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Teens’ Yorkville prom duds a patchwork of duct tape

Scott King rural MinookAlicyn Hester Yorkville will attend Yorkville High School prom wearing tuxedo dress made from Duck Brduct tape.

Scott King of rural Minooka and Alicyn Hester of Yorkville will attend the Yorkville High School prom wearing a tuxedo and dress made from Duck Brand duct tape. | Submitted photo

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Updated: May 8, 2011 10:20PM

Amid the sea of chiffon, cotton, polyester, satin and lace at an area prom May 7 will be a dress and tuxedo made entirely out of an unexpected material: duct tape.

Senior Scott King, of rural Minooka, and junior Alicyn Hester, of Yorkville, decided to go with something a little different this year after attending their first Yorkville High School prom last year with traditional attire.

“He just came up to me and asked me,” Alicyn said of how the idea was approached. “I was kind of all for it. We’re both creative.”

Scott said he had the idea in his head since his freshman year when he and a friend were joking about making duct tape prom outfits. Last year, Scott rented a black tux with an orange vest that matched Alicyn’s full-length orange formal.

At this weekend’s prom, he will be sporting a black jacket and pants with silver pin stripes; a pink, green and black checkered vest; a bright pink shirt with matching belt; and shoes that can only be described as Alice-in-Wonderland-esque. And it’s all made of duct tape, of course, with a little cardboard inside the souls of the shoes.

Alicyn’s dress is couture all the way, reminiscent of fashion seen on episodes of “Project Runway.” The top of her dress is made of a couple hundred individual leaves of pink and green and silver, each painstakingly cut out with a crafting knife and stuck together with the sticky side of the tape. Her skirt is a mini, with long cascading sides and back, and wonderful ruffles along her legs. A hidden wire was used to shape the ruffle.

The two even made their corsage and boutonniere and Alicyn’s purse out of the sturdy tape. All in all, the careful logs Scott kept show a total of almost 200 hours spent on the prom outfits and 36 rolls of duct tape.

Time-intensive project

Only Duck brand duct tape was used, as the two plan on entering the 11th annual “Stuck at Prom” scholarship competition sponsored by Duck Tape.

Scott and Alicyn said they knew the project would be a challenge, but they had no idea just how difficult and time-consuming it would really be. Except for school, homework, and track, it pretty much took over their lives for a period.

“We worked on it three hours every night for about five weeks,” Scott said. “On Saturdays, we’d work on it for about 12 hours. Last week, it was getting over my head. It was pretty stressful. I wanted to quit. I didn’t think we were going to get it done.”

“I don’t remember a weekend without duct tape,” Alicyn said. “When you come over to my house, there’s duct tape everywhere.”

Alicyn said she did enjoy getting to spend the extra time with her boyfriend, but she admits the mood was tense on occasion when they thought they might not make it in time to wear the outfits to the prom. It would be too late by then to scrounge up something else, they agreed.

But the couple ended up finishing the bulk of the work, save her purse and his tie, a week before prom.

Alicyn knew basically the style she wanted for her dress, but it took time to get the design just right. She also looked online at past winners of the competition to see what the judges were looking for.

She said her dress is surprisingly comfortable, although she’s a little concerned about it being too warm if the temperatures are anything like they were last year, which was hot, she said.

Scott, on the other hand, is not so happy about the comfort level of his duct tape tux.

“It’s so uncomfortable,” he said, “and my right sleeve is very tight.”

They’re both excited about attending prom in their duct tape outfits this year. It will be fun, they both said, and also a big relief that their time spent leaning over sheets of duct tape is through.

Winners of the competition will be determined by online voting. The top ten will be announced on June 17, and the public can vote online from June 17-July 11 at Winners will be announced on July 13.

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