Swarovski continued its affiliation with fashion at Paris Fashion Week, where the Swarovski Collective sponsored the Fall 2016 collections of three designers: Christian Wijnants, Thomas Tait, and Esteban Cortázar.
Experimenting with the crystal company’s vast crystal range, the designers presented looks featuring applications that included paintbrush-stroke crystal transfers, crystal fabric tailoring, and intricate beaded details.
Wijnants, who found himself inspired by animal prints, created abstract, graphic versions of them using crystal transfers. The black and electric blue treatments allowed the fabrics to retain its softness and movement, and the effect was something the designer described as “a little bit art brut and Raoul Dubuffet.”
Meanwhile, Cortázar started with the exploration of how to create cosy garments that are both long and lean at the bottom, as well as structured and armor-like on top. Using leather, lined with bonded velvet on the inside, and finishing it with wax, the designer created a sculptural jacket. Then, using a Swarovski crystal fabric that resembled the night sky, he created drapey trousers that looked like intergalactic lounge pants to pair with the top.
On Tait’s part, he used a variety of beads to create texture, spontaneously placing them over the garments. “We applied them on the day of the shoot, having seen the clothes on the model, and certain places just draw your fingers to them. It isn’t calculated,” he explained. What was calculated, though, was an attempt at branding. To that end, the designer used back-printed crystal to form a a little ‘T’, which he then applied to his garments.
The three designers are in competition with 12 other Swarovski Collective members — including Emilia Wickstead, Iris Van Herpen, Peter Pilotto and Rosie Assoulin, to name a few — for the 2016 edition of the Swarovski Collective Prize, which will be announced in June.