Look closer at this remarkably detailed, strikingly beautiful wedding dress, because there's more to it than meets the eye.
Not only was it designed by a high school student — Alyssa Hertz, 18, of Copley, Ohio — but it's also made almost entirely out of Styrofoam.
That's right: bowls, cups, plates. And a little hot glue to hold it all together.
Hertz created the dress as part of an independent studies project. Copley High School art teacher Antoine Pastor gives Hertz design challenges based around unconventional materials. She's made cocktail dresses from newspaper and jewelry from nuts and bolts, but the Styrofoam gown proved to be her toughest assignment yet.
"I was kinda stuck before I figured out what I wanted to do," Hertz told TODAY. "I couldn’t imagine how I could make Styrofoam into a dress, because it’s such a stiff material."
Hertz used two of the three weeks allotted for the project to experiment, focusing mainly on the rosettes that line the halter straps. Floral elements are becoming a signature for the aspiring fashion designer, who cites romantic Australian designer Paolo Sebastian as one of her biggest influences.
Once the wheels started turning, though, the dress came together quickly, surprising even Hertz herself. "Seeing it evolve from a bunch of different pieces, to finally seeing it all put together [is the most satisfying part]," she said.
Hertz even got to show off the final product of her version of the runway: the halls of her high school. "I always take pictures of my assignments," she said. "The day before it’s due, I make my friends put on the outfit. We'll be walking through the hallways in these dresses ... people come out to stop and stare and take pictures."
It's good practice for Hertz, who plans to major in fashion design at Kent State University. She'll also submit the gown to the Cleveland IngenuityFest, which showcases work from local artists.
But first, she has one more assignment: a wildcard project using a material of her choosing. Naturally, the lover of florals opted for fake flowers, stems and leaves.
Yep — she's definitely got style. And we can't wait to see what's next from this rising star!
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