Keeping the most dazzling global event sparkling for a decade is no small challenge, and the 89th Academy Awards®, which took place on February 6 2017, marked the 10th year that Swarovski has been showering the Oscars® ceremony with crystals. The numbers are jaw-dropping: over the course of a decade, 1.2 million crystals have been used to conjure the special magic of the Dolby Theater® on Oscars® night, from 50,000 crystals in 2007 to 300,000 in 2017.
For the last five years, the show’s look and feel has been presided over by production designer Derek McLane. Working with the team at Swarovski’s HQ in Austria, he created a new focal piece for 2017 consisting of eleven decorative sections requiring nearly 150,000 Swarovski crystals. The magnificent proscenium arch was made of 37,000 crystals layered over a gold backcloth, with a further 80ft x 40ft crystal curtain comprising 320 individual crystal stands threaded with 80,000 crystals. In addition, the closedown wall—also 80ft x 40ft—took 149 separate panels and 22,200 crystals to create, with 18 opera box covers glittering with a further 23,500 crystals.
Having started working with Hollywood’s famous costume and set designers over 85 years ago, Swarovski’s history of collaborating with the entertainment industry is widely acknowledged. In the last ten years, over a million crystals have been used to embellish the costumes of dancers and performers. Swarovski crystals have also adorned some of the screen’s most iconic stars, including Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls, Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge! and Lily James in Cinderella.
To mark this tenth year of partnership, Atelier Swarovski premiered its debut fine jewelry collection on the red carpet as part of the Red Carpet Green Dress initiative. Worn by Emma Roberts and Priyanka Bose, the pieces feature only Swarovski Created Diamonds and Swarovski crystals that are ethically developed, something of which the crystal company is justifiably proud.
Behind the thrills and spills that make the annual Oscars ceremony such a hotly anticipated event, the dazzling crystalline glamour creates its special atmosphere.