This Teen Made Herself The Most Gorgeous Hand-Painted Graduation Dress


Ciara Gan

A month of hard work paid off for a student in the Philippines who made herself the most gorgeous dress for graduation. Now, it’s going viral.

Ciara Gan, 17, recently graduated from high school and loves both art and science. Instead of graduating in something off the rack, she and her mom put together a spectacular one-of-a-kind dress with pleats and hand-painted flowers.

The result is truly gorgeous.

Ciara Gan



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“My inspiration came from my mom, who pushed me to make the dress,” Gan told BuzzFeed News. “Because I love to try new things, I thought why not? It was my last big event for school and I had about a month of graduation practices, so I’d be able to focus more on making my gown without worrying about schoolwork.”

She originally hired someone to make the design, but when she didn’t like the outcome, she decided to do it all herself.

Ciara Gan

She and her mom started by buying 13 yards of fabric, crinoline, boning, and Swarovski crystals.

“My mom and I sewed each panel of the skirt one by one,” she said.

Ciara Gan

Just painting the flowers took about five days.

Ciara Gan

“I recently reread the book Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (which touched my heart) and then decided to paint the orange florals,” said Gan. “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 — they speak more about who I am.”

Gan made sure the overall design reflected her personality, too.

“My inspiration for the design are the things that make me happy. As nerdy as it may sound, I chose emerald green because I’m an avid Potterhead and a proud Slytherin.”

It took Gan about a month to make the dress, from design to creation. She kept it a secret from classmates until she finally showed up wearing it.

“When I first showed up at the event place, my one classmate took a double take to make sure what he was seeing was right! He told me, ‘I thought it was printed!'” she said.

She later tweeted photos of the dress, which now have more than 380,000 likes.

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ciara gan@ciaragan

i made and painted my own gown for my graduation ball! 💚✨

i painted over 80 flowers, sewed + stoned my dress with my mama and designed the whole thing myself! 🧡🌼

There’s even fan art.

Niña@ninazambo

Hi @ciaragan, I made a sketch of your gorgeous dress/creation. Just so you know it was a masterpiece and I do wish you would make more in the future.😄❤️

I hope you don’t mind, I tweaked your hair and accessories a bit.😬

“I still really can’t believe it. When the numbers increase I realize that so many people have seen my gown,” said Gan.

“What I appreciate the most about this whole thing is the requests for commissions and artworks. It really warms my heart to see people appreciating my art.”