MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A 17-year-old girl's prom dress caught our eye today. Maura Pozek's gown features a corset top. It's a layered collage of blues and purples. The skirt cascades down in three tiers of pleats. But Maura's dress is not quite like any other prom dress we've seen. Maura has ducked briefly out of class in Reed Spring, Missouri, to tell us about it. And Maura, what is your dress made of?

MAURA POZEK: My dress is made out of cardboard.

BLOCK: Cardboard. Any particular kind of cardboard?

POZEK: The top is made out of corrugated cardboard, and then the bottom is paper bags.

BLOCK: Okay. And somehow, you stitched that together. How'd you do that?

POZEK: Lots of hot glue and wood glue.

BLOCK: Oh, it's glue, not stitching.

POZEK: No, it's hard to stitch cardboard. It likes to rip then.

BLOCK: Yeah, I would think. Well, what inspired you to make a prom dress out of cardboard in the first place?

POZEK: Well, the previous two years I had made a dress out of Doritos bags and pop tabs, and I had to top myself somehow.

BLOCK: Those were two different dresses, we should say.

POZEK: Yes.

BLOCK: The Doritos dress bag was the first, right?

POZEK: Yes.

BLOCK: And then how many pop tabs went into the pop tab dress?

POZEK: It took about 4,000 pop tabs.

BLOCK: And they both look amazing...

POZEK: Thank you.

BLOCK: ...but may be not so comfortable. I'm not sure about those pop tabs.

POZEK: They were actually really comfortable.

BLOCK: Yeah?

POZEK: Yeah. It was surprising.

BLOCK: OK, so this year it was cardboard. And how did it stand up to a night of dancing, first of all?

POZEK: Well, the dress itself, the only casualty is that the left shoulder came up like the second I walked into prom. And after I ripped that off, that was fine.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

POZEK: And the skirt got crumpled a lot from sitting in the limo.

BLOCK: Yeah. You just ripped the shoulder off your dress. You figured, well, it's gone - I'll just rip it off.

POZEK: Yep, I kind of left it at prom. I don't really know where it is.

BLOCK: Huh, but you could sit in it.

POZEK: Yes.

BLOCK: 'Cause it does look like it would be a little stiff.

POZEK: At first it was. But it took a lot of - I'm going to sit now and you're going to do what I told you to.

BLOCK: The dress?

POZEK: Yes.

BLOCK: And it behaved?

POZEK: Surprisingly.

BLOCK: I would think that to avoid a wardrobe malfunction with a dress like this, you would want to test it out pretty carefully at home.

POZEK: I would've if I didn't finish the dress the day of prom.

BLOCK: Oh, wow.

POZEK: Yeah.

BLOCK: So you couldn't give it a trial run.

POZEK: Not really. It was - I'll bring duct tape and an extra dress and hope it all works out.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BLOCK: You had a dress on standby?

POZEK: Yes, I've had to do that all three years - just in case.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BLOCK: Well, what do you do with the dresses when you're done?

POZEK: Currently they're just hanging up in my closet. And the cardboard one is on my kitchen table.

BLOCK: Just as a display?

POZEK: Exactly.

BLOCK: Are you clever in all kinds of ways, Maura?

POZEK: That's what they tell me.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BLOCK: They do? You like art.

POZEK: Yes. My mom has been an artist my entire life, so I've kind of jumped into that.

BLOCK: And do you sew?

POZEK: I sew a lot, actually. For a while, I was going to major in fashion design, hoping I could sew that well.

BLOCK: When it came time to think about what your date would be wearing to the prom, did you try to coordinate in any way or was he on his own?

POZEK: Not really, he was kind of just on his own. We were like, just wear whatever - anything matches purples and blues and cardboard.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

POZEK: But we did make him a boutonniere.

BLOCK: Out of?

POZEK: Out of cardboard.

BLOCK: Out of cardboard, of course. This was your senior prom, Maura. Where are you headed next year?

POZEK: Next year I'm going to go to UMKC and hopefully major in elementary education.

BLOCK: That's the University of Missouri, Kansas City?

POZEK: Yes.

BLOCK: So no design in your future, you don't think?

POZEK: No. College ended up being too expensive.

BLOCK: Uh-huh. But you can keep coming up with ideas all the time. Why not?

POZEK: Yeah, of course.

BLOCK: Well, Maura Pozek, thanks so much for talking to us about your cardboard prom dress.

POZEK: Thank you.

BLOCK: Maura Pozek in Reed Spring, Missouri and her cardboard prom dress is now on display at NPR.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AND THEN HE KISSED ME")

UNIDENTIFIED MUSIC GROUP: (Singing) Well, he walked up to me and he asked me if I wanted to dance. He looked kind of nice and so I said I might take a chance. When he danced, he held me tight. And when he walked me home that night, all the stars were shining bright. And then he kissed me...

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.