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Swarovski Balances Light and Dark for Fall ’18

Light and shadow, bright and dark, grit and elegance collide in Swarovski’s Fall/Winter 2018-19 crystal and trims collection.

On Tuesday in New York City, the Austrian crystal manufacturer outlined four essential fashion stories and accompanying crystal trends for the season that reflects the divisive nature affecting politics and social issues.

Here, Swarovski Senior Trends and Colors Forecaster Giorgia Musci shares how fashion and footwear designers can apply these themes in their collections.


The most tough, urban and gritty of Swarovski’s trend stories for Fall/Winter 18-19, Urbania taps into the global state of paranoia and uncertainty. Recycled materials, layering and DIY aesthetics reflect people’s survivalist impulses and fear of wasting natural resources. As a result, fashion becomes a hodgepodge of matte and shiny, light and heavy, formal and casual, feminine and masculine.

It’s a dark and dramatic story. However, city light inspires color. Swarovski captures the look in a set of crystals ranging from Montana blue, ruby and violet, to silver and brown pearls. Royal green makes a bold statement as a reminder of the planet’s precious natural resources.

In this trend, expect to see new and old elements cobbled together. Found objects—whether from a closet or elsewhere—are repurposed and transformed into new silhouettes. Industrial elements creep into style, with designers using oversized hardware and mesh to replicate the look of chain-link fence and patchwork for an up-cycled aesthetic.

Footwear is sturdy and features a worn-in, imperfect look. Leather boots with rubber soles, including combat and biker boots, are necessary for stomping around the city or escaping. Meanwhile, metal heels add a repurposed feel to elegant footwear.

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Hungry for a reason to celebrate, fashion looks back to the 1920s and 1930s in this sophisticated story that revels in femininity, opulence and power.

Classic Art Deco color combinations like crystal, green and black return. Brown and ivory pearls mixed with crystals in azure blue, peony pink, scarlet red, copper and brilliant green deliver a fresh look. Hints of colorful Asian influences and Egyptian symbols add a sensual and exotic vibe.

Swarovski crystals

Tassels, feathers and other swinging—literally—embellishments add movement to fashion, which breaks away from the gender fluidity trend to fully embrace lingerie-inspired fabrics and silhouettes. Feather mules, Art Deco motifs and sculpture heels go from day-to-night. The luxurious look is enhanced by the return of silk stockings and suspenders embellished with crystals.


Based on bold color and playful textures, Funtasia unleashes the inner child in designers and consumers. Swarovski says the trend speaks to consumers that want to bring joy back into their life and are unafraid of breaking fashion rules.

Here, fashionistas can dress like children again by clashing color and materials. Teddy bear furs, pop culture references, overblown prints, cutesy animal motifs and pops of neon return. New crystal shapes for this theme include blossom starbursts and eyes, which add a cartoon vibe. The novelty shapes complement a broad range of colorful crystals, including royal blue, lacquer red, pink peony and neon orange and green.

Expect to see the DIY patch trend evolve into fun designs made from crystals. Crystal brooches in whimsical shapes like rainbows and lips offer versatility. Meanwhile, crystals embedded in leather and 3-D embellishments like mesh covered stones add unexpected dashes of color.


The yearning to disconnect and slow down the pace of everyday life is reflected in Swarovski’s trend, Nostalgia. Simplicity, stillness and calmness drives this trend’s crystal color story, which includes jet black, dark grey, ivory cream and powder grey trims. Pearls pair with filigree to create a look from the past.

In fashion, Victorian lace and unruly black feathers add drama. Lace and sturdy materials with delicate laser cuts and patterns lighten up the moody look. With modest wear (full skirts and long-sleeve shirts) poised for a comeback, as well as high waisted trousers, Swarovski predicts the return of Victorian ankle boots. Clean silhouettes made with luxurious leathers and supple suede combinations create a modern look. Here, designers can play with matte and shine contrasts.

Black and white color combinations offer more opportunities to play with contrasting, minimalistic looks. Instead of black and white patterns, expect to see more division between the two colors like wide stripes and color blocking.