Shine Bright Like Swarovski: 10 of the Brand’s Best Collaborations from a Century of Crystal-making
When you cut into your finger while chopping an onion, there’s a Band-Aid. If you accidentally drop your cactus and the soil goes all over your living room floor, you use a Hoover. And if you want to feel as fabulous as a drag queen and/ or one of the members of the Strictly Come Dancing cast, you turn to Swarovski. But the brand that represents a generic trademark for all that glitters is more than most just a haven of costume crystals – Swarovski is a multi-billion family-run business that produces everything from road safety products and drills to binoculars, chandeliers, jewellery and, of course, the original category which kickstarted the business in Austria in 1895 – glassware. However, the biggest exposure the brand gets and the reason it’s synonymous with sparkly glam is thanks to Swarovski Professional, their brand-to-brand division that provides the wide range of loose crystals to creatives across the spectrum. This world seems to be in a terrible, bleak state so it’s no surprise everyone wants to shine a little brighter. In celebration of the masters of crystal (and perhaps because we’re in high Strictly season), we bring you 10 of Swarovski’s best collaborations starring the trailblazers in sports, music and fashion.
Mary Katrantzou SS20
Ahhh, the Greek fantasy of Mary Katrantzou’s latest catwalk show unravelling around the Temple of Poseidon in Athens… Intellectual ideas and concepts deriving from Ancient Greece like philosophy, medicine, astronomy and maths transformed into couture-like garments that defied gravity. What better way to paint the stars than pure opulence of Swarovski crystals, sculpturally forming an aura of light around the garment? Already an expert at using embellishments in her work (and Swarovski’s collaborator since 2008), Katrantzou was joined by our very own Lady Sophia Neophitou who offered her midas touch on styling the show. We’re definitely bias when we say this, but who cares – this was one of the best shows of the season, carpeted in sparkle.
Nike for Serena Williams at Wimbledon 2019
Proving that Swarovskis aren’t just for the blazing lights of a stage or a catwalk, Serena Williams brought the glitz to the Centre Court. Always the one to push the strict dress rules in tennis, she worked with Nike on her latest Wimbledon look as she accessorised her white dress with not only that incredibly warm smile but also an encrusted swoosh – now renamed into a broosh. Made out of exactly 34 Swarovski crystals – signifying the age which Serena was when she won her most recent Wimbledon cup in 2016 – was matching her Nike’s Flare Knit Low trainers, which were constructed out of thousands of crystal chatons created to refine the surface structure and flexibility in the shoe. She might have lost in the finals, but Serena definitely won the fashion game of the tournament.
Spice World by Spice Girls
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna – another Spice Girls reunion asap. Yes, this last one might have only finished, but there’s no such thing as too much spice! Especially when they look so good, shimmering as radiant as they did the first time round. All that thanks to literally million Swarovski crystals which covered their stage garbs, as imagined by their costume designer Gabriella Slade. That’s over 100 costumes for the Ginger, Scary, Baby and Sporty as well as their backing dancers, illuminating every step on their arena tour and making sure even the cheap seats at the back (still expensive!) can see the signature lewks. Hai, Si, Ja – shine bright!
Photo by Andrew Timms
Chance the Rapper for The Big Day promo
A music release is just a music release no more. Creating buzz around a new album has become increasingly complicated, mostly because there’s about 500 other releases dropping on the same day. Some try to make it happen, and others just do. Chance the Rapper falls in the latter category, as he accompanied the arrival of his first big official album The Big Day with an art exhibition and a pop-up shop in his hometown of Chicago. You could immerse yourself in the 9-room experience, featuring installations by Sara Shakeel reminiscent on Chance the Rapper’s past, except now now covered in Swarovski. “He asked if I could help create a pop-up experience inspired by important moments of his life, past and present, and show how each moment led him to where he is today,” explained Shakeel. Forget about Pinterest, this is some serious home decor inspo.
Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows
A collaboration made in angel heaven, Swarovski have had their hands in the wondrous spectacles of Victoria’s Secret fashion shows for over a decade, each year helping create some of the most iconic moments. Remember that baby-doll fringe top Naomi Campbell wore in 2003? Swarovski indeed. Or that time Lily Donaldson became a crystal-encrusted butterfly? Yes, once again Swarovski. At last year’s show, it was the blonde bombshell Romee Strijd who stood out in the line-up, adorned in 125,000 crystals as part of the Celestial Angels segment, playing the role of a shooting star in her see-through bodysuit representing a glorious night sky. And instead of wings, she carried a seven-point star with oversized chessboard crystals suspended within its circles. It’s been over a year and I still can’t stop thinking about this one…
GK Elite for Simone Biles
Simone Biles is a real-life superhero and deserves an outfit to match. Superman had the cape, Batman wore a mask, and Biles wears a spangled bodysuit. For this year’s Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, specialists in outfits for the sport at GK Elite teamed up with Swarovski on the uniforms for the U.S. team. While doing the magic in the record-breaking performance in the finals, Biles and her team wore a red, white a blue design inspired by the American flag and embellished with exactly 2,875 crystals. Glistening in the competition lights, it will make you want to drop into a split asap.
Don’t you think the hypebeasts are safe from the power of a bejazzle. For their 25th anniversary, Supreme trusted Swarovski with reinterpreting their iconic box logo for a capsule collection that took over 50,000 to create. Turning hype into slow fashion, the crystal-covered t-shirts and hoodies were hand-set, with a Swarovski Ingredient Branding seal incorporated into the garment’s tag to verify the authenticity of each of the product. Oh, and Kids director (and Supreme collaborator) Larry Clark then modelled the pieces for the campaign. No biggie.
Did you know that when he wrote Don’t let the sun go down on me, Elton John was actually inspired by the fact that his jazzy outfits didn’t look as good in the dark as they do in the light? No? Well, you probably don’t know it because I totally made that up right now. But it’s a totally believable lie, especially for someone as well-known for their camp looks as Sir ELton. It’s no surprise then that for the singer’s biopic, costume designer Julian Day used over a million Swarovski crystals to recreate the singer’s extravagant style in its truest form. Taron Egerton performing Rocket Man in the signature bedazzled baseball uniform in front of a stadium audience? If that doesn’t give you fanny flutters, there’s something seriously wrong with you.
Inspired by the theatrics of the Ziegfield Follies and the true showgirls of the 1920s, Michael Halpern brought the old-school drama to London Fashion Week this past September with his SS20 show. There’s no better way than to achieve that Gatsby effect but with throwing loads of sparkle into the mix. As part of his partnership with Swarovski, the young generation’s Bob Mackie incorporated crystals throughout ready-to-wear, jewellery and headpieces, allowing his diva to be the glitz of the party, wherever she goes.
Farfetch x Sergio Rossi
In the latest instalment of Swarovski Professional’s mission of turning this whole world into one big crystal, Sergio Rossi’s fine Italian footwear paid homage to the brilliance of Dorothy’s red slippers. A capsule collection created in collaboration with both Swarovski and Farfetch (where it’s available to shop now), includes three shoe silhouettes – a sandal, a pair of trainers and an ankle boot – all irresistibly glamorous and shining like the sun. We can’t confirm or deny on what happens when you click the heels three times, but these Sergio Rossi babies will indeed take you to a magical land far, far away. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!