To make an Irish dance dress really stand out on stage, it needs to be packed full of bling and rhinestone sparkle. But decorating an Irish dance dress with crystals can be time consuming and costly, especially if you completely cover it in Swarovski crystals. Fortunately, there are ways to bring the cost down when stoning your dress. You could work with a more cost effective crystal brand like Preciosa or Zodiac, which offer an almost identical sparkle for a lot less money, or you could choose specific areas of the dress to embellish, rather than the entire thing. This is what one of our customers, Rosie, decided to do.Rosie’s daughter Heidi dances for the Stephanie Power School of Irish Dance, and came 7th at the CLRG World Championships in Montreal, Canada in April. For Heidi’s dress, which was designed by her teacher Stephanie Power, they wanted to create an impact on stage by using rhinestones that would catch the crowds’ eye. So rather than fully embellish it, Stephanie picked out key areas of the dress to crystallise, and used only two or three different types of AB crystals to create this amazing effect. Stephanie glued on hundreds of AB Rivoli rhinestones in 14mm, and some Preciosa SS34 and SS40 AB rhinestones to the collar, sleeves and hem of the skirt.This simple but dazzling design was noticed by Irish Dance Magazine who featured the dress in their next issue:

IDM: 'When watching the Competitions at the 2023 CLRG World Championships, this dress immediately caught my eye. It's incredibly simple, with the dress showcasing a rich black velvet bodice and plain black satin underskirt. The true decoration comes in the form of the stunning rivoli AB crystals from Crystal Parade, found on the neck, wrists and skirts. This simplicity works perfectly; the dress is beautiful and fits the dancer like a glove. Stephanie Power, Heidi's teacher, designed the costume herself. Stephanie has her eye on designing more costumes and is completing a diploma in fashion design.’Re-create the look.

Try adding 14mm AB Rivoli crystals to key areas of your dress to enhance the design, there are sew on versions of this stone available too if you would prefer to sew rather than glue. This is a more durable application method but is also more time consuming.

Fill any gaps with smaller AB rhinestones such as SS34 (7mm) or SS30 (6mm), this offers even more sparkle and eliminates any dark spaces in between the stones.

Irish dance