For A/W11, Atelier Swarovski worked with fashion designer Mary Katrantzou and others
For nine seasons, Swarovski, the luxury purveyor of precisely cut crystals, has collaborated with leading designers to create exquisite and cutting-edge collections. Under Atelier Swarovski, Christopher Kane, Marios Schwab, Mark Fast, Matthew Williamson, Nicholas Kirkwood, Viktor & Rolf and Zaha Hadid have each uniquely incorporated these world-class crystals into their accessories, with some continuing the use of Swarovski across their catwalk collections.
For autumn/winter 2011, Atelier Swarovski worked with fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, jewellery designers Rodrigo Otazu and Lesly Vik Waddell, multi-disciplinary artist Ark Levy and costume designer Cate Adair. Most intriguing of these are Katrantzou’s pieces; which perfectly complement the hyperrealist aesthetic of her catwalk collection. Combining trompe l’oeil with vivid prints, her simple silhouetted garments have attracted widespread attention season-on-season: most recently Vogue Japan’s Anna Dello Russo was photographed in Katrantzou’s autumn/winter 2011 Fabergé egg influenced design. Here we speak to Katrantzou about this exciting Atelier Swarovski collaboration and the inspiration behind her jewellery creations.
What do you find so exciting about being part of this season's Atelier Swarovski collection?
It was an amazing opportunity to achieve a very refined collection and create pieces that are unique but have commercial viability. What I love about this season's Atelier Swarovski collection is that the designers come from very different fields – architecture, styling, jewellery design and fashion. I think this diversity adds to the aesthetic of the collection as a whole and all the designers really stand out because of it. It was a huge learning curve for me personally, as I had to look at the jewellery from a very different perspective. It was great to be able to achieve this level of refinement and design.
What about your designs and the inspiration behind them?
The designs were loosely inspired by this season's 'Object D'Art' theme. We worked with the AB pendants to create an iridescent feeling and a lightness that was in line with the use of enamel, which shadowed the collection's porcelain inspiration. I wanted the jewellery, just like the clothes, to look as if they were prized processions found in an elitist home. They have a touch of glamour but they are light and there is a hint of colour.
How did you incorporate the Swarovski crystals into your style and aesthetic?
I have worked with Swarovski crystals since my very first season. I have a maximalist aesthetic, so the crystals enable me to align my work with luxury. I use them to highlight areas in the garments or as part of the jewellery, equally enhancing the collection.
Who do you see wearing your designs?
Women with a strong presence and vision of fashion. Anna Dello Russo is a great inspiration for me and really encapsulates the charisma and style of the women, I love dressing.
How do you feel the accessories compliment your A/W11 catwalk collection?
The great thing about this collaboration is that the collection can stand on its own. It can be part of a very bold and coloured collection but it can also be part of one's monochrome wardrobe. It's very different to my own industrial looking jewellery, but that's what is great about it. Real women can wear these pieces, as opposed to being conceived just for the show.
From the nine Atelier Swarovski collections that have been created to date which are your favourite pieces?
I love Christopher Kane's mesh tube necklaces and Viktor & Rolf's intricate collection. The Victor & Rolf collection is amazingly detailed, especially the colour divide on every crystal!
Can you sum up your Atelier Swarovski collection in one line?
Unapologetic crystal luxury.