The mistress of retro, renegade fashion

An exciting clash of function and finery equates to statement pieces with a clever twist from this young British designer.

SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS bring a beautiful mix of femininity, luxury and shine.

Designer Kirsty Ward is quick to admit she seeks inspiration with regular trips to humble hardware stores. “I love mundane household things,” she says, absent-mindedly hand-bending metal loops mid-conversation. “It’s fun using what’s considered ugly and making it beautiful.”

It’s certainly her penchant for prosaic, functional items that have, in part, characterized her unique aesthetic. Rivets, hinges, hooks and wires are a staple of her look, but it’s melding the rivers of sheer silk and industrial neoprene, then embellishing it with glittering SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, which really rubber-stamps her eclectic genius.

After graduating with a distinction from the prestigious MA Womenswear course at London’s Central Saint Martin’s, Ward was quickly snapped up by Alberta Ferretti to design for her in Italy. She launched her eponymous label in 2010 and broke through after creating a jewelry line for her partner David Longshaw for his Autumn/Winter 2010/11 catwalk collection.

She has attracted glittering plaudits from industry leaders and the likes of Elle, Vogue and Selfridges. So does she feel the pressure to keep her shooting star in the ascendant? “Not too much. I try to focus my energy on ensuring my designs still bear my ‘handwriting’. In these early stages you need to be forging stuff that nobody else does. It’s all about following your creative instincts.”

One of these instincts seems to be a distinct blurring of genders in her statement jewelry and clothing, with looped wire, brass and metalwork sitting cheek-by-jowl with sensual silk, felt, beads and crystal to create eye-poppingly beautiful, playful pieces.

Swarovski Crystals Magazine #01 - Everyday Extraordinary

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