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Swarovski Breaks Down Norms in S/S 18 Collection

Dark color palettes, the breakdown of gender norms and virtual reality play into Swarovski’s Spring/Summer 2018 trend stories for apparel, footwear and jewelry. Titled, “New Perspectives,” the collection aims to outmode structures of the past and renew creative energy.

Swarovski explains that the season’s new crystals reflect how “old dividing lines are being broken down—between luxury and street, the natural and the digital, male and female, and even between opposing belief systems.”

Despite the influx of parred down sneakers for men and women, and new decorative textiles updating women’s fashion boots, Swarovski expects crystals to be a key component in footwear.

Going into Spring/Summer ’18, Swarovski’s trend team said footwear designers will pay closer attention to heels as a design aspect. Heels will become a more prominent canvas for experimentation with treatments, embellishments, and new shapes. Decorative heels will be balanced with athleisure silhouettes, which the team said is moving toward a more haute couture aesthetic that can go from a creative office environment to a night out.

That mix of dress and casual footwear trends play into Swarovksi’s four diverse stories for S/S 18. Here’s a look at the season’s trends from the crystal lens of Swarovski.

Spell Bound

Ethereal, mystical and dark, Spell Bound pulls spring in a new moodier direction. Driven by the growing interest in black magic, voodoo rituals, witchcraft and astrology, Spell Bound pushes traditional precious metals like gold and titanium into a new realm of unconventional colors. Metallic finishes are mysterious blends of green, blue, silver and violet. Key colors include iridescent green crystal, rose gold, light chrome, scarabaeus green and black patina with a vintage mirror effect. Swarovksi’s new Baroque Mirror Fancy Stone and Baroque Bead amplifies the story’s fairytale-like theme.

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Hacked Nature

Hyper-real, hyper-stimulated, Hacked Nature focuses on bold sensations, shapes, colors and constructions from the tropics. Exaggerated surfaces—inspired by virtual reality and recycled or upcycled materials—add dimension and open a new super tactile direction. Swarovski’s solution for more heightened sensory experiences is the new Shimmer effect, a combination of “futuristic gleam” and bold colors, spanning fuchsia, tangerine, peridot and citrine. The new Shiny Lacquer crystal offers a shiny yet rubberized look in mint green, coral, peony pink and summer blue.

No Normal

Influenced by the deconstruction of lifestyles, formality, fashion, business and hierarchies, No Normal answers fashion’s obsession with seasonless and genderless dressing. Key items in the elegant collection include a new Pave Drop Pendant, Base Flat Back and Pyramid Flat Back. Various sizes of crystal, pearls and beads are used as all-over caviar coatings in random and geometric designs. Deconstructed settings and one-of-a-kind designs tap into the demand for personalization. Important colors include rose peach, denim blue, royal green, dark red and white opal.

Gang Star

Swarovski’s boldest trend, Gang Star, is directly influenced by the urban landscape, street style and consumers’ need to express themselves—literally—in everything they wear. The concept looks at fashion as a billboard with thoughts and sayings scrawled in rebellious graffiti-style typography on clothing, footwear and jewelry, conveying a message of strength and empowerment. Finding inspiration from 90s hip-hop and sport, the trend combines gold chains and medallions with varsity colors like sunflower yellow, red, royal blue and jet. Bigger is better, with key crystals being Skull Flat Backs with transparent and metallic effects and Rimmed Flat Backs for an extra dose of metal.

Swarovski’s Designer Edition Series Crystals for S/S 18, designed by former BMW chief of design Chris Bangle, connects with all four stories. Based on tilted perspectives, Bangle looked at crystals from a new angle, adding depth to flat surfaces with the Tilted Chaton Fancy Stone, Titled Spike Fancy Stone and Tilted Dice Fancy Stone.