Fabric-Free Swarovski Crystal Beaded Ensemble
Gail Be, American, United States, 2004
This entire skirt and halter duet and all matching accessories are made from over 5,000 vintage and modern Swarovski crystal beads and gold findings. It took me over 8 months to create, weighs 17 pounds and contains no even one stitch of fabric.
The hundreds and hundreds of hours it took to wire these flowers together really took a toll on my hands. Once I completed this ensemble I had to go to intense physical therapy three times a week for five months due to the severe muscle spasms that were caused by working on this dress. I always keep a great attitude because I know to be a great artist, like a great athlete there is always a physical price to be paid when you are completing at a world class level.
I grew up cutting hundreds of thousands of flowers each summer. Mother Nature showed me that there is no such thing as a "color clash" and I went out to prove this fact in this design. Even with over dozens of different colors combined so close together they look gorgeous. Once again proving how life imitates nature.
The flowers of this dress were all made from over 70 colors of modern Swarovski crystal from Austria. But the very special beads I used to weave the flowers together are all vintage Swarovski. To prove their authenticity, I have the honor of taking them directly from their original D.S. and company logoed boxes. They are being worn for the very first time in this seventeen-pound, breathtaking creation.