What did you wear when you graduated from high school? If you’re anything like us you simply bought something from a store and never thought more about it. Sure, we wanted to look nice, but with so many off the rack options out there, that’s what we went for. It was the easy option.

Ciara Gan is 17 years old, and she recently graduated from high school in the Philippines. An off the rack dress for graduation wasn’t nearly good enough for this creative student. Her mother encouraged her to design her own dress.

Gan originally hired someone to make the dress, but she wasn’t satisfied with the result. She knew she would have to make the dress herself. It took her about a month from start to finish, and her only helper was her mom.

Gan and her mom started the project by going shopping. They bought 13 yards of fabric, Swarovski crystals, boning and crinoline. Then it was time for the real work to begin.

Gan and her mom sewed each individual panel of the dress one at a time. After the dress was sewn together, it wasn’t nearly done yet. The final detail took the dress to the next level.

For five days, Gan hand-painted flowers on the emerald fabric making her dress a true work of art. Gan’s paint color choices were inspired by the book “Tiger Lily” by Jodi Lynn Anderson.

Gan said, “I recently reread the book Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (which touched my heart) and then decided to paint the orange florals. 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 didn’t tell any of her friends at school about the dress she was working on. It was a complete surprise when she showed up at graduation.

Later, Gan tweeted pictures of her dress, and wrote, “i painted over 80 flowers, sewed + stoned my dress with my mama and designed the whole thing myself!”

Her tweet has been retweeted over 82,000 times. Gan is a little overwhelmed and very delighted at all of the positive comments and requests for commissions. She is currently only taking commissions in the Philippines.

Gan said, “I still really can’t believe it…It really warms my heart to see people appreciating my art.”

We don’t think we’ve ever seen a more stunning dress. Have you?