Bold New Looks at New York Fashion Week

The Big Apple rocks some cool couture

Spring/Summer 2016 kicked off at New York Fashion Week this September with some memorable fashion statements. The spotlight shone brightly on five members of the Swarovski Collective, who showed stunning collections that glittered with cleverly placed crystal embellishment.

Creatures of the Wind 
For their SS16 collection, Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters, the designer duo behind the label, reframed traditional American colors and emblems in a sparklingly original way. They described the collection as a mix of texture, pattern and material embellished with “patches and symbols that would normally be made of threadwork or fabric, but in crystal take on a whole new meaning.” They elevated a Western-influenced red shirt jacket with jet-black crystal stars, arrows and diamonds, reprising the treatment on a black bomber jacket, and again on white jeans. A black evening dress, ruched across the waist, had just enough scattered crystal hearts, stars and four-leaf clover emblems to give a satisfying shimmer, while a sheer top layered under an envelope-shaped waistcoat was given a slightly military twist with sleeves patterned in silver chevron stripes and a yoke adorned with giant Chalk White crystal stars. 

Rosie Assoulin 
2015 CFDA Swarovski Award winner for Womenswear Rosie Assoulin produced a highly accomplished collection with her signature structural silhouettes and zingy color palette. Models lined up in an empty swimming pool, its walls festooned with Keith Hering drawings. She used cloth made of multi-hued geometric patterns created from flat back hotfix crystals, chosen for the way “they bring light and fluidity to the fabric”, which injected a cool dose of disco attitude. The crystals lifted simple white round-neck T-shirts, black vests, and drawstring midi-length skirts to ultra-special, highly desirable garments. She also applied the same crystalline pattern to strappy, maxi-length black dresses, as well as coordinating shirts and loose pants, giving the feeling that you could go straight from the beach to a soirée. 

Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin, the brains behind Tome, presented a collection that suggested an enviable laidback ease. Some sheer looks were downright daring, while others gave just a hint of the body underneath, the fabric masterfully cut to gently float away from the body, keeping everything elegant. Camel duster coats were worn over loose-cut shirts printed with an adorable fish pattern, while midi-skirts were enlivened with gorgeous floral-patterned lace and highlighted with crystal-edged foliage. There were pretty white lace dresses, again edged with a feathered crystal effect that artfully gave shape to the bodice, as well as long-sleeved tops with shimmering crystal mesh stripes. 

Tim Coppens 
For this Belgian-born menswear talent, Spring/Summer 2016 was only the third time he had shown womenswear (SS15 was his first outing). He’s already hitting a high note with his cool take on sport-luxe with a distinctly unisex take. We saw bomber jackets with loose cropped white trousers, distinctive tops, black track pants, and footwear—all linked by the same striking embellishment: Swarovski Crystals pearls. Using a restrained palette of black, white and neon orange in broad horizontal bands of color, the effect was stylish yet simple. For Coppens, the “extra dimension” that he says Swarovski’s craftsmanship brings to his designs is the true elevator here. 

Tanya Taylor 
Tanya Taylor infused her covetable summer collection with ebullient joie de vivre. Anyone with a liking for a cheerful outfit won’t be able to resist falling in love with her vibrant prints. This season she was drawn to Swarovski Crystal pearls “because they add a graphic dimension to this season’s recurring floral motif.” Incorporating crystal in a way that complements the printed fabrics without being over the top, she sent out pretty dresses in delicate silk tulle printed with eye-popping bright pinks, greens and purples that were exquisitely embroidered with crystal pearls.