck at Prom" contest. Susy Smith Manker/Facebook

In addition to the dress, Peyton created matching accessories, like a bouquet made of toilet paper rolls, a purse shaped like a coronavirus germ and, of course, a matching face mask made of duct tape with the words "Flatten the curve" on it.

Peyton hopes that the dress will bring a sense of joy and whimsy to people, even with the serious subject of the coronavirus as the outfit's central element.

Peyton added accessories to her outfit, like a bouquet made of toilet paper rolls to poke fun at the nationwide shortages that took place during the pandemic. Susy Smith Manker/Facebook

"The entire dress is supposed to represent the pandemic in a positive light," Manker said. "I don't want people to think about the dress as just trying to show a moment in history. It is a representation that we got through it."

Peyton's mom recently shared a Facebook post showing off her daughter's design which has been shared over 250,000 times. And while community voting for the designs won't be open until June 29, a lot of folks are already saying that Peyton's dress deserves the top prize.

Peyton also made jewelry and an ankle bracelet to show that we're all in the struggle to fight the virus together, and that "this too shall pass." Susy Smith Manker/Facebook

"This is a stunning artistic expression of global crisis," one user commented. "I agree that this dress should at some point be in a museum. Her talent is beyond words."

While Peyton was hoping to get some good feedback for her duct tape design, she's been a bit surprised by all of the attention she's been getting.

"I didn't even think anyone besides the people in my hometown would see my dress, and now people from all over the world are contacting me," Manker said. "I don't even know how to react to it. It feels surreal to me."

Peyton will find out if her gown is one of the five contest finalists soon. Susy Smith Manker/Facebook

How can you start something good?

Keep up to date with Peyton's progress and see if her dress is chosen as one of the five favorites by following her Facebook page.

You can check out some of the other "Stuck at Prom" contest entries here.

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