Most prom dress-related news is pretty infuriating — think absurd dress codes, like this, this, and this. But every once in a while, there's actually something uplifting that happens in terms of what people wear to the rite of passage-worthy event. (Take, for example, this very meaningful "sisterhood of the traveling prom dress" from last year, in which a dress functioned as a wearable memorial for a group of friends.) The most poignant look of prom season 2017 that we have yet to witness is the significance-packed getup that West Palm Beach teen Milan Bolden-Morris wore over the weekend, as BuzzFeed News reported. Designed by Terrence Torrence, a family friend of Bolden-Morris', the dress features photos of black men, women, and children that have been victims of police brutality over the past few years.
The unique and impactful dress has been in the works for awhile: Last year, Torrence came up with the concept of designing a dress that incorporated imagery of black individuals who've killed by cops, per BuzzFeed News, though it only took him three days to construct the piece. The backless, long-sleeved black and white look is constructed from beaded lace, which comprises the sheer bodice and sleeves, and scuba material, which was used for the photo-printed panels.
Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and Tamir Rice are among the 15 faces featured on gown, and Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, actually reached out to Bolden-Morris to commend her for wearing the politically-charged look, per BuzzFeed News. "If I could put everybody on there, I’d probably still be adding people on, it’s sad to say," Torrence told the site. The look has gone viral (unsurprisingly), and Torrence's site appears to be down as a result. There's been lots of positive feedback on the dress on social media, including a post of the look by Snoop Dogg.
It's always inspiring when personal style is used as a tool to address weighty, timely issues, whether's on the red carpet at the Oscars, at a Women's March, or, in this case, in a corsage-laden prom group shot. We've seen fashion choices that unflinchingly comment on Black Lives Matter in particular, too, whether it's a teen's decision to silently bring up the movement at the Thanksgiving dinner table, this powerful Pyer Moss tee that went viral at NYFW a few years ago, or a tote that brought attention to both BLM and the lack of racial diversity in the modeling industry. It's powerful to now see prom dressing harnessed as a canvas, literally, for addressing Black Lives Matter as well.
Take a closer look at Torrence's meaningful design, below:
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