LEADING DESIGNERS SHOWCASE THEIR INSPIRATIONAL USE OF CRYSTAL ON THE RUNWAY

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Marios Schwab took inspiration from body adornment, using Swarovski black crystal fabric to enhance Japanese tattoo motif prints to striking effect. This interplay been hard and soft was apparent throughout the collection which featured lingerie-esque slip dresses worn with biker boots and Joan Jett wigs. Menswear designer JW Anderson’s collection was equally idiosyncratic. Since making his debut at London Fashion Week in September 2007, Anderson’s dramatic aesthetic has made him one of the most intriguing menswear designers in Britain. For Spring Summer 2011, Anderson explored the idea of the masculine vs. the fragile by integrating Swarovski crystals into menswear and accessories. Crystal fabric was hidden underneath delicate lace patterns on t-shirts that glistened down the catwalk and over 4,800 pendants in a rainbow of colours were set into a silicon base to form beautiful crystal studded toe caps on tough leather shoes.

Knitwear designer Mark Fast’s body-con dresses were made all the more eye-catching this season thanks to crystal embellishment; Fast created an innovative new knitting technique that allowed for Swarovski cosmic cut stones to be looped into his knitwear without the need for hand-stitching. The knitwear was tight
against the body but the loops allowed thousands of crystals to be draped off it, creating movement and light reflections on the garment in bold colours of aquamarine and volcano. Fast knitted over 1,500 crystals into just one floor length dress.

Dutch designer Michael Van der Ham’s boundary-pushing clothes managed to be both post-modern and have an air of old-school Hollywood glamour about them thanks to silhouette’s inspired by legendary costumier Adrian and Van der Ham’s unique talent for layering different hues, patterns and textures together in one garment. Bold, over-sized Swarovski crystals in vibrant colours added to the pretty patchwork effect, forming clusters on dresses and organic-looking formations on clutch bags. Van der Ham chose geometric pendant stones in floral hues such as Llilac, Jonquil, and Topaz to echo the feminine colours of his collection.

Born in Singapore and raised in Kathmandu, Prabal Gurung’s signature style is marries American Sportswear (he was Head Designer at Bliss Blass for five years) with tribal influences. For Spring Summer 2011, sharp tailoring and restrained silhouettes were complimented by graphic prints and a bold colour palette. Swarovski crystals were used to add texture and richness to the intricate detailing seen throughout a collection featuring African patterns and ethnic jewelry.

Juan Carlos Obando’s starry show ‘Space Hub Eva’ was inspired by images of the cosmos taken by the Hubble telescope. A layer of Swarovski Crystals representing stars and planets were added to hand-dyed fabrics and then fashioned into futuristic dresses fit for a sci-fi heroine.

“The talent we’ve worked with this season has been incredible. The designers have really taken risks on the runway and developed innovative new techniques. It’s always inspirational to watch the shows and see how they’ve chosen to explore Swarovski crystal.” Nadja Swarovski, Vice President of International Communications, Swarovski

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