Mary Katrantzou’s Fall/Winter collection consisted of graphic prints and checkers, striking silhouettes, three-dimensional embellishments, and vibrant fur accents – a strong concoction not for the faint of heart. Inspired by the 40’s, Katrantzou loaded up on elements representative of the decade, specifically WWII, film noir, and Disney’s ‘Fantasia’. The show was both wistful and full of charm, combining references that skewed dark at times – rich velvet yokes reminiscent of Maleficent – with dreamy pieces that felt magical – floral motifs and prints of Disney’s Tinkerbell. Swarovski crystals were used to play up these details with extravagant colored jewels at necklines, sparkling fringe on dresses, and shining adornments on overcoats.
Swarovski collaborators Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos utilized many of the same materials as Katrantzou, but were able to create a collection that was quite far from her mysterious underworld. The design duo combined heavy embroidery and bulky fringe with flowing velvet and shaggy furs for a collection that was both folksy and elegant. Looking to his Peruvian roots, de Vos’ cultural memories played a large role in the rustic-looking fabrications that made up chunky sweaters and bias-cut dresses, lending a worldly feel to the pieces. To modernize the looks, quilted utilitarian outerwear, long gowns, and ankle boots were all embellished with multi-colored Swarovski crystals.
Origami style construction provided hard edges for a tough twist on feminine staples at Christopher Kane’s London show. Utilizing his own ‘Bolster’ jewelry collection, rereleased to celebrate Atelier Swarovski’s 10th anniversary, the exuberant crystal mesh pieces offered an ideal glow amidst the futuristic feel of Kane’s clothing. Bright chokers played off flowing, printed frocks while dangling earrings swung back and forth over iridescent dresses, sparkling as they caught the light. Rounding out the looks were amusing additions of oversized sequins, an abundance of pockets, and of course, Crocs, for a quirky feel that was pointedly Kane.
Whether incorporated into clothing or donned as sparkling jewelry, Swarovski designer collaborations will continue in Milan and Paris and feature crystal designs by some of the world’s top fashion talents. With its rich couture heritage, support of contemporary designers and continued commitment to championing creative talents around the globe, Swarovski continues to be an essential ingredient in the fashion world.