V21: Vintage Bead Binge

A belt, but also a headband, perhaps.

I was thinking just the other night about where to find heavily beaded bandeau materials for my 1912 (and also 1920s) hair styles, and lo and behold, on yesterday’s thrifty shopping trip, I found two 1980s/90s belts that fit the bill perfectly.

They are SO obnoxious, I had to get them both.  They’re quite thick and heavy, but perfect for some monstrous hairstyle that needs some equally killer bling.

I would never wear this belt with this dress, but I might wear it on my head, for a future flapper costume.

I also picked up a 90s slip dress that weighs about ten pounds, because the whole upper half of the dress, back and front, is beaded in a brilliantly antique-looking way.  It will probably get the chop some day in the future, to be appliqued onto a historical dress.

This will decorate the bust of a future Edwardian or 1920s gown nicely, and there’s A LOT of it.

Beading, especially of this volume, is just not something I do.  I have the best intentions, but I know I’ll never actually make anything like this by hand, so when I see it, I buy it.  Anybody who has flipped through Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail and Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail will know that the details – beads, buttons, trims, inserts, embroidery, etc. – can take your historical costume from great to KAPOW!

I’m going to have to try out these big bandeaus on a hairstyle, to see how they work/look/can be altered…that is for a future post 🙂


  • Stephanie Lynn

    January 21, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Oh, that's a good idea. I'll have to keep an eye out for these sorts of beaded lovelies. I so do not have the patience for that much hand sewing!

    • Lauren R

      January 21, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      Oh, I wasn't looking for beaded belts. It was serendipity – I was rooting through a drawer of opera gloves and the drawer above it had the belts in it, and when I saw them, THEN the angels sang 🙂

  • Olympe de la Tour D'Auvergne

    January 22, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    I love beading! My design professor in grad school used to say I'd find a way to bead something in every show I did. It's not a bad signature, come to think of it.

    • Lauren R

      January 23, 2012 at 1:19 AM

      Beading and those little details seem to really make the difference, I think. If you have the patience and skill for it, I commend you 😀

  • Sara J.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    You have to be open to the moment – inspiration can strike any time! Great catches :). I like the net and sequin outfit you're displaying them on, too!


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