Fashion Week: Milan and Paris

Fall/Winter 2015/16

There was a feeling of ebullience and extravagance on the Milan catwalk coming from both the established designers and the up-and-coming names who are enjoying Swarovski support. Meanwhile in Paris, the Swarovski Collective gave out a strong sense of the avant-garde with wonderfully experimental designs.


At Blumarine, T-shirts were luxed up with a scatter pattern of crystals, and the same treatment worked to fabulous effect on short-hemmed, long-sleeved mini dresses and sheer maxi skirts. 

Fausto Puglisi continued his ascent through the fashion hierarchy with a va-va-voom collection full of zebra printed, halter-neck mini dresses embellished with punchy crystals, and mini skirts and crop-tops edged up with lattice metal and crystal sections. 

Giorgio Armani might be celebrating his 40th anniversary, but his clothing is still bang up to date. He complemented classic black pants with streamlined embroidery and glistening crystals. 

Genny took its inspiration from Egypt, infusing pieces with powerful elegance. Printed empire-line maxi dresses made of chiffon blossomed with crystal detailing, while white, skater-skirted mini dresses were given punchiness and silhouette detail using fans of crystal embellishment at the waist. 

Laura Biagiotti‘s collection had echoes of sci-fi meets Ancient Rome. Elegant, swirling colonnade-printed dresses were punched up with crystal detailing on bodices, alongside dazzling gold creations with crystals that delicately emphasized the waist. Also on show were extraordinary mini dresses with fur arms that shimmered with delicate sequins. 

Alberto Zambelli went for a heavenly color palette of pastel lilacs in velvet jacquards. Delicate crystal-embellished patterns worked their way onto super-chic, loose, long-sleeved tops. 

Ermanno Scervino sent vamps in seductive red cocktail dresses down the catwalk. These were etched with dazzling embroidery and accessorized with chunky necklaces and oversize statement earrings embellished with Swarovski crystals. 

Meanwhile, Cristiano Burani’s collection was cool and laidback with chunky-knit sweaters and loose metallic midi skirts edged up with equally chunky footwear. Simple t-shirt shapes with crystalline striped detailing gave off a rock ‘n’ roll vibe. 

The four designers supported by Swarovski more than lived up to the nail-biting challenge of wowing the fashion cognoscenti assembled alongside Milan’s catwalks:

Over at Aquilano.Rimondi it was all about strong block shapes (think long-sleeved mini dresses and spaghetti-strapped, square-cut camisoles), which were given extra urban punch with chunky metallic embroidery and standout Swarovski crystals. 

Leitmotiv played with naïf figure embroidery on bold mini dresses. Striking flamingoes and florals were etched in multicolored embroidery and crystals on dresses and black blouson-style shirts. 

Newcomer Luca Lin (Next Generation) played with layering and textures in his take on womenswear-meets-baseball attire, slipping gray shifts with curved leaf patterning over pale green, sharp-collared dresses with white silk hems. 

Claudio Cutugno (Next Generation) delivered a powerfully brooding, all-black display. His extravagant, feather-covered maxi gowns featured sections of crystal work, giving his gothic maidens a glistening, ethereal touch.


Iris Van Herpen explored 3D forms with an extraordinary translucent stainless steel weave, which she used to stunning creative effect in body-mapping, off-the-shoulder crop-tops and curved mini skirts. These were informed by her exploration of the geographical concept of ‘terraforming’ (the modifying of another planet so that it resembles Earth). Translated, this meant ‘technically impressive pieces emboldened with Swarovski pendant crystals’. The looks may have been sci-fi, but they were eminently wearable. 

Christian Wijnants fused bold, graphic prints with pared-back, minimalist looks, but his soft gray marl dresses and all-white ensembles were lifted with luscious shawls in a checkered pattern of hand-embroidered Swarovski crystals. 

Masha Ma also centered on strong geometric patterns, exploiting her initials for a witty foray into personal branding. Using an earthy color palette of bronze, gray, navy and khaki, with crystals serving a structural purpose, rather than used purely decoratively, this gave her elaborate collection a hint of Americana sportswear.


Photography Jason-Llyod Evans