Why did Missouri teen Maura Pozek make her prom dress out of cardboard and paper bags?
Because after fashioning the previous two years' outfits out of Doritos bags and soda can tabs, "I had to top myself somehow."
Seventeen-year-old Pozek, a high school senior from Reeds Spring (just northwest of Branson), told NPR's Melissa Block this afternoon that it took "lots of hot glue" and some late-night last-minute alterations to make the dress work. Her original idea to construct it all of corrugated cardboard wasn't going well. With just hours to go, she made the skirt from paper bags. The top remained cardboard. All of it was painted.
"The only casualty" from prom night was when the left shoulder curled up — she just ripped it off and that was that. "The skirt got crumpled a lot from sitting in the limo," Maura added.
If things hadn't gone well, she had a backup plan: "Duct tape and an extra dress." Her date went traditional, except for the cardboard boutonniere she made for him.
Last year's dress — made from about 4,000 "pop tabs," as Maura said — was probably the most comfortable of her outfits.
So now what? Well, she's graduating and heading to University of Missouri, Kansas City. And though she once imagined going into fashion design, she's now thinking about elementary education.
We predict some fun art projects for her future students.
To see and hear more from Maura, check out this video report from KY3-TV in Springfield, Mo.
Much more from her conversation with Melissa is due on today's All Things Considered. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show. Later, we'll add the as-broadcast version of the interview to the top of this post.