For Fall 2018, Jason Wu presented a calmly elegant and optimistic show where models wore colorful crystal embellished ensembles paired with pieces from his Atelier Swarovski ‘Mosaic’ jewelry collection. Inspired this season by Italian architects Ettore Sottsass and Michele de Lucchi, Wu explored a rhythm of functionality and innovative thinking to showcase Swarovski crystal in a fresh, modern way.
Winding down a path of cheerful floral installations were various garments of hand-pleated crepe de chine and satin featuring clusters of mixed crystals assembled to appear as hanging fruit. Irregular pleated folds on silk garb – a nod to couturier Mariano Fortuny’s legendary technique – allowed crystals to levitate while double-faced wool coats received a satin finish for an ultra-luxe texture.
In a perfectly crafted runway show, from the significant location and the collection’s clear vision down to the signifying finale, Alexander Wang served guests CEO chic while looking to the future of fashion.
Hosted at American Vogue’s now-defunct offices (where Wang got his start as an intern), models representing executive power women stomped through cubicles in Swarovski crystal glittering garb. Silver chrome and jet black were the colors of the evening, seen on boardroom bound power suits, trench coats and leggings inscribed with credit-card numbers. Stand-out accessories included reflective footwear, Matrix-style sunnies, sparkling "CEO" stockings, and soft clutches emblazoned with the designer’s name that caught the eye and light with high-shine Swarovski Crystal Fine Mesh.
Wang’s gang of leather laden it-girls including Kaia Gerber and Bella Hadid capped off the night with a walk-out into bustling Times Square, referencing the designer’s last show in NYC as the fashion industry, front row glitterati and consumers alike anticipated the next wave in the business of fashion.
King of the red carpet, Brandon Maxwell, revealed a new crop of star-worthy looks for Fall 2018 with a simplistic yet stunning collection of gowns, dresses and statement pieces. In a contemporary advancement of his signature black-tie style, Maxwell focused on “relaxed glamour” this season, sending velvet tuxedos and denim down the runway, and closing out the show with a decorated ball gown skirt and black knit hoodie worn by Gigi Hadid. Alongside each look were sparkling signs of welcome and peace – the pineapple. The tropical fruit received a fabulous upgrade with Swarovski crystal embellishment and appeared on nearly every model as earrings, brooches and mini purses.
Maxwell commented: “Because the design and concepts of the garments are purposely quite simple, they need the accessories to give them context. Partnering with Swarovski allows us to explore new ideas and elements that layer the look and better inform who the woman is and where she is going.”
In a collection inspired by menswear and men of style, Gabriela Hearst’s main influence was women whose work necessitated masculine attire, specifically female Victorian coal miners and the WWI and WWII female work force. Swarovski’s crystal contribution to the utilitarian range – a single crystallized dress – brought with it a feminine touch and a personal story.
Hearst commented, “When we were studying menswear construction, we went to the archives of the Met. While there, we looked at approximately fifteen outfits. When I looked more closely, I realized one of the suits was a woman’s suit and it turned out to be a suit that had belonged to my husband’s mother. I took that as a sign.”
Designed as a tribute to her husband, John Augustine Hearst, grandson of the editor and publisher of Hearst Corporation, the silk twill and chiffon dress recognizes the family’s long history in journalism with a print based on Hearst newspapers. Red roses decorate the pattern and were brought to life by embroidering over 32,000 shimmering Swarovski crystals, a process which took months to complete.
“Fall is always very eclectic, not just in formal and informal ways, but there’s a heavy focus on practicality and day-to-day wear. How do we make women feel like it’s easy to get dressed up, while at the same time offering them something more than just a black turtleneck?”
It was with this question that Rosie Assoulin’s Fall 2018 collection was born. The designer, no stranger to attention-grabbing color and volume and a statement-making look, sought to bring a bit of fun and joy back into dressing. And by enlivening staple pieces like shirts, pants and outerwear with thoughtful and exuberant details, Assoulin channeled realists and trend seekers alike.
A frenzied accumulation of fabrics – taffeta, velvet, lamé, denim – and construction – ruffles, pleats, smocking – were centered by a color-saturated marbling effect, all employed on everyday ensembles like wide leg pants, printed puffer jackets and feminine dresses. To further enrich the energetic line-up, colored Swarovski crystal beads were added to embroidery patterns, creating textured dashes and crosses on a variety of silhouettes. Two showpieces from the collection also shined bright with Swarovski: a voluminous two-piece with a rainbow of crystal stripes as well as a fully crystallized mod-inspired mini.