A dressmaker from Edina, Minnesota, has created what could be regarded as the world's largest beaded wedding dress which 'may' never be worn by an actual bride.
Gail Be, 57, has been busy for the past three years, creating the wedding gown which weighs almost 400lbs, with a 20ft train. The seamstress who enlisted the help of 22 other seamstresses to bring the epic challenge to reality, describes the dress as "a work of art."
Speaking to Star Tribune, she said: "Nobody knows about us. We've been hibernating until I felt like we had something spectacular."
According to her, the sparkling masterpiece which boasts of 995,000 glass and crystal beads that she collected from around the world, will be completed in December.
Be, who has constructed 30 elaborately beaded frocks over the past 25 years, kept the project a secret until recently, Daily Mail reports.
"I thought, I'm going to build the biggest wedding dress in the world. Didn't know what the stats were, didn't know how to do it, but knew that I was going to be doing the big one," she said of the dress, which takes up an entire room.
According to the Guinness World Records site, the record for most crystals on a wedding dress is 45,024 and was achieved by Özden Gelinlik Moda Tasarim of Istanbul, Turkey, in 2011.
However, Be doesn't actually expect a bride to walk down the aisle in the heavy garment, but would like it to be featured on film or in a museum.
In fact, she can already count at least one famous fan of work: Lady Gaga wears a jeweled 'Erotic Ice' headpiece and matching top from Gail Be Designs on the cover of her recent single, Anything Goes, with Tony Bennett.
Though the designer values those two pieces at $47,500, she was happy to lend them to the pop superstar free of charge in return for the priceless exposure, adding: "Of all the fashion houses in the world, she could've chosen Armani, Prada, anybody. Why would she pick some woman in the middle of Minnesota that nobody's ever heard of?"
Be insists she never tried to sell her designs in the past, though she's finally hoping to get compensated for her work after a recent separation from her husband limited her household income.
"My purpose for doing this has never been to get rich. It was to make one of the great pieces of art for all the world to see," she said.
Ms Be, who has no formal fashion design training, reveals on her website that she does not sketch her dresses before executing them, nor does she use any mathematical calculations in her work.
She took her first beading class at an American Indian memorabilia store in Minneapolis about 30 years ago, and immediately fell in love with the craft, beading for hours every day.
In 1989, she was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease called keratoconus, which eventually rendered her her legally blind and unable to bead. During this difficult time, she turned her attention to bead collecting.
But in 1996, she received her first corneal transplant, and after a second operation followed by Lasik surgery, her vision was eventually restored to 20/20 and she was able to return to what she loves doing most.
"I always come back to beading," she said. "It's my calling."