Set Sail for the Sun

London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017

Three designers from the Swarovski Collective stunned London with looks that were out of this world. Step forward new members Sadie Williams and Faustine Steinmetz, together with much-loved favorite Emilia Wickstead, as well as sparkling previous member Mary Katrantzou.

It was a high dive into the blue for Swarovski Collective debutante designers Sadie Williams and Faustine Steinmetz at London Fashion Week SS17. On September 20, Sadie Williams sailed into the ICA with her fresh take on nautical themes. Traditional sailor caps and marinière stripes were thrown overboard in favor of custom Crystal Mesh semaphore flag patches, plus white shirts signaling ‘Sadie Williams’ in Morse code picked out in crystals. Colorful crystal clusters were set against black satin to mimic the twinkling lights of boats at night in a look that’s cleverly been dubbed “tombuoy”.

Over at Faustine Steinmetz’s innovative staging, models and guests were completely immersed in all things bright blue and beautiful. Swapping the runway for static, sapphire-skinned models lounging like mermaids in display cabinets, this exciting designer showed off hand-dyed indigo yarns, hand-embroidered recycled denim, weft floats, digital prints and ikat weaving effects. Over 60,000 crystals shone in denim and clear shades: tiny stones were strewn over stretched, transparent silk tulle, and spiky, larger cuts were scattered across cuffs, as well as adorning Moroccan slippers.

Meanwhile Swarovski Collective favorite Emilia Wickstead breezed back into the sparkling fold with consummate ease: dreamy-fresh and floaty, she deftly played with Seventies summertime glamor through voluminous silhouettes and light silk blouses. Palette and patterning came from mid-century kinetic sculptor Alexander Calder and love hotel décor, as crystallized polka dots vied with boudoir floral prints. Outbreaks of elaborate circular flower embellishments created with myriad colored crystals were a standout detail.

Finally, in a breathtaking display of artistry, longstanding Swarovski collaborator and former Collective member Mary Katrantzou explored her Hellenic heritage for the first time, taking us on a dazzling trip to the Aegean. The sophisticated aesthetics of the Ancient Minoans jostled with the future-gazing Sixties as classical pottery motifs encircled sharply tailored silhouettes, and mind-altering patterns inspired by Op art were loaded onto clinking Perspex-link dresses. The much-admired explosive impact was created with spectacular floral belly-bursts of crystals. It’s the result of an ongoing creative dialogue between Katrantzou and the crystal house—we hope the conversation has only just begun…


Photography Eli Schmidt