Francesca Schranz working on her Supernova collection. Photography by Stefano Facca.
Watch this name—you’ll be hearing it again. Francesca Schranz graduated in June from IED Moda at Italy’s Istituto Europeo di Design, and had the great good fortune—and the talent— to land a partnership with Swarovski Italy towards the end of her studies. With an inaugural collection, Supernova, inspired by the death and rebirth of a star, what could be more appropriate than to express this concept using crystals? We caught up with her as she came back down to earth….
Where are you from, and is your family at all artistic?
I still live in the small mountain village where I grew up in Macugnaga, Italy. I inherited a love of art, culture and science from one parent, and sports, nature and travel from the other. My parents taught me to persevere in everything I did, and have always supported my choices.
Your Supernova collection is inspired by stars and light. Why are you so fascinated by the cosmos?
When I was young, my father and I would go camping in the mountains. I loved looking at the sky and the stars, that sense of continuous change. This gave me the idea for Supernova— the last act of a star's life, an explosion, then fragments that float in the universe, creating vortices and spirals.
Tell us about the pieces.
I love balancing opposites: shiny and matte, sporty and elegant. I use refined materials: jacquard, ottoman and organza with prints and Lurex inserts; wool, cashmere and large-volume skirts reminiscent of explosions, matched with minimal embroidery or spiral patterns, to give texture.
How did you come to use Swarovski crystals?
During my research I was interested in two artists: Lucio Fontana and Cornelia Parker. Fontana used cut and perforated ‘plates’, while Parker fascinated me with her interpretation of the elements. I realized that the best way to represent this was to use Swarovski crystals.
What do they add to your designs?
I used them as ‘star’ fragment material for their intrinsic brightness, and opted for irregularly shaped, faceted cuts. Pendant-style stones were perfect to simulate a cascade of elements that appear to be in constant motion.
After this auspicious start, what are your hopes and plans for the future?
I want to keep cultivating my passion for design, and I’d love the opportunity to work with Swarovski again! I found the experience rewarding and unique.