We’ve been blown away by the outrageously innovative work from the Swarovski Collective at the Fashion Weeks on both side of the ‘pond’, namely New York and London. This season’s band of exceptionally gifted designers flirted with the farthest boundaries of how crystals can be used, bringing unforgettable drama and spectacle to the catwalk.
NEW YORK FASHION WEEK
Creatures of the Wind kicked off the New York show season for Fall/Winter 2015/16 with an exploration of Americana psychedelic culture that looked at the clash of textures, patterns and material. They scoped out references from across the decades, from Sixties space age minis to darling Twenties flapper tea dresses that dazzled with molten silver geometric patterns and infinitely glamorous crystal neckties.
Wes Gordon took his inspiration from artist Grillo Demo to create beautiful, striking floral prints for his winter women. He cleverly kept the look fresh by adding cool neckerchiefs shot through with crystals.
Prabal Gurung used his sixth season as a member of the Swarovski Collective to reaffirm his take on luxury dressing. Fusing classic tailoring with modern flourishes, the outcome included mesmerising hand-embroidered, crystal-drenched, floor-length finale gowns in shades of seductive midnight blue.
Misha Nonoo took her cue from British cult artist Tracey Emin's The Last Great Adventure Is You, exploring the many facets of womanhood. The bold collection featured controlled yet sexy black looks, with elegant crystal embroidery softening the structured sheer pieces.
Tim Coppens took full advantage of Swarovski crystals, even infusing his catwalk with shimmering reflectors to highlight the models. His collection featured jackets edged with graduating Swarovski Crystal Mesh, and trouser legs and sleeves delineated with glam-sportif crystal stripes, along with graphic jewelry details such as striking geometric pendants.
The Rodarte sisters turned up the glam volume to full blast with their epic dazzling Fall/Winter collection. Their divine draped cocktail dresses were artfully created with Crystal Fine Mesh and hand-embroidered crystal patterns fused with feather details cosseting the skirts. And just to fully underline their point, they razzled up their beauty look with delicate crystals placed underneath the models’ eyes.
LONDON FASHION WEEK
Mary Katrantzou fused Victoriana with modernism in her intense exploration of kenophobia (fear of empty spaces). No surface remained untouched throughout her exquisite collection—leather brocade tops featured open backs encrusted with crystals, while paisley motif skirts were picked out in colored crystal embroidery.
While Huishan Zhang combined Chinese heritage tropes with modern looks, illuminating his designs with a cable motif based on the lucky number 8 that ran along the arms of his evening dresses and knitwear, creating an elegantly peekaboo touch. Neat tweed skirt suits and beautiful lace were given a subtle twist with crystal button detailing.
Peter Pilotto took whimsical inspiration from childhood board games such as snakes and ladders, creating an intoxicating pattern- and color-fueled collection. This was lifted with intricate use of crystal detailing that picked out naïf shapes and motifs on vibrant skirts and tops, as well as highlighting intricate floral crochets.
The duo behind Marques’ Almeida took another step on from their signature frayed denim work, introducing sumptuous metallic brocades and sheer silks into their street looks, embellished with tone-on-tone Swarovski crystal transfers and multicolored stones.
The newest name to watch, Ashley Williams, showed off her rock n’ roll, intergalactic girl gang theme. Clad in PVC, pink shearling, sheer skirts, cartoon-printed dresses and Swarovski crystal cupchain, she gave her models a subtle yet effective hint of cool-girl glam luxury.
Photography by Jason-Llyod Evans.