Runway Images Photographed by Dan Lecca
Backstage Images Photographed by Eli Schmidt
Swarovski Collective designers Creatures of the Wind, Tome and Rosie Assoulin showcased their Spring/Summer 2017 collections featuring over 575,000 Swarovski crystals this most recent New York Fashion Week. In the first season of collaboration for 2017 collections, the Swarovski Collective designers received financial support as well as the opportunity to experiment with Swarovski’s extraordinary crystal range.
Founded in 1999 following Nadja Swarovski‘s collaboration with the late Alexander McQueen and the late Isabella Blow, the Swarovski Collective encourages emerging and established designers to explore the creative boundaries of crystal use and craftsmanship. The latest edition of the Swarovski Collective program spans New York, London, Paris and Milan fashion weeks, offering the designers year-long financial and crystal product support, plus the chance to win the annual Swarovski Collective Prize, the winner of which will be announced in May 2017.
Creatures of the Wind: Runway Show on Thursday, September 8 at 46 W 24th Street
Creatures of the Wind‘s collection, titled “Angel,” was inspired by ideas of polished beauty and the concept of the angel as an idealized entity, a representation of detached perfection, and a play on the use of ‘angel’ in pop music from the 1950s. Hand-embroidered Swarovski crystal appliques were developed from Victorian mourning jewelry playing off a custom lace pattern and floral print that were used to create a visually dense, optical illusion of layering. Sew-on stones were also blended into patterns, demonstrating crystal use as a design component rather than strictly as an embellishment.
“Each season is an exercise in recontextualization, and this season we chose to approach the crystal application through a psychedelic exploration of 1950s pop music. As with every other component that goes into the making of the collection – fabric, silhouette, color, texture, treatments – each season brings the challenge of making these components new, relevant, and beautiful. It’s a constant challenge to move further than the season before. With Swarovski, specifically, it’s about using the crystals in a new way, ideally proposing something that hasn’t been previously explored in crystal.” – Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters of Creatures of the Wind
Tome: Runway Show on Sunday, September 11 at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station
Drawing inspiration from the optical art illusions of Bridget Riley and the women depicted in the works of Malick Sidibe and photographer Seydou Keita, Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin of Tome used custom hotfix transfer designs and Swarovski crystal fishnet banding to accentuate the geometric patterns in their collection.
“While there is always continuity season to season, this collection is the first time we have dedicated an entire runway collection to bold print. The Swarovski crystal elements suggest movement this time around, and there is a lot of movement, quite literally, in the collection.” – Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin of Tome
Rosie Assoulin: Presentation on Monday, September 12 at 450 W 14th Street
Using the summer season as her inspiration, Rosie Assoulin created bold color blocks with Swarovski crystals in a variety of colors on a dress which included more than 142,000 crystals alone. Swarovski crystal beads were incorporated into fringe elements on a top, shoes, and a hat and the phrases ‘thank you have a nice day’ and ‘wish you were here’ were written out in custom crystal designs on tops.
“Swarovski crystal elements take our garments to the next level and capture movement. It’s the extra ‘oomph!’ Finding new applications in the garments comes naturally – it’s figuring out how we make it our own that is the most interesting part. We’re constantly pushing the craftsmen we work with to try new things with us and the result always is so fun and exciting!” – Rosie Assoulin
Collaborative product support was also provided to Tanya Taylor and Area. The remaining members of the 2016-17 class will be showing in their respective cities at London Fashion Week (September 16 – 20: Emilia Wickstead, Faustine Steinmetz, Sadie Williams), Milan Fashion Week (September 21 – 26: Arthur Arbesser, Vivetta) and Paris Fashion Week (September 27 – October 5: Aalto, Anne Sofie Madsen, Wanda Nylon).