Opulent Insects From Atelier Swarovski and Matthew Campbell Laurenza-------
Four and a half years of work comes to fruition this week as Matthew Campbell Laurenza and Atelier Swarovski launch Jeweled Garden, fifteen fantastical, one-of-a-kind pieces created exclusively for Bergdorf Goodman. If almost a half-decade seems a tad leisurely, consider the undertaking: Laurenza, who previously collaborated with Swarovski on its annual Gem Visions initiative, began with a series of opulent, larger-than-life insect sculptures. A dragonfly with white topaz pavé wings nearly 3 feet in diameter is poised to take flight and boasts more than 57,500 stones. A black widow of the same scale is lethally lovely, decked out in 31,248 pieces of black spinel, blazing red topaz, and labradorite. For the entomophobic, botanical pieces like jewel-encrusted mushrooms and lilacs should delight. From sculpture, Laurenza soon branched out into equally naturalistic fine jewelry (Atelier Swarovski’s first foray into the market), where offerings include an ornate scorpion cuff and dazzling iris cocktail ring. Taking cues from the Beaux Arts and Deco baubles, the American expat also looked to his adopted homes of Bangkok and Hong Kong: “The use of color in Asia has always been unique from the standpoint that they like to contrast. They don’t believe in the same color theory that a European or an American school would. The more color, the better, whereas here we tend to keep things more somber.” Staid the resulting creations are not, but they do make a case for the chic factor of creepy crawlies.