Swarovski Crystal and Venetian Beaded Top with matching Feathered Skirt
Gail Be, American, United States, 2006
This spectacular beaded top contains absolutely no fabric. It is skillfully woven with over 40 different colors and styles of Swarovski crystal, 24kt gold Venetian beads and gold metal findings. The necklace, back and front of this top are amazingly just one piece.
The base of the skirt is made from turkey support tail feathers and then covered with individually hand placed caramel and black hen feathers. And then we finally embellished the whole piece with over 5,000 Swarovski flat back crystals. The only fabric used in this design was the 3” at the waistband.
All jewelry and the accessories are made from vintage and modern Swarovski crystal and Venetian 24kt gold leaf, exotic, animal print beads. The crowing glory head piece was skillfully crafted by Anne with chicken and specially stripped rooster feathers.
The difficulty in creating this design forced me to create a new technique, and it actually changed the way I bead. The more colors and styles of beads one uses to create a pattern, the more difficult it becomes to blend. Because I chose so many different colors it became very complex and I knew I was taking on a huge challenge when I saw all the beads I had laid out.
I knew I would create an unbelievably gutsy piece of art or I could create a huge sloppy looking mess. I would rate the skill level it took to create this top at a 10+ and since I am the only person in the world making full size beaded fashions with no fabric—that says a lot about the difficulty level.
When I first saw all the sparkle from this ensemble when we were under television studio lights to make the DVD--it took my breath away. All that hard work to create the top and adding the 5,000 crystals to the skirt made me proud because that is what Gail Be Fashions are all about “sizzling sexy.”
The Venetian beads were individually hand crafted with the same “recipe” as they have been made with for over 800 years. To further honor and accentuate the wild animal pattern of these amazing beads, I choose to make the skirt entirely of a true animal source. By picking feathers and adding sparkle it made the whole outfit come alive.