Upcycled Crystals in Detail: See how Swarovski’s upcycled crystals have been repurposed by designers to encourage sustainability  

Commonwealth Fashion Council

A detailed look at the Swarovski crystal looks in the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange project. 

SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS IN THE COMMONWEALTH FASHION EXCHANGE PROJECT 
10 designers and artisans from across the Commonwealth incorporated Swarovski crystals into their unique pieces for the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange project. Approximately 11,000 upcycled crystals were used in the designs. The Swarovski upcycling program aims to give a new life to crystals; transforming unwanted products into new materials or products for better environmental value. 

The Exchange: India x Tuvalu

Designer behno x Artisans Fafine Niutao I Aotearoa

Behno's gown incorporated Indian craft and Tuvaluan artisanal work. Crystals in tones of black, navy and blue were heat applied and layered with panels of Kolose, a traditional crochet from Tuvalu.

The Exchange: Sri Lanka

Designer Buddhi Batiks

Hand-drawn, hand-dyed batik silk created by experienced batik artisans is enhanced with Swarovski crystals and pearls in blacks, blues, grey and rose colors reminiscent of drops of water on flowers.

The Exchange: South Africa x Lesotho

Clive Rundle x House of Thethana

South African designer Clive Rundle used slivers of crystal transfers to reference rain- a vital resource in Africa. Rundle is known to blend intricate structures and layered patterns to create visual depth to his work.

The Exchange: Kenya x Zambia | Kenya

Designer Deepa Dosaja x Artisans Mumwa Crafts Association | Artisan Fashion

Deepa Dosaja’s collections integrate Haute Couture techniques on luxurious natural materials. Swarovski crystals add a dimension of light to this gown with heat applied crystals on the hem scattered in various densities and crystal stones in shades of Golden shadow and amethyst sewn into the centres of the flowers on the bodice.

The Exchange: Nigeria x Malawi

Designer NKWO x artisan Joel Suya

The piece titled ‘Spirit of the Dance’ is inspired by Malawian traditions and crafted in hand-loomed Asooke cloth by a group of women based in Kogi state in central Nigeria, according to a traditional craft of the Yoruba people. Movement and drama are added to the piece with tassels and strings of amber, peach and gold Swarovski crystals.

The Exchange: Sierra Leone x Ghana / The Gambia

Designer Sydney-Davies x artisans Big Dread Kente / Ousman Toure, Continent Clothing

Inspired by modern queens, the look created by Sydney Davies is comprised of a natural raffia-fringed hand-woven Kente cloth skirt and oversized wrap jacket. The look is completed with a recycled plastic bralette top embellished with hand applied upcycled Swarovski crystals in shades of blue and gold to create a bumblebee motif.

The Exchange: St Kitts and Nevis x Grenada

Designer Iridescent Fashion x Artisan Neisha La Touche

Swarovski crystal fancy and sew-on stones embellish the bust, bodice and backpiece of the look created by Iridescent Fashion which captures the festivity and beauty of the Caribbean islands' carnivals. Crafted in luminous yellow fabric, crystals in shades of red, Siam and tangerine have been intricately embroidered to enhance piece.

The Exchange: Canada x Namibia

Designer Lucian Matis x artisans Omba Arts Trust

Lucien Matis is known for his elegant daywear and eveningwear which often features couture-quality embellishment. Textures are enhanced here with jet black crystals applied to lace and wool fabric.

The Exchange: Canada

Designer Tanya Taylor

A silk printed bodice encrusted with Swarovski upcycled crystals is pared with a multicoloured pailette embellished skirt using hand tie-dye techniques.

The Exchange: The Bahamas x Barbados

Designer Theodore Elyett x Artisan Catherine Rocheford

Inspired by the aquatic life of the Carribean the piece by Theodore Elyett features a silhouette derived from the fluid waters surrounding the island, the bodice is embroidered with upcycled crystal beads in a range of colors of Capri Blue, Aquamarine, Jonquil and Aurora Boreales which echo the designer's island roots.

Credits: Story

This content has been specifically curated for the Google Arts & Culture platform on behalf of the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange exhibition that launched on the 19th of February at Buckingham Palace in partnership with Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM.

The project, created and managed by Eco-Age, with the support of The Commonwealth Fashion Council and The British Fashion Council.

More information about the images is available by clicking on them.
Read more about the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at http://eco-age.com/commonwealth-fashion-exchange/

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.
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