News, The Selection

This 18-Year-Old Designed a Prom Dress Worthy of The Selection


This 18-Year-Old Designed a Prom Dress Worthy of The Selection

This 18-Year-Old Designed a Prom Dress Worthy of The Selection
The Royal Wedding may be over, but we’ll always have the fairy tale romance of THE SELECTION series to return to! And the story we have to share with you today, Selectioners, is sweeter than America Singer’s favorite strawberry tarts!
This past fall, HarperTeen teamed up with Scholastic on the Selection Fashion Design Contest, where middle and high shcool students were asked to design an outfit perfect for a Selection ball, and one grand prize winner would get their outfit created by a professional costume designer!
The winning design was submitted by Keely O’Connor, a senior in high school living in upstate New York. And guess what?! She just wore her dress to prom! We’re so happy for Keely and honestly a little (or… a LOT) jealous! Check out Keely’s sketch and the final dess created by costume designer Grace Suddeth!

This 18-Year-Old Designed a Prom Dress Worthy of The Selection


And must we say it? It’s DEFINITELY something we could see America or Eadlyn wearing! Get to know a little bit more about Keely and her inspiration for the dress below!

Why did you decide to enter the Selection Dress Design contest?
I found out about the contest through my study hall teacher. He showed me the flyer and I instantly recognized the cover art from The Selection Series! I decided on a whim to enter and even had to overnight my submission after reading the due date as send by instead of receive by.

What was your inspiration for your design?
I work at a dress shop so I follow a lot of dress companies on Instagram. My main inspiration was from Berta, the dress shape was inspired by Jovani and the gold color was inspired by a Sherri Hill gold dress.

What do you love about The Selection series?
I read The Selection series in around the 8th grade and loved the drama in the books. My fourteen-year-old self… was always rooting for the prince and America to fall in love. Also, the dresses on the cover were always gorgeous and I would imagine myself in one like it when I was older, who would have thought?!

What was your reaction upon receiving the dress and seeing your design come to life?
Getting my dress that Grace Suddeth made was a riveting experience. I really loved seeing not only my illustration come to life, but also seeing Suddeth’s interpretation of the dress design and what she added to it.

How do you feel about wearing the dress to prom?
The dress will be a showstopper.

Do you hope to continue designing in the future?
I had actually never designed a dress or any outfit before this competition. Though I work mostly in the Fine Arts of drawing and painting now, I want to go into arts management and hopefully become an art director. I try to reach out to multiple branches of visual art and have been working on illustrating and publishing my own children’s book for my most recent project. Designing this dress was a new and exciting experience; I definitely enjoyed making this dress design and I wouldn’t be against designing more outfits in the future.


Are you as in love with this gorgeous design as we are?! Let us know below!
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