Michael Halpern may have physically been in London, but his mind was still back home in New York for his Fall 2018 runway show, stating, “This season is basically a tribute to New York women. It is where I am from, and where the formative women in my life have lived. Their power, agility, and their persistence is incredible.”
To channel this passionate personality, the designer looked to New York socialite Nan Kempner, a style legend for her liberal attitude towards fashion etiquette. Using her most daring sartorial endeavors as inspiration, Halpern sought out to reassess the perception of casual and formal, to go against the dress code and to take pleasure in feeling out of place.
He calls it “inappropriate glamour” and his embellished asymmetrical jumpsuit featuring 55,000 Swarovski crystals expertly adheres to this theme, presenting the sprightly and commanding city woman with high-octane eveningwear she’s encouraged to wear anytime, anywhere.
Halpern commented on the design: “Since we use so much sequin and so much incredibly textured fabrications, using crystal is a very seamless integration for the collections. We take so much time, care, and pride in working with crystal, so seeing it in a final piece that is truly a showstopper for the collection is so amazing.”
The synergy between form and decorative arts influenced Mary Katrantzou to explore new silhouettes and techniques for her Fall 2018 collection, ‘Interior Lives’. Aptly named, the ornamental range referenced objet d'arts from the home including a leather tufted bomber that could double as a therapist’s chaise lounge alongside lampshade dresses decorated with a Swarovski crystal fringe.
Designing through the Bauhaus lens, Victorian techniques like Pointillism and trompe l’oeil appeared on textured knits and patchwork dresses sparkling with thousands of crystals.
Katrantzou commented, “We wanted to wrap a Pointillist knit around the body and make it feel textural. I was thinking about Pointillism as being like a CMYK dot around the body. The Swarovski crystals add something really elevated to the lampshade dresses and the futuristic elements of the Bauhaus dresses.”
Members-only nightclub Tramp set a sultry scene for Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos’ LFW show. Sitting at silk draped tables, the fashion crowd drank champagne and snacked on starters among a whirlwind of sashaying models in colorful, psychedelic and opulent garb inspired by the disco diva who would have frequented the 1970s haunt.
Printed silk silhouettes that hugged, draped and peek-a-booed in all the right places offered up a cool and confident vibe while Swarovski crystal embellishments in floral patterns brought sparkle and texture to colorful ensembles.
The designers commented, “The Swarovski crystal embellishment complimented the collection so well, with the party feel of the club that we wanted to express. The crystals gave that extra accent and sparkle, and the colors are so incredible and complimentary to what we do.”
Getting lost in the black hole of YouTube proved to be virtuous for Swarovski collaborator Faustine Steinmetz: “I found a group of old Bulgarian ladies on YouTube who create flowers in beads as a hobby. I was fascinated by their skills, so I used Swarovski crystal beads to bring shine and radiance to the textures in the collection and make it all come to life,” she stated.
Drawing on her Parisian background, Steinmetz set out to reinvent iconic pieces from the inimitable French-girl wardrobe. Classic accessories such as Fendi bags and Hermès silk scarves were transformed with a bedazzling of Swarovski crystal beads, along with a slew of sparkling, draped earrings, all paired with the designer’s signature denim de-and-reconstructed looks.
Ali McGraw in the 1970 film Love Story motivated Emilia Wickstead’s ladylike, collegiate collection this season filled with unexpected necklines, voluminous sleeves and an abundance of plaid and checkered fabrics. In keeping with the production’s starry-eyed narrative, several looks within the line-up had a hint of sex appeal thanks to sheer details and fitted silhouettes complemented by shimmering Swarovski crystal.
Emilia Wickstead commented: “I really wanted this collection to transport you with a love story that is both nostalgic and energizing, and I did that through the designs but also through the embellishment with Swarovski crystal beads on collars and cuffs, which add a twist and excitement. And I always use Swarovski Crystal Pearls in my collection, as they bring romance.”