Dresses That Sparkle: Hand Beading

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2001

The cathedral train of this Empire-waist dress comes to life in a breeze. The front and back of the bodice are delicately hand beaded with freshwater pearls and tiny crystals.

Shimmering crystals cascade like tears of joy down the back of this elegant gown (below), each crystal set into the pattern of the Chantilly-lace overlay. Multiple layers lend volume and movement to the candlelight-colored dress. Beaded by hand, the straps alone took six days to complete.

Beneath a diamond-white tulle shoulder veil, the neckline of this silk charmeuse gown drops to a dramatic V, which is repeated on the back. Both gown and veil are dappled with carefully hand-placed crystals. A fitted seam under the bust softly structures the flowing gown.

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