Mary Katrantzou’s response to this tumultuous time was also one of joy. Her spring collection, dubbed ‘The Youth of a Year’, illustrated an “idealized infancy,” transforming memories of childhood art forms and activities into expressive ensembles in bright, vivid hues. Inspired by the innocence of adolescence, Katrantzou challenged the notion that imagination is the only limit, churning out ballooning dresses with floral paint by number prints alongside Swarovski crystal embroidered dresses, Lego-covered skirts, and nylon rainwear in a slew of Crayola colors. The designer also debuted a new Atelier Swarovski collection of precious stones encased in geometric shapes producing a playful, structural blueprint.
At Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Hussein Chalayan tapped into the psyche of the digitally-devoted, analyzing how the “like” culture can be measured and therefore weakened by the opinion of others, while at the same time gain a sense of power and privilege from this entitled state. His collection, aptly named ‘Entitled’, employed Swarovski crystal headdresses to frame models’ faces to represent a redefined confidence. In opposition, draped, flowing dresses were embroidered with fluorescent crystal Post-It notes, commenting on the rapid communication of the social media world with a slow and tedious design process.
The Spring 2018 collections facilitated collaborations across four major cities in the fashion industry, enabling pioneering design talent throughout the world to express their unique creative visions through innovative crystal application.