It seems like Swarovski, just like the rest of us, has taken the pandemic as opportunity to reinvent itself.
You may know the Austrian company for its crystals, which have graced everything from Rihanna’s famous naked CFDA dress to the red carpet jewellery worn by Scarlett Johansson, Emma Roberts and Penelope Cruz. While Swarovski has always seemed like a perfect fit for Hollywood royalty, or anyone whose style calls for pomp and extravagance, the brand is now making a proposition: the crystal lifestyle is for everyone.
Enter Wonderlab, a new concept introduced by Swarovski’s first-ever creative director, Giovanna Engelbert. The former fashion editor, who has styled the pages of Vogue Japan, W and Uomo Vogue, was appointed just last year during Swarovski’s 125th anniversary, but she took no time in unveiling her maximalist vision for the jewellery brand.
“The Wonderlab is where science and magic meet, where extra and elegance collide,” shared Engelbert. “It is a feeling of wonder that everyone should experience as we invite them into our new world at Swarovski.”
Her first collection, literally named ‘Collection One’, spells it out crystal clear: there are the candy-hued ‘Lucent’ cocktail rings, just as chunky as the ‘Millenia’ bracelets lined with triangle- and cushion-cut crystals; rainbow-stone ‘Chroma’ chokers with matching earrings; double-sided drop earrings that are named ‘Orbita’ because you can swivel the stones around as you like; and ‘Curiosa’ necklaces whose pendants come in complex forms inspired by math and science.
You get the idea. These are jewellery pieces to get excited about and show off, not merely collect because they are investment pieces. Each design is loud enough on to earn you a compliment on a Zoom call, but there’s a thrill in styling them the way the an Italian like Engelbert would — layering pieces over each other for dramatic effect. “With crystal, you can play,” she said. “You can just have more fun, more… everything!”
What’s most exciting is that Wonderlab, Swarovski’s joyful vision of a crystal lifestyle, is open to everyone. The brand’s first campaign under Engelbert’s creative direction is fronted by models across different genders, ages and race, making the images as colourful as the jewellery featured in them. And while Swarovski’s crystals are of the finest quality in the world, they’re still accessible; you can own a single clip earring from Collection One for only HK$429.
No wonder that the designs are already selling out online. You can head to Swarovski’s revamped website and make your purchase, which will arrive in Swarovski’s new octagonal jewellery box — a nod to the multi-faceted crystal. These boxes, which come in bright pops of colour, are as exuberant as the gems they contain. They’re also adorned with the new Swarovski logo of a swan, poised to take flight towards the future.
Still, if you want to get your hands on Collection One, we recommend waiting for news of the new Swarovski Instant Wonder boutique — an enchanting Willy Wonka-esque interior drenched in vibrant hues with walls covered in Swarovski boxes in pink, yellow and green that show off the brand’s statement jewellery designs. If you’re not keen on waiting, however, the collection in available online here.
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Header photo credit: Swarovski