Monday, November 30, 2009

Water Is The New Expression Of Luxury

(Photos courtesy Swarovski)

For Spring/Summer 2010, Swarovski takes an "Out Of The Blue" approach to jewelry and accessories, the majority of which are whimsical and opulent at the very same time. As Nathalie Colin, the company's Creative Director explains, "water is the new expression of luxury in a world where increasing efforts are being made to protect the environment. I wanted to explore this theme with this important seasonal collection, the second part of the 'Beyond Nature' trilogy." Keeping to this candid observation, the current collection focuses on bio diversity and marine life, via aquatic-themed pieces, featuring a myriad of multi-colorful crystals, in tandem with new materials, emphasizing changing reflections of the water's surface.

The "Beauty Drops" grouping consists of sensual and fluid pieces, such as the "Liquid" necklace, featuring a long chain, highlighted by droplets of crystal, accentuated with a large, cut crystal in a flowing, rhodium-plated casing. "Another piece in this grouping, aptly dubbed "Levity", brings to mind a very sexy, jellyfish, all done up in coral crystals, set against a long chain, playing in the ocean's waves. Pieces within "Marina Blue" take inspiration from the beauty of life enveloping the coral reef, by way of the kinds of blues and reds generally associated with shells and corals. Long, languid necklaces, with aqautic names, such as "Lagoon", and larger-than-life, "Ginseng", "Opaline", "Lazy", "Louise" and "Look" cocktail rings, many showing the company's exclusive Pointiage (TM) technique, all mix and match together, in eclectic and different combinations of beautiful crystal color palettes and silhouettes, totally reminiscent of exclusive cruise holidays, right along with ocean life on top of and under the deep blue sea.

The "Sea, Light and Fun" assortment gives way to a fabulous sea filled up with more than just a few playful and eclectic creatures. Proving that more is more and layering, layering, layering is good, better and just plain best, there are playful "Elvis" and "Erika" pendants, rendered in the Pointiage (TM) setting, and playing up the idea of a sweet crab and a gracious water droplet, covered all over in coral or blue crystals. The "Charmed" bracelet, which seems to bring about a "good luck" aura in its own right, features abundant charms, with names such as "Crab", Octopus" and "Red Fish".

Moving along with the water story so prevalent this season is the "Lychee" fish pendant, rendered in both large and small sizes, with clear, crystal huge eyes, a small, mobile tail, rounded form and asymmetric fins. The quirky fish also appears in a matching ring and bracelet. Honing in on the idea of the riches of underwater treasure, there are abundant groupings, such as "Nirvana Flash" (ring) and "Laser" (necklaces, bracelets and hoop earrings), each of which incorporates light and sparkly crystal hues, such as red, blue, yellow, white and black, alongside bountiful, summertime fruit shades, such as lemon, yellow, raspberry pink, and clear crystals.

Moving into another kind of fantasy realm is the “Alice In Wonderland” Disney Collection 2010, showcasing an array of rings, earrings, bracelets, fanciful necklaces and charm pendants. In this grouping, the “Flower Garden” wrapped necklace is utterly cool for every “Alice”; ditto, the “Red Queen”, “Mad Hatter” and super-cool, “Cheshire Cat” pieces.

Swarovski obviously loves its jewelry, but there is another kind of good accessory story going on here, as well. Addressing this genre, there are sparkly, little bags and wristlet pouches with names such as “Glam”, “Las Vegas”, “Glitz”, Gala”, “Power”, “Lolita” and “Libertine”, along with lots of nifty accessories, such as “Happy” and “Lucky” key rings, mobile phone items, bag charms, coin Purses, billfolds and wallets.

Summing up the viewpoint of the new collection across the board, it is a safe bet to say that the company, which nearly always manages to step outside of the box with each new collection, certainly manages to stay true to its current design message of nautical, water and lots of sophistication and whimsicality.

Just about everywhere across the current grouping, the pieces manage to stand on their own, and cohabit obviously well for their individual stories; i.e., living the luxury life, youth, spirit, wellbeing, exoticism and light-heartedness. Or, to put it another way, en francais, "voici á beaucoup de joie de vivre et les belles filles dans l'ègalement belle bijouterie et les beaux accessoires cette saison".

- Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bling, Blam, Bloom

(All photos courtesy Swarovski)

Swarovski has got it going on for Fall/Winter 2009. Think about a most bountiful, beautiful, and often-times seductive and sexed-up array of generously encrusted crystal jewelry, handbags, watches and the like, all of which debuted at the company’s recent event in an airy, spacious, flower-and-tree-laden, penthouse space in NYC, and you will get the point intended.

Going under the aptly named theme of “Nature Reloaded”, every collection here, from the gigantic and haute couture to the prettified and pret-a-porter, made its own definitive statement for the type of big style, big glam and lollapalooza effect, which so very many Red Carpet celebs and real people, too, have come to love and look forward to from Swarovski over the years.

First on the docket came the ultra pricey, say-it-loud and never low-key Daniel Swarovski collection, which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2009. This is a serious, ultra-glam grouping, which under the creative guidance of Rosemarie Le Gallais and the artistic direction of Nathalie Colin, showcases 20 heavy-duty handbags (precious little clutches and evening styles), 20 super-shiny pieces of jewelry (huge cocktail rings and over-the-top necklaces), and a gaggle of covetable watches, many rendered in true, old-world, dressmaker details of woven, lace and braided effects.

The pieces work generally due to the fact that mostly everything here possesses a strong form of art deco noblesse oblige, in terms of requisite shapeliness, form, design creativity and workmanship. Most noticeable and most true to the couture feeling of Daniel Swarovski, though, is the overall black, gold and silver color pallette, used across the line. While it is summarily expected that chic colors such as these would be chosen for the collection, it is also obvious that the use of other colors, such as brights or mixtures of one-off tones, might have made the pieces appear too garish and cheap, which surely was never what Daniel Swarovski had in mind for any of his pieces, beginning with the first collection back in 1989.

Moving on to the main Swarovski pieces, Nathalie Colin re-addresses nature, while taking a hard look at several strange and enchanted stories, such as “Reptile Tectonic”, “Hypnosis”, “Purple Blossom” and “Enchanted Microcosm”. Moving into netherworlds such as eclectic geometry, hypno florals, and dreamy worlds, individual groupings tell their particular story by way of jewelry and accessories, worked around a cool mix of seductive crystals and an eclectic color story of lovely pales, richest goldens and shimmery darks. All in all, who cares if scary snakes and plumped-up stones are the order of the day? In the end, just about everything that Swarovski is serving up is all good and good enough to be voluptuous and covetable.

One of the more memorable parts of the Swarovski line is the fun, whimsical and fantastical “Enchanted Microcosm” section. This grouping stays in the viewer’s mind, simply because the pieces play around a magical kind of forest and fairy story, which, for the most part, does not take itself too seriously. Of special note here is the return of the thoroughly joyful and multi-colorful “Elvis”, “Erika” and Bat” and “Cat” characters, seen this time around, popping up across an array of “insect” and “butterly” pendants, as well as “good luck charm” cell phone accessories.

While the Daniel Swarovski and Swarovski collections in their entirety do a nice job of presenting their “Nature Reloaded” stories, each in their own different ways, it is true that the lion’s share of each collection ties together well. And that is the way jewelry and accessory collections are supposed to work, especially when considering the fact there really is something for just about every jewelry lover in each line.

Obviously, Daniel Swarovski’s big, showy, extravagent baubles, which break in August 2009 at four of the company’s American boutiques, are never for the faint of heart, and that is totally cool. On the other side of the coin, the more accessible, affordable and generally more wearable Swarovski pieces have their place for those who may not necessarily be or might never have the desire to be, the debutante, celebutante or “It” girl of the moment. Available also in August, this part of the line will be in all of the company’s stores and online at

– Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg