The designs, embroidered on haute couture duchesse fabrics and 90s-inspired silhouettes, featured mythological creatures, exotic flora and animated hieroglyphics among a fanciful line-up of animals enriched with sophisticated Swarovski crystal. Of those, birds took prominence, also appearing as whimsical adornments on dresses and denim. Ponti explained “I didn’t want to feature too many birds directly on the embroideries so I referenced them with feathers, which were handstitched and then embellished with crystal.” Rounded out by Ponti’s usual presentation of ruffles, scallops, and bows, the dreamy series effortlessly captured the designer’s wistful, feminine feel.
For his SS18 collection, Arthur Arbesser recalled the art adorning his childhood home – paintings by artist Heinz Stangl. As a family friend, Arbesser grew up with Stangl’s work, gaining inspiration from his expressionist paintings rife with color and mad graphics. Pulling these visuals for vivid, abstract prints, the designer presented his sophisticated yet energetic aesthetic through a mix of patterned separates and elegant, conservative dresses à la the Romanov daughters.
Graphic skirts, bucket hats and tops with crystallized pussy bows walked the runway, some styled together in a loud display of color and shape, some eloquently paired with optical, ladylike bottoms. Voluminous sleeves referenced 20th century classic silhouettes, allowing Swarovski embellishments to contour and add structure to the ergonomic looks. Arthur Arbesser commented: “This season we have played more with femininity and softness; we brought in the clear and black crystal beads as long necklaces and embroidered them down the sides of shirts and dresses. The clear beads make amazing light effect over the top of the print stripes. We also cut the crystal mesh as thin as technically possible to use it as pinstripes running down garments. They’re subtle, timeless details that I’m really pleased with.”
With Milan as the third city to present a crystal collaboration for the Spring 2018 season, Swarovski continues its long-standing tradition of supporting pioneering design talent throughout the world, extending the opportunity to tell a new and innovative kind of story through crystal application.