40 posts tagged "Swarovski"
“I can get out of a lot of things, but this dress is not one of them,” said burlesque star Dita Von Teese of the gown she donned to last night’s party at the Ace Hotel. The dress in question was the first fully articulated 3-D printed garment, which was conceptualized by designer Michael Schmidt. And the party, which drew the likes of Debbie Harry, Bob Gruen, and Andrej Pejic, served to toast its unveiling. “I was interested in finding the middle ground between the world of mathematics and the world of ephemeral beauty,” Schmidt told Style.com. The L.A.-based designer, who has crafted looks for stars like Madonna, Cher, and Lady Gaga (the latter wore his glass-bubble costume on the cover of Rolling Stone in 2009), conceived Von Teese’s frock with Fibonacci’s Golden Ratio in mind.
With the help of computational designer and architect Francis Bitonti, Schmidt used 3-D software to realize his space-age gown (think cinched waist and steroidal shoulders). The dress began as a digital rendering, which was then engineered in powdered nylon by high-tech collaborator Shapeways. “As an architect, it’s all about dealing with facades, and this was just about making a curvy one,” mused Bitonti. The body-skimming dress featured an undulating mesh silhouette of three thousand articulated joints fashioned out of layered nylon powder. As if that weren’t complicated enough, it also boasted twelve thousand Swarovski black crystals, which were painstakingly placed by hand after printing. “It’s obviously very futuristic, but I tried to retain a level of old-world glamour that was befitting of Dita,” added Schmidt. Indeed, the Blade Runner-meets-Bettie Page ensemble was worthy of the millennial pinup. “It’s superlight,” Von Teese mused later that evening after slipping into a demure Roland Mouret shift. But was it comfortable? “The only uncomfortable part is that I needed to be very cautious about how I walked. I had to make sure my heels wouldn’t get stuck in the hem.” Even in the future, glamour’s got its obstacles.
It’s ready-to-wear time, but the fashion set will fete made-to-measure clothes tonight when Paris Haute Couture opens at the Hôtel de Ville. The Swarovski-sponsored exhibition showcases one hundred pieces from the Musée Galliera’s archives and a few loans from private collections. According to curator Olivier Saillard, the Galliera’s director, it tells a chronological story, starting with Charles Frederick Worth at the turn of the century (the show’s first dress was owned by the Comtesse Greffulhe, who inspired Marcel Proust’s Duchesse de Guermantes) and ending with one of the final pieces Cristóbal Balenciaga made before he shuttered his couture business in 1968.
Many of the dresses are juxtaposed with contemporary pieces; “For me, haute couture is not a discipline slave to the present,” Saillard explained. A Galliano-designed Dior, for example, is matched with Paul Poiret, while a 1920s Chanel is paired with a dress from Bouchra Jarrar’s latest couture collection. Saillard has affection for every piece in the show, but he’s partial to the 1930s. “The thirties is the most elegant period. There were a lot of women designers: Vionnet, Chanel, Schiaparelli—that means something,” he said. “They didn’t see back to the past, they see only the future.” As for couture’s future, Saillard says it’s not dead. “There are a lot of designers interested in haute couture: Raf Simons at Dior; Comme des Garçons is doing another kind of couture; Nicolas Ghesquière was, for me, a good designer who could make haute couture.”
Paris Haute Couture is free to the public from March 2 through July 6, at the Hôtel de Ville.
The Swarovski Collective has helped over 150 fashion talents since its inception in 1999. This season, the crystal house’s initiative has given its support (and its stones) to fourteen cutting-edge talents. To celebrate and document the designers’ creative processes, Swarovski has produced behind-the-scenes films that follow every label on its journey down the Fall ’13 runway. Style.com will be giving you exclusive looks at two of Swarovski’s videos from each of the four fashion weeks. Next up is Suno, who, designed by Erin Beatty and Max Osterweis, showed its Fall collection on Friday. To view all of our Fall ’13 Swarovski films, click here.
The Swarovski Collective—the crystal house’s initiative to help promising young designers and established names—was started in 1999, after Isabella Blow introduced the Swarovski family to Alexander McQueen. “We saw then the magic that resulted from putting our crystals in the hands of cutting-edge talent, how they push the creative boundaries and limits of creative craftsmanship,” says Nadja Swarovski, the initiative’s founder, who notes that collaborating with young designers has been the “cornerstone” of the project from day one. “The fashion industry is fiercely competitive, and it’s incredibly hard for young designers to fulfill their creative potential season after season,” she adds. Indeed, Swarovski has done its part—the initiative has helped over 150 talents since it launched. This season, fourteen brands—Mary Katrantzou, Creatures of the Wind, Suno, and Eudon Choi among them—have been supported by Swarovski and its stones. And to further celebrate the designers’ creative processes, Swarovski has made behind-the-scenes films that follow every label on its journey down the Fall ’13 runway. Style.com will be giving you exclusive looks at two of Swarovski’s films from each of the four fashion weeks. The series kicks off with Creatures of the Wind, above.