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Fivestory fetes Swarovksi's Emerging Talent nominees

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Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie   
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Nothing quite brightens up a Tuesday like a room full of champagne and crystals. Last night, the 2013 nominees for the CFDA Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent gathered at uptown boutique Fivestory to present a range of creations they had covered in Swarovski Elements. Each nominee designed something that spoke to his or her own aesthetic—for instance, Tim Coppens bedazzled a Ducati Formula One racing helmet, and Creatures of the Wind's Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters produced a glittering pinup print. The collection, on sale now, will benefit Free Arts NYC.

"We did a real cactus," said Suno's Erin Beatty, standing next to her glittering plant with co-designer Max Osterweis. "We were thinking about what would be unusual and what would be fun, and ultimately, the most beautiful things come from a place of contrast," offered the womenswear nominees, adding that their intern nearly skewered her eye on a cactus needle while helping them apply the crystals. Worth it, though, as their item was the first to sell.

Womenswear nominees Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs also went a dangerous route, producing a shimmering set of razor-sharp knives. "They're just sleek, badass objects," said Cushnie, insisting that the knives were meant to be used in the kitchen (surprisingly enough, they're also dishwasher safe). Apparently, there were a few less benign mishaps in their creative process. "Michelle's a bit accident prone," chuckled Cushnie. "But she's still got all ten fingers!"

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