I remember my senior prom. The only reason I got a new dress was because my mother saw one she knew I would adore in my size on such a ridiculously good sale that she bought it without even consulting me. Luckily, she knew my style really well. It was just the dress I would have picked left to my own devices.
In fact, the only reason I went to my senior prom was that my boyfriend at the time started talking about what he was going to wear, and, well, I figured that meant he wanted to go.
Other girls, though, put a lot more thought and effort into prom. Diane McNease certainly did!
See the bodice of her prom dress? She constructed the entire thing out of Starburst wrappers. The skirt is a far more conventional black satin over layers of tulle.
McNease got inspired when she saw a friend folding Starburst wrappers to make bracelets. Somehow this lead to a dare, which McNease happily took:
“Someone said I couldn’t do it. That’s the last thing you should say to me.”
After a year and a half of collecting wrappers (she started out eating all the candy herself, but quickly found that was too much… and had no difficulty recruiting volunteer candy eaters), and another five months folding and then hand sewing strips of wrappers. Her father helped her with the construction of the bodice and her friend Bria Johnson made the skirt to go with it.
Partway through the process, McNease discovered she wouldn’t be the first teen to don a Starburst wrapper prom dress when Tara Frey’s mother, Kerrin, announced the dress she had spent six years making for her daughter’s prom.
McNease says she was already underway with her plans when Frey’s dress hit the headlines:
“But I really admire her dress. Especially the shoes. They are fantastic.”
Even more than the fun dress, I like this girl’s creativity, determination, and generous attitude.
Diane McNease, I offer you a twenty-one Starburst salute!