Swarovski’s new Fall/Winter 2019-20 collection centers around themes of “self” as consumers look to disconnect from staid trends and outside influences, and instead reconnect and express what’s within.
For two days this week at its New York headquarters just off 5th Avenue, Swarovski showed off its next crystal collection. The theme was simple: Give people a chance to be themselves in a world that often begs them to conform.
Giorgia Musci, Swarovski’s senior trends and colors forecaster, said the the latest collection’s innovations and designs were inspired by four ideas surrounding the self: Check Yourself, Find Yourself, Excess Yourself, Dress Yourself.
For Swarovski’s first segment, checkered patterns among tweeds and tartan come accented by vintage pieces including “grandma” broaches and ID-link bracelets. These classic patterns and materials are updated with modern twists like colorful crystal embellishments and waterfall-style earrings that exude powerful feminine vibes without apology, Musci said.
This trend is defined by vintage colors and shapes, featuring the return of the silver imperial cut crystal that harkens back to the royal elegance of the 1920s, according to Musci. Other shapes and colors in the collection include teardrop crystals with options in azure blue and mint green, along with muted complements in a deep maroon and dark salmon.
Echoing a motif from Swarovski’s Spring 2019 theme of Wanderlust, Find Yourself is all about travel—but this time the journey is a personal one.
Authenticity and sustainability are heavy influences in this trend, showcased by floral arrangements and mismatched “folkloric” styles that emphasize embroidery and craftsmanship, so as not to stray too far from the real origins of apparel, Musci said. Even insects, bees in particular, are making a comeback as the home garden is heavily represented with botanical patterns and natural colorways. Musci emphasized that this segment is all about giving consumers more freedom to play with old designs while reconnecting to nature.
This theme includes Swarovski’s updated pearl for the season, the crystal irridescent Tahitian pearl, available in a moody teal. Finally, shimmering Lacquer Pro Delite crystals are backed with earth tones like ochre, army green and burgundy, highlighted with a gleaming light gray crystal, Musci said.
This inspiration takes its lead from the wave of self-expression sweeping over Asian cultures, focusing on new materials, volumes and shapes and exemplifying a “more is more” approach to design, Musci said. Every style here is exaggerated and designed to stand out, just like the people who wear them.
Excessive sizes, colors and shapes are present in the accompanying fashion, yet the styles never veer toward busy. Instead, “luxe minimalism” is at the forefront, she said, represented by oversized shapes and the rejuvenation of denim, both inspired by the styles of the 80s.
Crystals in this collection make statements in both color and design, most notably the jet black navette and teardrop crystal buttercup that was introduced in the previous season. This theme also features the first appearance of Swarovski’s crystal mesh in this collection—available in scarlet red—and the second of three pearls in dove gray. Rounding out the group is a crystal strip in burgundy and another in denim blue.
Swarovski’s fourth theme is meant to resonate with the theatrical element inside us, taking in the excess of the previous segment and adding in a bit of old-world elegance. It’s all about adding drama to your everyday life, according to Musci.
Style points are extravagant Victorian-style dresses bathed in lace and velvet gowns draped with vintage pearls. Brocade is another obvious inspiration, a fabric that mixes opulence with intricate craftsmanship to create a dramatic expression that Musci said is emblematic of the Dress Yourself style.
Pearls with vintage color palettes reign supreme, including the aforementioned iridescent Tahitian variety, along with the final of the three pearls in a velvet brown. Crystals in this segment nod to gemstones like amethyst and graphite and are complemented by bright, positive colors such as sky blue and tangerine in a variety of shapes, including one of two spherical zircons.
Meanwhile, Swarovski also introduced its newest “coldfix” innovation—crystal meshes that can be applied to surfaces like soft leather without using heat—allowing for a greater selection of materials that otherwise would be damaged by hotfix production methods to be outfitted with meshes.