Think weddings, and its not a far leap to get to bling. Crystals, diamonds, glitter and glamor. And its never a far leap to get from bling to Swarovski. The company that’s managed to make its name synonymous with bling has brought its latest exhibition to the Taj Palace, New Delhi. The four-day exhibition will showcase the work of 80 international designers and 65 locally developed designs, all personal interpretations of wedding fashion, accessories and furniture.
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As workers scurried about the conference room setting up a white wedding room for the exhibit, Markus D. Lampe, senior vice-president, marketing, spoke about where we’ll see crystals next, why even children love crystals, and which colour will be this season’s big hit (hint: it’s Indian).
Lampe explains that Swarovski’s business side, Crystallized—Swarovski Elements, sells directly to designers. To attract them and inspire them, Crystallized sponsors exhibits around the world, with retailers and with design fairs, such as The Crystal Palace, each year at the Salone Di Mobile in Milan. For the past two years,
the company has convinced top designers, such as John Galliano, Vera Wang, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, to create a wedding look inspired by crystals. The pieces were photographed and organized into a beautiful coffee-table book, Unbridaled — The Marriage of Tradition and Avant Garde. The rich, staged photographs showcase the various pieces, from ornate veils to subdued short dresses, and from crystal-encrusted purses, to an elaborate table made from cement with crystal legs.
Dress by Daniel Swarovski, hat by Stephen Jones for John Galliano . Photo: Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello
The exhibition will showcase 65 local designers, from Manish Arora’s Reebok shoes to Golden Lights Elegance Chandelier.
The next project the company plans to undertake will be an exhibition of interior design products, inviting top interior designers from around the world to create crystal-inspired designs. “You did not see much crystal in the interior design world in the past,” Lampe says. “There was a real lack of technology to apply crystals to the material.” But that’s about to change. The interior design project the company is working on will introduce new technology that will step up the production of crystal, such as “Crystal Gloss” that will evenly cover crystals set into a furniture’s surface, embedding the crystal into the surface. “You will not see it when you look at it plain, but you will see a sophistication, so it’s really about this kind of special finish,” he says.
The company also sends out the colour trends to major fashion houses twice every year, to help inspire designs. This season the colours suggested by Crystallized are Indigo and Indian pink. “We felt this was really the colour of the moment,” Lampe says. “It’s really just a coincidence that we came up with really Indian-inspired colours the year we are launching this project.”
Despite some of the backlash from consumers who feel that “bling” has had its heyday, Lampe says that designers still find great inspiration in crystals and know that “crystal can be shouting out loud or very subtle”. He believes we’ll see a lot more crystal used in interior design.
“There’s something about the material that inspires ideas,” Lampe says. “And there’s also a comfort element to it. If you give this to a little child anywhere in the world, you’ll see a sparkle in the eye.”
Unbridaled — The Marriage of Tradition and Avant Garde can be purchased for €40 (around Rs2,700) and the exhibition Wedding Belles can be viewed 18-21 September in the tea room at the Taj Palace, New Delhi.