Emilia Wickstead crafted an utterly romantic runway featuring dreamy sheer dresses and leggings embellished with luminous Swarovski crystal pearls. The designer, now rounding out her second year as a Swarovski Collective participant, was inspired by vintage images of women in extravagant Russian costumes, captured by photographer Natalia Shabelsky in the 19th-century. Wickstead sought to modernize the theatrical European garb for her collection by layering transparent pieces with textured velvets, structured crop tops, geometric and floral prints, and tailored high-rise jeans – her first foray into denim. The carefully chosen colors were based on those seen on Russian nesting dolls. A blend of royal blue, blush pink, bright green, cardinal red, and black and white came together to create a completely decadent palette offset by shimmering Swarovski crystal pearl accents.
For her second collection with Swarovski Collective, Faustine Steinmetz looked once again to the versatility of the jean. The designer is known for her dissection of the ever-popular wardrobe staple, having spent her formative pre-London-Fashion-Week years as a teenager experimenting with the fabric, re-working pairs of pants into bags or jackets. This Fall season, Steinmetz juxtaposed the luxurious of crystals against the customarily casual textile, sharing “The Swarovski crystal we’ve used is so associated with glamour and has all these connotations, so I wanted to work it in a different way, making it very distressed and a bit broken and our own twist.” Entire denim suits and athletic sneakers were encrusted with crystal while other pieces featured glimpses of glimmer on seaming, brand logos, and even as a beauty treatment on models’ faces, ears, and fingers.
Sadie Williams, who showcased her second LFW presentation this season, perfectly describes her Fall collection, a colorful and playful blend of captivating silhouettes, fabrics, and prints enhanced by brilliant Swarovski crystals. “It’s using my personal style: bold and graphic mixed with feminine, sparkly richness that contrasts clean graphic shapes.” Williams’ talents in print design and pattern cutting shined once again as tops, dresses, jackets, and bottoms all received the special treatment, along with shimmering Crystal Fine Rocks transfers in geometric motifs. Her signature tomboy-meets-ladylike aesthetic was emphasized by pairing raglan-style sweatshirts with pleated and balloon skirts, matched with lace-up trainers on every girl.
Swarovski Collective’s goal in supporting gifted designers around the world is to help bring to the life the vision of these forward-thinking artists. In financially advocating for and providing crystal support to designers in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, the future of fashion will continue to brighten as creatives are better able to explore the possibilities of design and development.