Swarovski x British Fashion  

British Fashion Council

Supporting British fashion talent; from young students to established stars and global brands.

SWAROVSKI'S HISTORY
The Swarovski story began in 1895 when Daniel Swarovski invented a machine for cutting and polishing crystal. This machine not only revolutionized jewellery manufacturing, it has inspired the worlds of art, design, fashion and cinema for over a hundred years. Today, Swarovski is the world’s leading producer of precision-cut crystal and gemstones and operates over 2350 retail outlets in about 170 countries. The company has a rich history of working with British fashion talent.

SWAROVSKI AND CRAFTSMANSHIP

Swarovski began collaborating with the leading couturiers of Paris such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Jeanne Lanvin at the turn of the last century, later working closely with the luxury houses of the 1950s, including Christian Dior. All were equally inspired by the array of opportunities crystal would bring to their collections and Swarovski’s commitment to creative craftsmanship has positioned its crystals as the ultimate creative ingredient.

WHAT MAKES SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS SO SPECIAL?

Meticulous quality control in Swarovski’s manufacturing process ensures perfectly shaped, flawlessly faceted crystals and gemstones. Following 12 years of intensive research, all Swarovski crystal is now produced to the Advanced Crystal standard, an innovative, lead-free* formula which has raised the bar for quality and sustainability in the industry.

Now, discover how Swarovski plays an important role in British fashion; from supporting students just starting out in their careers to working with established designers who are known the world over.

SWAROVSKI X MCQUEEN 
A visionary beyond his years, Alexander McQueen’s raw talent, paired with his unfailing resolve to push at fashion’s boundaries, made the designer an icon of his time. McQueen’s close relationship with Nadja Swarovski created an explosion of creative energy which came into form as the Swarovski Collective and the blockbuster ‘Savage Beauty’ exhibition at the V&A. 

TRIBUTE TO THE MASTER

Swarovski collaborated with iconic British photographer Nick Knight to create an extraordinary fashion story, which was captured in a short film and a sixteen-page shoot in the Spring 2015 edition of AnOther Magazine. Knight worked with groundbreaking stylist Katy England to embrace the emotional energy of Alexander McQueen's early years in London and produce a powerful photographic tribute to the designer.  

SWAROVSKI X MCQUEEN: SAVAGE BEAUTY

The original Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition, staged at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2011, was expanded for London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in 2015. It featured 30 additional garments, including some rare early pieces, lent by private individuals and collectors such as Katy England, as well as pieces from the Isabella Blow Collection and the House of Givenchy.

Gainsbury and Whiting, the production company that collaborated with McQueen in staging his catwalk shows, designed the exhibition. Each section captured the essence of the provocative, dramatic and extravagant catwalk presentations that McQueen became renowned for combining storytelling, theatrical performance, music and film.

Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board said: “We are honoured to support this landmark exhibition celebrating the creative genius of Alexander McQueen at one of our most distinguished cultural institutions. We were privileged to collaborate creatively with McQueen since 1998 in both fashion and design, and Savage Beauty is an eloquent tribute to the scale of his talent.”

Philip Treacy’s famous Bird’s Nest Headdress for Alexander McQueen Autumn / Winter 2006 Collection

Complete with seven Swarovski crystal eggs. Watch the following video to find out how Swarovski collaborated with Philip Tracey and Alexander McQueen to create this unique piece.

Highlights from the Alexander McQueen 'Savage Beauty' Exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London

SWAROVSKI COLLECTIVE

Founded in 1999 as a collaboration between Nadja Swarovski, Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen, the Swarovski Collective supports innovative emerging design talents, helping them to push the boundaries of crystal use in fashion.

SWAROVSKI COLLECTIVE 2017 MEMBERS

This season the Swarovski Collective includes some of London’s most vibrant and exciting designers of the moment.

SADIE WILLIAMS
Mixing a decidedly feminine spirit with a tomboyish aesthetic, designer Sadie Williams developed and refined her design point of view whilst studying the renowned Central Saint Martins MA fashion course in London.
EMILIA WICKSTEAD
Originally making her name as a made-to-measure designer, Wickstead later expanded her repertoire to include seasonal ready-to-wear collections, which she first started showing at London Fashion Week in 2012. A favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, Wickstead is known for her take on high-profile yet versatile modern formalwear.
FAUSTINE STEINMETZ
Known for her uncompromising artisanal approach, Paris-born designer Faustine Steinmetz focuses on creating timeless collections, with simple pieces that have become cult classics amongst her clientele. Steinmetz’s Spring/Summer 2017 presentation featured an innovative museum-style staging of her crystallised designs. 

SWAROVSKI COLLECTIVE HALL OF FAME: MARY KATRANTZOU

SWAROVSKI COLLECTIVE HALL OF FAME: PETER PILOTTO

SWAROVSKI COLLECTIVE HALL OF FAME: ERDEM

SWAROVSKI X CHALAYAN: DECADE OF COLLABORATIONS
Hussein Chalayan is known for his innovative mix of design, science and art, with creations that sit somewhere in the space between clothing and performance art. As a man self-professed to be consumed by “ideas”, his work spans the worlds of fashion, design, and fine art. His collaborations with Swarovski date back over a decade, with an impressive body of crystallized work that continues to grow and evolve.

10 YEARS OF COLLABORATION

Swarovski’s partnership with Chalayan began in 2006 when he created ‘Repose’, a conceptual art installation for Swarovski’s Crystal Palace project, as well as a spectacular jewelled collar for the Runway Rocks event.

In his six seasons with the Swarovski Collective, Chalayan produced some of the most groundbreaking show pieces in recent fashion history, including his LED light dress (AW07) featuring 12,600 LEDs and Swarovski crystals, the extraordinary laser dress (SS08) and Kaikoku, a floating dress that released 50 crystal ‘pollen spores’ (AW11).

CHALAYAN SS16 – SOLUBLE DRESS

Watch the defining scene from Hussein Chalayan’s Spring/Summer 2016 show, capturing a pair of female guards wearing military-inspired water-soluble uniforms which dissolve to reveal 3D fabric dresses complete with palm trees, Swarovski crystal coconuts, and a crystal strip framework.

CHALAYAN AW 2016

In 2016 Chalayan partnered with Swarovski to present a collection that moved beyond simple participation and into a 360° virtual reality experience. Captured using VR Technology (please switch to Chrome to see the show in full VR here), the collection plays with themes of metamorphosis, progression and the power of culture.

Chalayan’s Autumn/Winter 2016 presentation was an ingenious crystallized exploration of Germanic culture across the ages, and a further testament to the power of fashion to enact and comment upon change.

SWAROVSKI X EDUCATION 
The future of fashion is in education. Swarovski has a longstanding commitment to enabling creativity in fashion and supporting the fashion industry as a whole. Through its ongoing programs with renowned educational institutions and partners, Swarovski actively invests in the future of British fashion and beyond.

CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS JEWELLERY PROJECT

Now in its 15th year, the annual Swarovski and Central Saint Martins design project sees third year BA students challenged to create a couture piece, with a focus on the innovative inclusion of Swarovski crystal and gemstones.

As part of Swarovski’s commitment to sustainability CSM project students are encouraged to use upcycled crystals. Upcycled crystals are unused elements with enormous potential for transformation into new products for better environmental value and more sustainable use of resources. Giving a new life to stunning Swarovski crystals is a challenge but also an opportunity for young talent, eager to be part of a new circular economy.

From a selection of students’ submissions, 10 finalists are selected to realize their designs with production and financial support provided by Swarovski. The project culminates in the selection of one winner who will receive a cash prize.

APPLICATION ROOMS

Swarovski has provided application rooms within leading educational institutions, including the prestigious Royal College of Art, London. The application rooms aim to educate both teachers and pupils on the many innovative and beautiful ways Swarovski crystal can be integrated into their creative products. Along with important technical training, Swarovski provides necessary supplies and equipment for diverse crystal applications.

SWAROVSKI FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP

Set up in 2013, the Swarovski Foundation works to support fashion talents as part of its commitment to support Culture and Creativity, by creating scholarships at iconic institutions such as London’s Central Saint Martins and New York’s Parsons School of Design.

BRITISH FASHION EDUCATION CHARITY

Swarovski is the partner sponsor of the Fashion Awards 2016, taking place at the Royal Albert Hall, London on 5th December 2016. The Fashion Awards will be an annual fundraiser gala for the British Fashion Council Education Foundation charity. The charity aims to promote excellence in design by offering support to future talent with the potential to make an exceptional contribution to the fashion industry. The BFC charity will pioneer both undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships; fashion apprenticeships; a National Fashion & Business Saturday Club; and a programme of industry-led events, seminars and competitions. The new format of the event for 2016 has a core aim - to raise significant funds over the next ten years for education scholarships to help the best talent attend leading fashion colleges.

SWAROVSKI X WALES BONNER
Grace Wales Bonner’s work explores black spirituality and masculine identity via a nuanced and luxurious blend of European and African sartorial and cultural influences. With a partnership that began in 2015, the designer is an ongoing Swarovski collaborator and one London’s brightest new talents. 

FKA TWIGS, GRACE WALES BONNER & SWAROVSKI

Performing her single ‘Good to Love’ at the Tibet House Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall and on ‘The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon’, FKA twigs and her band wore bespoke looks by Wales Bonner. The pieces were crafted from ivory raw silk and hand-embroidered with Swarovski Crystal beads and sew-on stones in varying shapes.

FKA twigs also collaborated with Swarovski on crystal embellished costumes for her Glastonbury 2015 performance and performed as a guest at the company’s 120th anniversary celebrations in April 2015. Wales Bonner has been supported for her ready-to-wear collections by Swarovski for the last three seasons since her critically acclaimed debut in June 2015 during the London Collections: Men.

SPRING / SUMMER 2017

Highlights of Wales Bonner’s Spring / Summer 2017 collection, featuring Swarovski crystal.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google
Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile