Like most other important events this year—weddings, graduations, holiday gatherings, and even fashion shows—prom was canceled for many high school students across America, thanks to the pandemic. It was no different for D.C. area teen Jasmine Dauphine. She had been visualizing how her prom would be for years, even starting to plan the perfect outfit in the middle of her junior year, only to have the perfect night called off.
Looking to celebrity Met Gala looks for inspiration, including Zendaya’s 2017 look and SZA’s 2018 look, Dauphine set to work seeking the perfect dress. Finding online dress store Lunss, the teen had her dream prom dress custom made and then proceeded to craft a matching headpiece from a headband and some zip ties. The resulting ensemble is absolutely stunning.
“I love art, so that’s really why I wanted my prom pictures to look like a piece of art, and when my prom was canceled, I completely understand why and wasn’t upset at that, but I was disappointed because I had been planning for prom for such a long time,” Dauphine explains.
But rather than let her carefully curated look go to waste, the teen decided to get dressed up and have a photoshoot with her sister. While they were taking photos outside the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, 24-year-old wedding photographer Isabella Ortiz caught sight of Dauphine’s amazing dress and couldn’t look away.
“I noticed Jasmine from afar and the creative in me was, like, OMG, I have to take a picture of her!” says Ortiz. “I simply walked up to her and kindly asked, praying she would say yes. I am 10,000% certain she captured not only my attention but everyone's attention that day with her beauty!”
Since Dauphine posted the pictures on Twitter in late November, they have gone viral—even garnering attention from The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil. Neither Dauphine nor Ortiz can believe the overwhelming response the photos are getting.
“When this went viral, I was so shocked,” Dauphine says. “I think I stared at my phone for 10 minutes trying to comprehend the numbers that I was seeing. It was so crazy to me.” Ortiz’s reaction was quite similar: “I’m completely shook. It just feels so unreal! Like, is this really happening?!!!” she exclaimed. “It’s so crazy because when I saw Jasmine that day I knew she was someone super special.”
Scroll down to see several of Ortiz’s amazing photographs of Dauphine’s breathtaking prom dress.