Fashion Faces, Brilliantly Inspired

Swarovski’s new brand campaign for Fall/Winter
2016/17 takes off

With a dazzling originality that shatters the standard image of brand marketing, influential fashion photographer Tim Walker has applied his extravagant and theatrical vision to a new campaign for Crystals from Swarovski. Brilliant Inspiration points the lens at eight of the style world’s most inventive and compelling individuals, creating a series of witty portraits-cum-artworks that define contemporary brilliance.
First up is this month’s cover girl, Karlie Kloss, who is also Swarovski’s new brand ambassador. Not just a supermodel, she’s a philanthropist, businesswoman, and fashion and lifestyle inspiration, not to mention the owner of one of the most distinctive walks in the business. In a spectacular portrait that embodies her own words—“When you wear Swarovski crystals you feel like you’re illuminated, like you truly shine”—she shimmers under a skin frosting of crystals.

Doyenne of the ultra-glam-luxe shoe Charlotte Olympia Dellal sets the campaign’s artistically self-assured tone as she subverts the Playboy Bunny ears with her famous Kitty flats. Leading the charge against gender stereotypes, Thom Browne deploys a slick, crystal-encrusted briefcase as an edgy contrast to his reputation for sharp tailoring. (Who says men can’t do sparkle?) Multifaceted designer Jason Wu takes the opposite approach, seducing the viewer with his sophisticated, modern take on old-world feminine glamour by draping himself in exquisitely intricate embroideries. While Wu’s direct and intimate gaze invites us to touch and admire, Mary Katrantzou, the “maximalist” fashion designer renowned for her explosive prints, leans away from the camera clutching a lavishly embroidered gown to her chest. This is an artist whose every piece is an act of pure creation—don’t ever stand between a mother and her offspring! 

Makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench introduces a surreal slant as she clutches her paintbrush and daubs a slash of scarlet crystals across a disembodied model’s head. Meanwhile, image-maker Edward Enninful OBE—W magazine’s Creative and Fashion Director and the visionary behind catwalks and campaigns for the global fashion elite—flies with the brilliantly bizarre as bejeweled insects alight on his immaculate suit. It’s a theme that Kate and Laura Mulleavy of the eccentrically beautiful Rodarte label employ to similarly striking effect, as shimmering crystal-embellished butterfly jewelry appears to swarm around the duo.

Inspirational? Brilliantly so!

Photography by Tim Walker
Video by Tim Walker