Gail Be, American, United States, 2007
This completely fabric-free retro design is made from over 10,000 Austrian Swarovski crystal, Chinese glass beads and silver findings. It took two people over 8 months to complete, starting with all the flower components which were made while lying flat on my back.
Each flower center is made with a 20mm Chinese crystal and then surrounded by multi-colored Austrian Swarovski crystal beads which I wove onto small silver filigree findings. Thousands of black Chinese glass beads were then used to connect the flowers together. All the accessories I made from vintage and modern Swarovski crystal beads.
This design was made to remind you of the afghan your mom or grandma made--and were seen on the back of most of the American couches in the 1970's.
This design was difficult to complete because we had to make it in a tube style that got wider as it went down. It took several attempts to engineer this final dress that fits Heidi like a glove. But it still takes 3 people and a ladder to get her into this dress.
This blast-from-the-past design, is dedicated to matching afghans every where, and to my orthopedic surgeon. I had visualized creating a dress to look like one for a long time, but it became a necessity for me to create it early in 2007. It was during my recovery from emergency surgery from a ruptured disc that I learned I would be forced to lay on my back for six weeks. So I literally created a new technique in which I could bead laying flat on my back!
My hope is that this nostalgic dress will put a smile on your face and it will bring back fond memories. I want to extend a huge thank you to Dr. Amir Mehbod, who took my pain away when so many doctors refused to help. Thank you for your skill which allowed me not only complete this design, but many more to come.