Designer Who Went Viral For Her 'Taco Belle' Dress Creates Other Fun, Food-Inspired Gowns

"It's incredibly fun to design around something not intended for fashion, it feels like breaking the 'rules.'"

Back in 2015, Olivia Mears walked into a Taco Bell dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast after leaving a child's birthday party. Mears appreciated the pun and so did people on the Internet. A photo of her in the dress at Taco Bell went viral on Reddit, which inspired the North Carolina-based costume designer to  make the pun a dress on its own. 

Her "Taco Belle" design was inspired by Belle's gown from Beauty and the Beast, complete with a full skirt made up of giant tacos. Unsurprisingly, the photo was widely shared.

But going viral felt "surreal and largely unwanted" to Mears at first. 

"I hated the attention," she told A Plus. "Once it died down, I realized it was actually nice to have created something so many people smiled/laughed/eye-rolled at, and, from it, I gained fans who are fantastic artists themselves and I am now a fan of in return. Now anytime something of mine goes viral, I try not to think too much about it; I am just pleased my work is appreciated and seen on that kind of level." 

Since then, Mears has created several other food-inspired dresses and shared photos of them online, including a "Pizarella" gown made to look like a giant supreme-style pizza, a birthday cake outfit complete with a tiny hat, a "PBRmor" design, and other Taco Bell-inspired frocks

"Between 'Taco Belle' and 'Pizzarella,' I think I've created a niche for myself and my dresses," she said. "Since them, I've had lots of requests to see more food themes and I am not opposed to it at all! It's incredibly fun to design around something not intended for fashion, it feels like breaking the 'rules.' "

Creating and sharing her own creations online has encouraged Mears to work to constantly improve and learn new techniques and approaches. 

"Early on, I was surprised by how many seamstresses started following me and offering advice, though sometimes not so pleasantly," she said. "Being self-taught, it was a challenge, but a good one. I've also learned that, ultimately, it's about having fun and using my talents to provide something light-hearted and enjoyable into the world."

You can check out some of her food-inspired gowns below. 

(H/T: Huffington Post

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