(All photos Swarovski)
Using the phrase, “modern vision of luxury”, to describe its Autumn/Winter 2010/11 signature crystal jewels and accessories, the Austrian-based Swarovski Company and its Creative Director, Nathalie Colin, extend the story of the prior collection’s “Beyond Nature” trilogy, which then brought crystal into the realm of refined, mineral-inspired formations. Moving on from there, the story is now about natural elements, frozen water, clouds, wind and silence, all of which take shape throughout themes such as “Nordic Dream”, Liquid Dream” and Dream Box”.
Across the board, there is a focus on vintage shapes, cool tones that range from shades of Nordic blue to palest grey, and the refinement of crystal beading techniques; co-joined with more of a fantasy story of mystery, silence and serenity, inspired apparently by the frozen waters of Nordic landscapes. Heady words, maybe, but for this editor, viewing the entire collection, set within the gallery-like ambience of an open, light, white, space, at The Fuller Building on Madison Avenue, the feeling, in many cases,, comes across as honest and truthful, delivering, for the most part, on its promises in an instant and purposeful way.
Interestingly, and obviously with an eye set upon capturing and captivating a much broader share of the mass marketplace via gems and accessories at affordable price points, a good number of pieces within the new line, hearken back to the design feeling of the exclusive, hand-made, haute couture aura of the iconic, Daniel Swarovski collection, launched in 1989, only now, beginning in 2010, sans the high price tags. In keeping with the Daniel Swarovski attitude, these pieces will continue to retail only through Swarovski international boutiques.
The jewels and nearly everything else shown during the presentation, basically do what they are designed to do; i.e., focus on clean, minimal lines, in order to obviously allow the star of the show, the crystal to shine on through. According to Colin, whose aim for this collection was to go directly back to basics, “each piece is an expression of inner luxury and revisits the most essential value of today – the purity of the soul. Here, crystal is imbued with the reviving, purifying and sensual virtues of nature’s most powerful elements, such as water in all its forms.”
With all of this being said, the majority of pieces within the collection are refreshing and lovely. But, there are certain themes, such as the Montecristo; Maniac; May; Meteor;, Milady; Glamour; Hyacinth groupings; Molly necklace, Midnight, Allegro, Power, Kiosque and Mythic Bags, Moonshine and Majesty Ring, Majesty Cuff, and Mellow Scarf Necklace, which seem to take their inspiration straight from specific historical and references, the majority of which are memorable for their attention to opulence, luxury and fashion.
It is easy to see that the design elements incorporated into many of these pieces appear to take their definitive influences from the periods of grande Art Deco style, as well as the lavishness of The Tudors, especially when taking into account, the 1500’s, English King Henry the Eighth’s preoccupation with all things stylized and beautiful, not only for himself, but for many of the female and male gentry, with whom he surrounded himself, during his reign. Additionally, there are those pieces within the collection which portray the fragile charm of the Parisian nobility, most notably during the time of Marie Antoinette, when she, the Dauphin, and the ladies and gentlemen of the French Court, adorned themselves in the most sumptuous clothing and jewelry, simply to spend luxury time at the lavish palaces of Versailles and Le Petit Trianon.
Keeping in mind that Swarovski customers always look for something extra and different, aside from the main pieces, the company offers shoppers more crystal-embellished items, such as chunked-out and colorful, sport and dress watches, with cool names, such as “Octea Sport”; “Octea Lady”; “Dresstime”; “Piazza”; “Rock ‘n’ Light”; “D:Light”. Last but not least, there is Christmas jewelry, Active Crystal LED and computer accessories; all kinds of cute bracelet and bag charms, mobile phone accessories, key-rings, small bags and small leather goods.
– Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg