His desire to make his friend happy also landed him a fashion career.
High school is one of the most memorable moments in a teenager's life. And one of the milestones that come during that time is the prom. It's a chance for young adults to dress up and enjoy a nice dance with a partner. It also means having to face the difficulty of picking the perfect dress. But some people don't get that opportunity to pick the perfect dress and have to settle for second best because that may be all they can afford. Unless you're this teenage girl who truly found a gem of a friend, one who designed and made a prom dress just for her.
Addi Rust, a high school senior in Indianapolis, realized that she couldn't afford the dress she found in February 2019. So she jokingly told her prom date and best friend, Parker Smith, that he should make it. The two of them had a good laugh over it and according to Fox59 that's when Parker told her, "You know what, I think I could actually make your prom dress." And that one statement changed everything.
Determined to give his best friend a beautiful dress, he started sketching the outline all by himself. Then he taught himself how to sew after using tips his grandmother gave him. Wanting to finish the dress perfectly, he worked on it until the very last night. He knew that Addi deserved nothing but the best so he kept redoing many parts of the dress numerous times. "I’m such a perfectionist that I was up adding more stones to the dress even the night before prom," Parker told the news outlet.
Quite a journey, but the first thing I’ve ever sewn (a prom dress) has been finished, just in time for the ball! Not only did I get the honor of being the Prince Charming to the beautiful @AddiRust, but her fairy godmother as well, haha! I’m so thankful for her. (From scratch✨) pic.twitter.com/amr05PZBbp— Parker Keith Smith (@parkerkeithsmit) May 7, 2019
And his hard work didn't go unrewarded as he presented her with a beautiful light blue dress with spaghetti straps and Addi looked spectacular in it. But it didn't just make her happy. When they went viral, people in the industry started to notice Parker. "It was a totally bizarre never expected," he said of the media coverage, "I had only sewed two stitches before I did it. Every big moment out of it, we were just having fun."
feelin like a princess. thx best friend ✨💓 pic.twitter.com/usibFi4Odu— adrianna (@AddiRust) May 19, 2019
Looking to study costume design and musical theatre in college, the young man wants to become a Broadway costume designer. And he was already coveted for his skills when a few months later, he was recruited by Footlite Musicals in Indianapolis. Bob Harbin, the director of their Cinderella show, was pointed in Parker's direction by a friend who happened to teach the teenager. "He was looking for a maker of a dress," said Parker. "My teacher said I might know a kid."
"She said, 'Oh you know that kid, that kid, who did that prom dress thing?' said Bob, a former head of casting at Fox Network. "When you see the work, his sketches, the guy's got it or the guy doesn’t, and he’s definitely talented." For that show, Parker was hired to make costumes. He designed a peasant dress and the character's ball gown in such a way that one transformed into the other. "Through a series of tabs, spinning, and a magical actress, this can turn into this," he told Fox59.
Here’s the transformation aspect I made created for these gowns I’ve sewn up. Once again, THANK YOU, Cinderella! pic.twitter.com/JF2TUVT7yi— Parker Keith Smith (@parkerkeithsmit) December 5, 2019
This opportunity certainly reached him far earlier than most others and his best friend Addi, who inspired him with the prom dress, was there through the whole thing.
supporting this man for the rest of eternity. good job tonight babes!! love ya💓💓💓 pic.twitter.com/JIYohhI1V1— adrianna (@AddiRust) August 30, 2019