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Swarovski channels Klimt

Photo: Mikael Jansson.

After her first collection for Swarovski, Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert continued exploring the brand heritage and properties of crystal to design the new Collection II.

"We've created pieces for everyone to play and experiment with crystal as a tool for their own expression," said Swarovski's creative director since May 2020.

She based the designs on three evocative styles: the majesty of clear crystal; the playfulness and hypnotic sense of colour; and the spirit of Bohemian culture.

The native of Milan also drew inspiration from the works of Austrian artists and design movements in fashioning the variety of jewellery.

"I wanted to dive deeper into a love affair with Austrian arts and crafts, notably the influences of the Wiener Werkstätte and Gustav Klimt, while bringing in a modernity to the organic ways shape and form can be represented within their tradition," she said.

Founded in 1903, the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops) revived craftsmanship through modern decorative arts for architecture, furniture, jewellery and everyday objects. Involved with the Wiener Werkstätte, symbolist painter Gustav Klimt was also a prominent member of the art-nouveau Vienna Secession movement formed in 1897.

Swarovski's crystal production began in the mid 1890s in the small village of Wattens in the heart of the Austrian Alps.

In its purest form and in hyper-expressive colour, the role of clear crystal has been elevated in the Collection II, whose pieces are unapologetic in their scale and presence.

The collection was unveiled on Instagram as part of a digital programme created in partnership with Swedish photographer Mikael Jansson. Engelbert's vision was brought to life in 25 portraits that feature an ageless and gender-inclusive group in celebrating their diversity, fundamental to the collection itself.


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