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New York Magazine brought an annual event to my attention I had no idea existed, but I wish I had in high school: namely, a Duck Tape “Stuck at Prom” contest. Costumes were judged based on workmanship (30%), originality (30%), use of colors (15%, accessories (15%), and quantity of Duck Tape used (10%).

In addition to my well documented love of clothes and the relationship between technology and fashion, it just so happens that I’ve recently become obsessed with duct tape crafty things. My sister recently gave me a duct tape wallet (at my request), and I intend to fashion myself a duct tape DIY dress form in the near future, so I’m all about exploring the wonders of this durable, malleable, industrial material.

The other aspect here is clearly The Prom. As I mentioned in a previous post, proms can seem silly and superficial at best, and an excuse for insecure teens to exclude at worst. However, I believe this much hyped event has the redeeming quality of allowing teenagers about to enter an important new phase of life– adulthood– to explore the implications of this change sartorially.  Somewhat ironically, this contest’s textile restrictions promote more whimsical, thematic, youthful looks rather than grownup ones, but it certainly encourages creativity and stresses fun in dress, and in my estimation, that is equally valuable.

As a side note, I was pleased to see that though contestants must enter as a pair, mixed (i.e. heterosexual) couples were not required for entry. Though I didn’t see any flaming gay couples, I was happy to know they were not explicitly excluded.

Here are some of my favorite contestants:

Hello pimpin’ goth pinstripes! Those must’ve taken forever to apply!


How can you not love the nerdy dapper Duck Tape dandy??duck-tape-prom-nerdy-dandy

Though I think patriotic clothes are almost always distasteful, I was amused that the center “A” in “Obama” is a tiny White House:


I am so impressed this guy agreed to the bird theme:


Commitment to a weather motif– they were clearly looking to score high on the color segment:


It’s mildly amazing to me that this guy found a girl who was into the sci-fi theme at this tender, unassured age:


On the flip side, I was not such a fan of the beige, brown and turquoise cowboy prom look, for many reasons:duck-tape-prom-cowboys