I think the reason they say "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" is not only because of the great emotional and financial value of diamonds... it is because women LOVE the sparkle. In different intensities, women love crystals... the bling-bling and the way it reflects light hypnotizes us! My first work with crystals in designs was years ago when I was preparing for my wedding... I made sure that my dresses during the engagement and the wedding parties were designed to include crystal-embroidery... how can I not use them during that special time!
Over the years, we have seen more and more designers include crystals in their items. Luckily, this beautiful "gem" did not become exclusive to Haute Couture or bijoux; today crystals are seen on Pret-a-Porter collections, Abayas, shoes, bags, phones.... On everything!
Although many might think the use of crystals in fashion existed in recent years, in fact, crystal beads have been present since the 1200's! In the early 19th Century, Austria had become popular for creating glass beads. It was at that point that the great Daniel Swarovski was born into a family of glass and crystal makers. Growing up and apprenticing in his father's crystal and glass factory, he was inspired by new electrical machinery to develop the first machine for cutting crystal. In 1892, he realized his dream of precision cut crystal, allowing him to start the Swarovski Crystal company in 1895. In 1913, the company achieved the perfect crystal; one without flaws. They sold these to the fashion industry. By the 1930's, crystals sewn onto fabric ribbon, called trimmings, were developed. And from there, the affair between designers and Swarovski Crystals began.
Personally, I love the mixture of crystals with pearls and beads. It not only gives texture, but adds that extra sparkle to anything designed. I have been thinking about reusing crystals in my designs for a special collection. The designers who use crystal in their creations, and especially Swarovski Elements Crystals, are too many to list. I love how Burberry created the crystal trench coat or how Prada used crystals in their designs few seasons back... they are definitely some of my favorites. I also like the work of Michael Cinco, recently featured by Chantal Azzi on her blog GlamsbyChantal. He makes me feel that I want to have my wedding all over again!
The works of Michael Cinco
Away from fashion and into music, crystals have conquered that as well! I'm in-love with Duran Duran’s new music video "Girl Panic". Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Yasmin Le Bon, Cindy Crawford and Eva Herzigova reunite and in a witty subversion of gender roles, they transform into the boys from the band for his Girl Panic!
Making-of Duran Duran's "Girl Panic"