It's prom season and that means millions of young women around the world have been frantically searching for the perfect dress to wear to their celebration. While teens are searching dress stores, thrift shops, their mother's closet, and anywhere else they think they may find "the dress," one teen in the Phillippines made her dream dress a reality using her own two hands.
Ciara Gan is a 17-year-old student from Taguig city in the Philippines. Gan decided she was going to custom-design, sew, and hand-paint her own graduation gown and the results were so stunning, she's gone viral!
Gan shared a tiny model of her dream dress on Instagram at the beginning of April, showing off the shape of her dress creation.
Gan asked her mom, Maricel Gan to help her make her dream dress, and together the two of them made Gan's now viral dress. TODAY reports that Ciara and her mom had originally asked someone else to make her dress, but decided to try themselves when Ciara wasn't happy with what they received.
“For the whole of March, my mom and I made (and) sewed each panel of the skirt one by one,” the teenager told TODAY. “It took me about a whole month to make the whole thing.” Needless to say, the results were breathtaking.
i made and painted my own gown for my graduation ball! 💚✨— ciara gan (@ciaragan) April 8, 2019
i painted over 80 flowers, sewed + stoned my dress with my mama and designed the whole thing myself! 🧡🌼 pic.twitter.com/fsDwQK1NfD
Gan told TODAY that this was only her second major sewing project she's attempted, but that she loved the challenge and working with her mother.
“My mom and I are best friends. We work on DIY projects together all the time,” she said. “Just seeing how supportive my mom is fills me with gratitude. Moments like these make me realize how lucky I am to have her in my life! I know it probably would’ve been easier to ask someone to sew it for us, but we loved the challenge."
The teen says they bought 13 yards of the emerald green satin fabric along with the necessary crinoline, boning and Swarovski crystals needed to make the dress sparkle.
Gan used acrylic paint to hand paint the florals on the skirt of the dress, something that took five days to complete. "I recently reread the book Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (which touched my heart) and then decided to paint the orange florals," Gan told Buzzfeed News.
"I strayed away from basic roses and dainty florals because although they’re pretty, they don’t reflect my personality. I love the vibrancy of loud colors like orange and green — they speak more about who I am."
Gan also wanted to ensure her personality shone through in her dress and said she chose the color "because I’m an avid Potterhead and a proud Slytherin." Gan shocked her classmates when she arrived at her graduation party wearing her custom dress that took her just over a month to create.
"When I first showed up at the event place, my one classmate took a double take to make sure what he was seeing was right! He told me, 'I thought it was printed!'" she told Buzzfeed.
The aspiring artist tweeted pictures of the final dress which quickly went viral with almost 100,000 retweets and 400,000 likes. Thousands of people have commented on the picture, many marveling at Gan's talent while others encouraging to follow her dreams of being an artist.
Gan is definitely trying to capitalize on her newfound popularity by letting people know she's a talented artist for hire, and not just in making prom dresses.
also!! i can paint, make invites, stickers, vector art, pubmats, and a lot more! send me a dm if you want to commission me! (plz) 💘 i could really use the extra money for my 5 month summer 🤓— ciara gan (@ciaragan) April 8, 2019
The teen even posted a YouTube video detailing how she and her mom made the now infamous dress and says that she's incredibly grateful for the appreciation of her art and the exposure it has brought her.
"What I appreciate the most about this whole thing is the requests for commissions and artworks. It really warms my heart to see people appreciating my art."