Fabric-Free Two-piece Beaded and Sequin Fringe Ensemble
Gail Be, American, United States, 2003 part remake 2007
This provocative duet is the first completely fabric free designs we ever created starting in 2003. It is made entirely from more than 25,000 beads and sequins, and took five people eight months to complete.
The base of this design is made from Czech glass bugle beads, Japanese silver-lined pony and crow glass beads and Austrian Swarovski crystal beads. The sequin panels we updated in 2007 by hand sewing thousands of additional silver-lined beads to give it more sparkle. The one-of-a-kind accessories and the front of the top, I created with very rare and expensive vintage Swarovski crystal beads.
This sexy and playful dress was named Sapphire Melody--because with each step the dangles play their own song. I don't care what event this design is worn at—if the audience is gay or straight--I look for a crowd of men and I know this dress is in the middle of it.
My heavier fashion designs are usually not very comfortable to wear for extended periods. But when the fashion is lighter, like Sapphire Melody, the models really enjoy wearing this and we usually have to coax them out of it.
Even though this was our original fabric-free dress it still remains one of the most fun pieces we ever made.
I purchased the bugle and pony beads directly from a factory in the Czech Republic countryside. It was a 4-hour drive outside of Budapest and gave me an adventure of a lifetime. The vintage Swarovski beads took me over a decade to assemble the pieces that went into this design.