http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B-GgXv-8uI

Those Irresistible Beaded Dresses

The nature of the fashion industry as a business, and consumer economy in general, demands that fashion trends are in a constant state of change. Most of us haven’t even had time to buy those boyfriend jeans and they are already on their way out. I have long abandoned the notion that keeping up with what’s “in” can be satisfying for a fashionista. I feel that giving too much thought to what is deemed relevant and current strips the process of self-expression of all that is “self,” and reduces it to the “expression” of the status-quo – impersonal, dry, and conformist. One of my goals with this blog is to bring some of the fun of “dress-up” back into our lives. There is no science to fashion. Choosing what to wear should not be a serious undertaking that makes us nervous and scared of breaking some rule – declared by the supposed fashion experts afraid of losing their jobs unless they come up with a “hot or not” list. Beautiful clothes are just fun, and elaborate, detailed pieces like beaded dresses are great because of the way they make us feel. Simplicity has its charm but our days are filled with it as it is. On those special occasions you can allow yourself the luxury of a piece that is as stunning and complex as you are.

The 1st dress in the video-blog was by “LOVE SEX MONEY.” My collection of beaded dresses began with this unusual piece. Do you notice anything interesting about the bead arrangement and design? Notice how it’s concentrated around the waist and chest; thus, indirectly emphasizing our distinct female features. I love how it adorns the silk in an unbalanced way, with the beaded leafs and flowers embellishing more of the right side of the dress (especially towards the bottom). The silk does not stretch at all and I would imagine that attaching beads directly onto stretchy fabric would be problematic. As I had mentioned, dresses of this type are great options for formal occasions like weddings.

The 2nd dress is by “Marciano” and is made of thick cotton. It’s an example of a beaded design that combines sequin pieces for additional sparkle. It has a feminine, even girly silhouette that is perfect for times when you prefer looking cute rather than sexy. It’s exclusively a summer-time/spring dress that needs to remain in the closet at least until the trees grow green again.

I consider the 3rd example, the Alberta Ferretti dress, to be something of a masterpiece. She has been one of my favorite designers ever since I’ve learned to appreciate the wonders of couture. The detailed bead and crystal arrangement in the front, the pockets, and the hip yet classic A-line cut, make this dress look both wearable and artfully impracticable. In accessorizing such a dress I would keep it relatively simple so as not to take away from Ferretti’s genius. Here is a picture of Marisa Tomei wearing a dress from the same collection. I included it as a point of reference for what a dress of a similar cut and style looks like without the beaded design.

Tip #1 is that when it comes to accessorizing beaded dresses you have a bit more freedom than if they were sequin because beads produce less sparkle and shine. This is also the case because beads are usually used to embellish only part of the fabric and are incorporated into the design of the dresses in order to accentuate a particular aspect of the piece (the 4th dress by Marciano exemplifies an exception to this rule). Sequin dresses, on the other hand, are usually entirely covered in sequin pieces.

Tip #2 is that just because a garment is adorned with beads it does not automatically make it appropriate for formal occasions. You need to consider the garment as a whole and the statement that it makes (if any at all). Beads are now being added to t-shirts, shoes, and even bras and this doesn’t always have universal implications of glamour.

Thank you for reading.