Senior’s prom dress ‘bursting’ with style

MIFFLINTOWN – Amid the silk, taffeta, satin and chiffon prom dresses circling the dance floor during the Juniata High School prom on Saturday, one dress will stand out from the rest. Made out of Starburst wrappers, complete with candy colored accessories, senior Carrie Bonson’s unique prom dress was custom made by her friend Naomi Grix.

“I wasn’t planning on going to prom this year, but then I got this idea about making a dress out of Starburst wrappers and I had to make it work,” Carrie said. “I asked Naomi for help because she’s this insane fashion designer with so much talent and I thought she’d be excited about the project.”

Fashion has been a part of Naomi’s life since she was a little girl and started using clothes as a way to express her personality and views of the world. When Carrie approached her about the dress, Naomi was working to build a portfolio for college applications and thought the Starburst creation would be a perfect addition.

“At first I thought Carrie was joking when she asked me to make her a Starburst dress,” Naomi said. “But when I understood she was serious, I got really excited about the project. There was only three months until prom so we had to move pretty fast.”

Step one consisted of buying more than 1,000 Starburst candies and distributing them to friends and family, Naomi said. While waiting for the wrappers to be returned, Naomi started experimenting with design concepts and techniques.

“I quickly found out that no glue in the entire world would work as an adhesive since the papers were coated in wax,” Naomi said. “I decided to use long rows of tape on the underside of the wrappers to hold them together.”

Once all the candy wrappers were returned to the girls, Naomi got to work laying out a loose pattern across sheets of tape, using red as the theme color, and setting general mental rules for the design.

“I didn’t create a strict pattern because I was afraid the dress would looked striped,” Naomi said. “I made smaller designs using the red wrappers and then made sure I didn’t put the same colors next to each other.”

With only a few days left until prom, the dress is finished minus a few details, and Naomi has begun work on some accessories as well as a Starburst bow tie for Carrie’s date.

“I absolutely love the dress and know it will make a grand entrance,” Carrie said. “I think people are expecting something extravagant, but it’s small and petite, short and sweet just like me.”

The girls are looking forward to prom and plan on going together in celebration of their senior year.