Tuomas Merikosi describes the Aalto wearer as, “A real strong woman living between subculture fantasy and inclusive reality of everyday life.” To match the dimensional characteristics of this woman, Merikosi’s Fall ’17 collection entitled ‘Paradise Lost’ put an emphasis on harmonizing differing society values through time, looking specifically at the energy of the punk movement and the classicism of the future. Pieces could have been plucked from cult science fiction films with elements like spliced hoods, dangling suspenders, belted pant legs, fur corsets and arm padding, and cut blazers.
In his second season as a Swarovski Collective designer, Merikosi patched graphic crystal “brooches” on a double-breasted jacket, providing a futuristic edge when matched with colorblock patchwork pants. Elegant Pavé balls, stones, and beads were embellished onto the intricate collars of edgy garments and unexpected soft, fuzzy sweaters were treated to artisanal crystal adornments spelling out the collection’s inspiration.
Across the city, located at the historic Folies Bergère, the century’s old opera house was an appropriate space to present Christelle Kocher’s aristocratic Fall ’17 collection. Always streetwear savvy, the designer of course included track suits and denim, but this time around Kocher brought a more mature, elevated feel to her looks. This was portrayed through the rich textiles she adopted, including velvet and satin,6666666 as well as her sovereign color choices of maroon, jade, rust, cerulean, crimson, and amethyst. Both the men’s and womenswear pieces were multi-dimensional, blending high society style with urban elements. Rugby shirts were cut into bias dresses or paired with ruffled satin skirts, matching jackets and sweatpants were patched together with lustrous velvet, deconstructed blazers became halter tops, and elegant dresses were finished with elasticized hems. To dignify the collection further, Kocher collaborated with Swarovski, adding beads, buttons, and pendants on numerous garments for a total of 434,000 Swarovski crystals.
For Anne Sofie Madsen, a more cryptic sense of inspiration prevailed. The second season Swarovski Collective designer looked to the unknown, seeking a space between “an unmemorable past and an unimaginable future.” Futuristic and industrial elements of outdated shapes with welded crystal chain necklaces, bracelets, and embellishments lent to a mechanical atmosphere. Madsen spoke to the incorporation of Swarovski crystals, sharing, “Both their dynamic forming process and aesthetic details combined create a historic yet futuristic feel which creates such a lovely juxtaposition for me to work with.” Shredded hems, lattice details, brocade fabrics, and quilted pieces styled with clear goggles and newspaper printed shoes all seemed at peace in Madsen’s obscure world.
Wanda Nylon was the last Swarovski Collective designer to present at Paris Fashion Week with a collection of fabulous and dynamic looks. An ode to powerful women, Nylon referenced disco style by playing with volume and electrifying fabrics. Coats, whether long and tailored with a mix of pelt collars and patent leather or fully fur styles both chubby and vibrant, were 70’s in inspiration yet modern in design. Colorful striped and checkered knits were ripped for a contemporary edge and many looks were cinched or tied at the waist, surely a nod to the groovy era. Syke’s incorporated Swarovski crystals in intriguing ways, seen on the zippers of a coat with removable sleeves and a skirt with modular panels, as well as embroidered crystal threads woven into knits.
It’s been a triumphant four weeks of crystal studded collections from talented Swarovski Collective designers and collaborators alike filled with radiant and resourceful design ideas. In supporting the evolution of talent and the ideas that extend from it, the fashion microcosm will continue to thrive, paving the way for designers to come.