Teen went viral this year for the major statement she made with the skirt of her prom gown

A high school student pays tribute to three legendary black women by incorporating illustrations of them on her prom dress. See the unique creation that won her the "Best Dressed" title on prom night. 

Most high school girls dream about bringing their crush to the prom but a student from New York City made sure famous icons kept her company that night. 

Aishamanne Williams is a high school student who made quite the statement with her prom dress. She wore a custom-made gown that featured the faces of her idols, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and Angela Davis. 

HOW SHE DID IT

Williams, who won “Best Dressed” on prom night chose to honor the legendary women with her one-of-a-kind gown. The 17-year-old worked with her friend’s mother, Donna Weeks and her schoolmate, Nyiesha Mallett to create the masterpiece she had in mind. She derived inspiration from designer Kyemah McEntyre’s artistic fashion pieces. The result was a beautiful bustier gown in white with giant illustrations of her three idols covering most of the gown’s skirt.  

WHY SHE DID IT

Williams describes the three legendary black women as “inspirational, radical, unapologetically honest” and she said honoring them was important to her.  Sharing a photo of her dress on Instagram, she captioned it, “an ode to girls everywhere.” 

Speaking to Teen Vogue following the popularity of her gown, Williams opened up about how the three women inspire her. 

“I love Erykah Badu's music...her spirituality, [and] the way that her energy speaks to mine. Listening to her music and her words makes me feel at home, so I wanted to pay homage to her for making black girls like me feel loved and represented."

“Lauryn Hill’s unapologetic blackness has always inspired me as well. I’ve admired her skillful lyricism and soulful music since my childhood.”

“I’ve also learned a lot from Angela Davis. I consider myself to be an intersectional feminist, and from studying her words and life, I’ve learned a lot about feminism, race, and class.”

ON SELF EXPRESSION AND INDIVIDUALITY

Having earned respect for speaking her mind through her dress, Williams gave sound advice to others who would want to express their individuality the way she did.

“Just ask yourself: 'Who am I? What am I most passionate about? What message do I want to deliver to my classmates, and to the rest of the world?' Once you know that, create something true to yourself."

HER GRANDMOTHER'S DRESS

While Williams opted to honor popular women with her prom dress, Cassie Gillam in 2012 paid tribute to her grandmother with hers. While searching for the perfect prom dress, Cassie unearthed her grandmother Dottie’s prom dress which she used to play with when she was a child. The dress worn in 1955 fit her perfectly and she knew it would be a sweet surprise to her grandmother if she wore it to her own prom today. True enough, the moment, Cassie showed off the dress to Dottie, the women broke down in tears. The scene caught on video hit over 3 million views online. Cassie’s efforts to celebrate her grandmother was a success.  

PROM DRESS ON A BUDGET

Meanwhile, a teen got creative with her prom dress knowing full well she was tight on budget. Nazmayde Castillo's boyfriend purchased a $50 dollar dress for her from the Fashion Nova website. To spruce the dress up for prom, she came up with a plan and asked her aunt's help to execute it. She transformed the short dress into a gown by adding a hem of blue flowers. The result was a unique masterpiece that earned raves and curiosity after Nazmayde's boyfriend a video of them on prom night. His inbox was immediately flooded with questions about the dress and where it was purchased. Nazmayde also earned praises for keeping to a budget and still coming up with a stunning dress. Check out the post below to see why it went viral.