Swarovski crystals light up the catwalks at Fashion Week

A celebration of brilliance: Balmain, Koché, Christian Cowan and more crystallized their collections for Spring/Summer 2021.

There were many highlights on the Spring/Summer 2021 runways, but it was those that featured Swarovski crystals that shone the brightest.

At New York Fashion Week, Christopher John Rogers elevated wardrobe essentials with vibrant color and crystal embellishment, turning them into something fantastical. The black button-down shirt dress, which featured Hotfix crystals in rainbow hues summed up the designer’s joyful outlook. “I love using Swarovski crystals tonally,” he said. “The iridescence, and the amount of color options that are available is always really exciting to me.”

Christian Cowan also showed in NYC, presenting a collection that was full of glitzy escapism, inspired by the British punk rock movement of the 1970s. “Working with Swarovksi has been a dream of mine my entire career,” said the Central Saint Martin’s graduate – and what a brilliant collection to start with. Think graphic tees, shredded denim and Swarovski-embellished ball gowns featuring an opulent mix of Fancy and Rivoli stones in captivating colors.

Kevin Germanier and Christelle Kocher of Koché experimented with brilliance in Paris.

For Koché, this season marked her tenth collaboration with Swarovski. “The endless possibilities that Swarovski crystals offer is incredible,” she said. This season, the Parisian-based designer collaborated with artist Alex Cecchetti – focusing on the theme of nature and creating hand-painted floral prints and embroidery with Swarovski crystals.

Kevin Germanier led the way in sustainable design with his zero-waste collection. “I always try to push myself and Swarovski to the limit,” he said. Each piece was elevated with upcycled Swarovski crystals, highlighting his passion to show that sustainability can still be glamorous and colorful.

Headlining Paris Fashion Week, Balmain celebrated its 75-year legacy with infinite crystals lighting up the runway. It was a true spectacle to behold, as creative director Olivier Rousteing collaborated with Swarovski once again, continuing the partnership and shared heritage of both brands. “Swarovski has played an important part in this house’s history with some of Monsieur Balmain’s most important designs relying on those famous dazzling crystals,” he said.

And there was certainly no shortage of sparkle for Balmain Spring/Summer 2021. Artisans embroidered two million upcycled crystals across various pieces, including the revamped PB pattern and show-stealing dresses that will no doubt be reviewed as works of art in years to come.

In Shanghai, one-to-watch Angel Chen brought her colorful approach to life in another trademark fusion of East meets West. Debuting evening looks for the first time, the Central Saint Martin’s graduate collaborated with artist JiaJia Wang and sprinkled upcycled Swarovski crystals throughout the collection to spotlight vibrant brush strokes of color.

Be it New York, Paris, or Shanghai, the season was a true celebration of innovation and brilliance – with designers proving that they can adapt and find new ways to work while still shining a positive light, even in uncertain times.