Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

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Manila-based student Ciara Gan faced an issue that many of us have had before.

Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

Manila-based student Ciara Gan faced an issue that many of us have had before. She could not find the perfect dress to wear on a special occasion—in this case, her graduation. Yet, rather than settling on something she did not love, Gan decided to take matters into her own hands and teamed up with her mother to create a custom DIY dress. The result is a mesmerizing emerald green garment that features voluminous pleats and a sweetheart neckline. The most stunning element of the dress, though, is Gan’s surface decoration of hand-painted flowers which trail down the skirt’s large folds.


Each part of the dress was inspired by things that make Gan happy, including the act of painting itself. “As nerdy as it may sound,” she said, “I chose emerald green because I’m an avid Potterhead and a proud Slytherin.” Gan thought of the orange florals after she re-read the book Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. She felt that the blooms spoke the best to who she is. “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.”


Even if you know how to sew, creating a gown is challenging. Gan, though, had little knowledge of garment construction before making this dress. “I learned it all from Youtube tutorials!” To begin, Gan and her mother bought thirteen yards of fabric, boning, crinoline, and Swarovski crystals. They sewed one skirt panel at a time. When the dress was complete, Gan spent 5 days painting the flowers. From start to finish, the project took approximately a month, during which time she kept it a secret from her classmates. She made the perfect grand entrance at her graduation event and stunned them all—including people from across the world, thanks to the power of social media and the web.


Gan has a knack for fashion design, so it would make sense if she were to follow that path. Yet, she's got other plans. “I recently graduated from the STEM strand, so I plan to pursue a degree in a science related course,” she says. Gan does not see them as separate, however. “I am in love with both the arts and sciences and I want to incorporate two different things with each other. I want to bring art into science, or vice versa.”


Ciara Gan: Instagram | Twitter


Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress

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Thinking Humanity: Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress
Teenager Hand-Paints Her Own Gorgeous Graduation Dress
Manila-based student Ciara Gan faced an issue that many of us have had before.
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