A Los Angeles kid who designed and built a Marie Antoinette-style prom dress entirely out of duct tape was crowned the winner of a nationwide scholarship sweepstakes on Wednesday.
Karla Torres, who graduated from Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School in Boyle Heights this spring, earned a $10,000 scholarship after receiving the most votes in the competition’s online poll for her garment.
Torres, 18, was named a finalist in the Duck Tape, a trademarked brand of duct tape, 23rd annual “Stuck at Prom” scholarship contest last month. As a finalist, she had to fight for votes with five other young dressmakers.
The 18-year-old said she found out last week that she won the grand prize, but had to keep the news under wraps until the official announcement.
“I just got so excited,” Torres said. “I just really wanted to tell people.”
She was, however, able to tell her immediate family, including her mom, who she said helped bring her pink, white and gold dress to life.
“We started jumping up and down,” she laughed, recalling the moment with her mom. “It’s crazy, it doesn’t feel real.”
Torres’ dress, an intricate design featuring detailed lace and florals, was inspired by 18th-century French art she saw on a field trip to the J. Paul Getty Museum. Her design will soon be displayed at Duck Tape headquarters in Ohio, she said, on display with past winners.