Victoria’s Secret’s Fashion Show 2018

Yesterday, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show returned to its New York City home after three years. I was really eager to see it, especially because I was curious to see my beloved Mary Katrantzou‘s creations on the runway of angels. This year was a true glittery catwalk extravaganza that dazzled with over 850,000 crystals from Swarovski as Victoria’s Secret and Swarovski proudly introduced new facets of their iconic 16-year partnership.

Gigi Hadid in one of the Mary Katrantzou’s designs for the show.

It’s the most-watched fashion event of the year with around 800 million tuning in annually. And for a good reason! Atelier Swarovski created this year’s spectacular Dream Angels Fantasy Bra embellished with over 2,100 Swarovski Created Diamonds and Topaz. On another exciting note, fans will be able to purchase a replica version of the Fantasy Bra made with Swarovski crystals. 

Halsey performed on the runway in this blockbuster show…

… as well as Rita Ora and Shawn Mendes.

«In this year’s show we had 90 looks, and more than half of them have Swarovski crystals,» said Monica Mitro, EVP Brand Communications and Events for Victoria’s «It’s a really special show for both of our brands because it represents a true partnership. This year we had the greatest number of Swarovski crystals ever used in a show: these included the fully crystallized Swarovski look, plus over half of the other looks. And for the first time ever, we created the Fantasy Bra with Atelier Swarovski using sustainable, Swarovski lab-created diamonds, as well as producing a replica of the Fantasy Bra made with crystals from Swarovski, which we’ll be selling in our stores and online.»

Wearing the coveted Dream Angels Fantasy Bra is the ultimate honor for the Angels, and this year’s lucky recipient was Elsa Hosk, who described the delicate Atelier Swarovski designed bralette style as «very cool, very simple, modern, and so sparkly. If I had designed it myself, it would have looked just like this

Swarovski Created Diamonds are responsibly grown in a state-of-the-art lab according to the highest environmental, safety and labor standards, and yet they have the same optical, chemical and physical attributes as mined diamonds: both are 100% carbon, with the same hardness and brilliance. The Swarovski Genuine Topaz comes from traceable sources in Brazil and Sri Lanka. 

The replica bralette will retail at $250 and its matching panty at $98, with the total set featuring over 1,000 Swarovski crystals. Customers will be able to purchase their replica version on November 29 at select Victoria’s Secret stores and online at victoriassecret.com, before the show airs. 

«Swarovski’s partnership with Victoria’s Secret has brought major sparkle to the runways for over 15 years. We’re especially proud of our 2018 collaboration, because we’ve been able to add sparkle to women’s everyday lives by creating a commercial version of the Dream Angels Fantasy Bra,» said Alexander Wellhoefer, SVP for Swarovski Professional North America. 

The show closed with the sumptuous «Celestial Angel» section of the show, where Angel Romee Strijd’s official Swarovski Look transformed her into a shooting star. Made with over 125,000 crystals from Swarovski, the full outfit consisted of a sheer bodysuit hand-beaded with over 70,000 Swarovski crystals and framed by a seven-pointed star wing that took a team of experts over 250 hours to create.

More than 55,000 Swarovski crystals were placed on the celestial star wing.

«Victoria’s Secret and Swarovski have always been such a brilliant collaboration. Once the looks have Swarovski on them they’re elevated to another level. That’s what we look for in every show we do and in every piece we present. When we conceive the looks it’s always with Swarovski in mind because for us, the crystals bring a sense of luxury to the outfits—without them we just wouldn’t have that opulence. It’s essential to have Swarovski crystals in the collection,» said Sophia Neophitou, the show’s Creative Director.

Enjoy more looks and impressions below…
Happy Weekend!

LoL, Sandra

Adriana Lima

Aiden Curtiss

Alexina Graham

Barbara Palvin

Bella Hadid

Candice Swanepoel

Cindy Bruna

Devon Windsor

Duckie Thot

Estelle Chen

Jasmine Tookes

Josephine Skriver

Jourdana Phillips

Kendall Jenner

Lais Riberio

Leomie Anderson

Liu Wen

Martha Hunt

Mayowa Nicholas

Nadine Leopold

Sara Sampaio

Sui He

Toni Garrn

Winnie Harlow

Zuri Tibby

Photos Courtesy of Swarovski/Victoria’s Secret
Thomas Concordia/Getty Images for Swarovski

My Look: Vintage Viktor & Rolf

Here is my look that I wore to the 10 years Atelier Swarovski dinner last Tuesday. As Viktor & Rolf were present, I decided that it would be nice to wear something from their previous collections. When I last met them in 2015 (click here for the previous interview), they stopped doing ready-to-wear to focus only on couture.

My look: Cropped leather-trimmed wool-gabardine blazer by Saint Laurent, silk crepe de chine blouse and strappy heels in nude, neon yellow and black, both by Miu Miu, yellow and nude printed A-line skirt and mini Bombette bag, both by Viktor & Rolficon, and resin bead necklace iconby Marni. Rose des Vents bracelets in turquoise, orange, green and pink by Dior Joaillerie, diamond ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Christian Dancker – saltyimages.ch and © Sandra Bauknecht

10 Years Atelier Swarovski Dinner

On Tuesday evening, I was invited to a lovely dinner in Zurich‘s new restaurant Ornellaia (absolutely worth the visit, I loved it!) to celebrate 10 years of ATELIER SWAROVSKI. Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, who launched the brand in 2007, has collaborated since then with over 75 of the world’s most exciting contemporary designers of which two had come for the occasion to Switzerland: Dutch designer duo Viktor & Rolf.

Partners in shine: Rolf Snoeren, my humble self, Nadja Swarovski and Viktor Horsting.

Swarovski crystals and fashion are a never-ending love story. Nadja’s grandfather Martin Swarovski worked already closely with designers, such as Christian Dior, whom he helped to embellish the famous «New Look». Many fashion designers have used those famous crystals to embellish their collections.

«Working with crystal is like applying fairy dust to the collections.»
Viktor & Rolf

From the new book «Brilliant: The Story of Atelier Swarovski»:

Left – Maggie Rizer in a look from Viktor & Rolf’s F/W 1999 «Russian Doll» collection, right – a necklace from Viktor & Rolf’s «Velvet Rock» collaboration with Atelier Swarovski in 2014 for which the duo used crystals on the jewelry embedded with velvet flocking.

In 2016 ATELIER SWAROVSKI added a home decor line, in 2017 the first fine jewelry collection first presented at the Oscars. The designs deriving from the versatile collaborations are truly special, adding to ATELIER SWAROVSKI’s success of today.

It was a lovely evening and I had a great time, especially with these two. Isn’t it great when your girlfriends are so beautiful and come in model sizes :-): Nadja Schildknecht and Mimi Mollerus, both wearing ATELIER SWAROVSKI.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Christian Dancker – saltyimages.ch and © Sandra Bauknecht

Atelier Swarovski by Peter Pilotto

Atelier_Swarovski_Peter_pilotto

From chokers to colorful hair pins, members of the Swarovski Collective, and 2015 winners of the inaugural Swarovski Collective prize, designers Peter Pilotto and his partner Christopher de Vos turn their hands to the art of jewelry. Signatures first seen on their F/W 2016 catwalk (namely, striking color in geometric arrangements) now make up a kaleidoscopic collection of crystal jewelry in collaboration with Atelier Swarovski.

Atelier-Swarovski_Peter_pilotto_BarceletArbol Bracelet
icon

Inspired by the architecture of nature, the collection features a range of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and a hairpin, incorporating sparkling Swarovski crystal in vivacious colors with a rhodium finish.

Atelier_Swarovski_Peter_Pilotto_CuffArbol Large Cuff
icon

Great news is that Peter Pilotto’s F/W 2016 ‘Arbol’ collection for Atelier Swarovski is available exclusively for pre-order on MODAOPERANDI.COM iconfrom now before it will arrive in selected Swarovski stores and online from September 2016.

LoL, Sandra

LFW_Peter_01Peter Pilotto F/W 2016

Photos: Courtesy of Atelier Swarovski and Peter Pilotto

Atelier Swarovski’s Launch of Fine Jewelry

Atelier Swarovski First Fine Jewelry

Great news: Atelier Swarovski launches its first fine jewelry collection, designed by Matthew Campbell Laurenza. Hand crafted with Swarovski gemstones, the JEWELED GARDEN collection consists of 15 one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, which will be sold exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman from April 2014.

Swarovski began cutting rock crystal, garnets, agates and synthetic gemstones in 1965. By 1995 Swarovski launched a full line of machine-cut genuine, semi-precious gemstones and in 1997, through the development of advanced computer-aided technology Swarovski perfected the cutting of precious gemstones and added sapphires to the program. Topaz and Zirconia were added to the collection of Swarovski gems in 2004. Matthew was introduced to Swarovski Gems five years ago, and his fascination with the brand’s range of color-matched stones inspired him to create anatomically correct flower and insect sculptures drawn from a “parallel universe to our reality where flora and fauna rule the world”. These magical sculptures were transformed into wearable art to create the Atelier Swarovski by Matthew Campbell Laurenza jewelry collection.

Atelier Swarovski MCL 5

The exquisite collection comprised of eight rings, four bracelets and three necklaces is made with semi-precious and precious Swarovski gemstones including multi-colored sapphires, amethyst, rhodolite garnets, spinel and topaz. Each meticulously handmade piece is set in 18KT gold and highlights an element of beauty found in nature.

matthew-campbell-laurenza

ABOUT MATTHEW CAMPBELL LAURENZA

Matthew Campbell Laurenza is an American born, world-renowned fine jewelry designer who splits his time between Asia and the United States. He gathers inspiration for his collections from his frequent travels around the world. When Matthew travels, he makes time to see the sights and experience the culture. Matthew’s MCL jewelry collection is currently in Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Lane Crawford.

Enjoy this interview with Matthew Campbell Laurenza:

What inspired you to create the sculptures?
The concept took shape four years ago. The idea was to create sculptures that were not only intriguing but also showcased the technical proficiency of today’s metal craft. The garden pieces use 80,000 semi-precious gems to almost 200,000 gems and each one is hand-set by master craftsman. The assembly and casting alone for many of the pieces required more than 1,500 individual components which had to be carved in wax, cast, filed and then assembled together to make the final sculpture. On average, each piece took more than six months of a master goldsmith’s time.

Atelier Swarovski MCL 7

What was your process for creating the collection?
As with all my designs, the process starts with an idea that is translated into rough sketches. I then work on clay models to define the proportions and size so that master wax carvers can interpret the designs. Once in the hands of these masters, a piece will turn into an actual sculpture carved completely of wax. During the carving process, I review the prototypes on a weekly basis to allow for any changes and corrections. As an example, the scorpion took almost three months before its final wax was ready for the next stage. Once the waxes were approved, they had to be disassembled into small enough pieces to cast.

We used the lost wax casting method. Each part was labeled to identify its place in the puzzle and then we began filing. Assembly included relying on the original sketches and models. Each piece was laid out like a puzzle and then soldered together. We had to ensure the structural integrity of the sculptures as they needed to be reinforced internally while making sure that the exterior was kept pristine and free of any visual deformities. After reassembly, the sculptures were polished and each hole has to be counted, mapped, marked and measured so that the gems could be cut to size. To determine the colors needed for the gems, we made new sketches for each sculpture; mapping out exactly how each stone would be set.

The setting process involves dressing each mounting to carve a seat for the stone. This process was by far the most tedious since a professional stone setter can only set 400 to 500 stones per day and some sculptures have 200,000 stones. After each sculpture was set, it was sent for a final polishing and plated to add visual interest. Finally, the sculptures were set with rose cut pyrite, lapis and black onyx in special clays.

What is the story for this collection? What materials, color palettes etc. are you working with?
All of the sculptures were inspired by nature and classic works of art. We used Swarovski topaz, black spinel, rose cut pyrite, lapis, onyx and malachite. The color assortment allowed me to produce the designs as I had envisioned them. Colors that were near impossible to source were available in the topaz collections offered by Swarovski.

Atelier-Swarovski-Fine-Jewellery-by-Matthew-Campbell-Laurenza-364x390

Which is your favorite sculpture and why?
I like them all for different reasons. The giant sculptures to me are the most technical master pieces as they represent the most heartaches. The finished pieces are like my children and I love them equally jeweled GARDEN SCULPTURES.

What were some of your early influences when you first started designing jewelry?
I have always been intrigued with architecture and how it gives a city its soul. What’s amazing to me is what architects and craftsmen were able to accomplish in the past without all the technology that we have today. Notre Dame in Paris is a classic Gothic architecture and a truly inspiring structure. Other movements that continue to inspire me are the Orientalist, Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements of the late Victorian Era. I currently source many of my inspirations from architecture I see during my travels in Europe, Turkey and the United States. Travel is a limitless source of inspiration.

How do you feel you have evolved as a designer over your career?
As a result of experiencing so many different cultures, especially those in Asia, I appreciate color in a way that I did not at the beginning of my career and have moved into using color as a main aesthetic in my designs. My pieces are more playful now.

What are some key terms that describe the pieces in your collection?
Colorful, precious and complex.

Atelier Swarovski MCL 2a

The rings are quite colorful, what was the thought process behind the plating?
To me, anytime we can add color to a piece it adds interest and conversation. So when I learned of this new process of plating I immediately worked to incorporate it in my designs. I am pleased as it gives me new colors to compliment the vast colors of stones offered by Swarovski.

What type of woman do you think is the perfect fit for this jewelry?
A woman who is confident and looking for conversation. She knows that her power comes from her personal style. She finds her style from things that intrigue her in her day to day life. I am honored to be part of her life as she makes my designs fit into her universe.

Thank you, Matthew, for giving us such an interesting insight in your world!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Atelier Swarovski by Matthew Campbell Laurenza, © Mister Fran