FASHION

Inside Swarovski’s Atelier in the Alps, a Glittering New Yayoi Kusama Room Dripping in Crystals


If anyone thought for an instant that Swarovski was not the most sparkling company in all of the world, this week’s blowout bash in Austria would indeed prove them wrong. Deep in the Alps, Swarovski unveiled what they call Manufaktur, their shiny atelier for fashion designers, interior designers, and other professionals who wish to use their crystals in their creations. While the atelier itself is impressive (cutting machines operated by both human and robot, drawers and drawers of glass crystals in every color of the rainbow), the truly fun aspect of the Snøhetta-designed atelier was a series of Instagram-worthy rooms, creative directed by the color and sparkle devotee Giovanna Battaglia. Aptly named the Crystal Library, one featured thousands of crystals lining the walls of a mirrored room. Another was a sight and sound installation where crystal chandeliers lit up brilliantly at random thanks to dancing neon lights and strobes. Still another featured bedazzled elements from the Swarovski archives, including a microphone and custom sparkling swoosh Nikes. To top it off, Swarovski commissioned none other than Yayoi Kusama to create a piece of work using—you guessed it—Swarovski crystals and mirrors. To celebrate it all, Nadja Swarovski, Markus Langes-Swarovski, and Battaglia invited friends like Peter Dundas, Olivier Theyskens, Mariacarla Boscono, and hundreds of other guests to an over-the-top gala, complete with hundreds of asymmetrically cut crystals dangling from the ceiling. For all things sparkly, see below. No Kira Kira necessary.

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The welcoming entrance to the main floor of the Manufaktur. The colorful letters are created from blocks of glass before they are cut and polished into the Swarovski crystals we all know.

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ALESSANDRO GAROFALO

Models Mariacarla Boscono and Natasha Poly immersed in the Instagram-ready Crystal Library at Swarovski headquarters.

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Just a very small selection of the colors and shapes of crystals designers can play with when they visit the Manufaktur. Swarovski has collaborated with hundreds of designers – from Karl Lagerfeld to Anthony Vaccarello of Saint Laurent on last fall’s famous crystal encrusted over-the-knee boots.

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One of the rooms curated by Swarovski Professional creative director Giovanna Battaglia, aptly named the Rainbow Room, featured crystal-encrusted products and collaborations from Swarovski’s archives

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Decadent crystal chandeliers light up in another of the experiential rooms at Swarovski’s new atelier, Manufaktur.

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The interior showroom space of Swarovski’s atelier for creative professionals.

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Every office should have an inspirational quote in neon decorating the walls, and “Everything you want is on the other side of fear,” is the mantra of the Swarovski Manufaktur.

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The new headquarters were designed by the Norwegian architects Snøhetta, and have a very modern feel for the storied company.

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Not far from Swarovski headquarters is an all-sensory museum featuring numerous works of art, including a black crystal-encrusted Keith Haring piece, and one of the few original diamond dust Andy Warhols. The newest addition, however, is a stunning piece by Yayoi Kusama, dubbed the Chandelier of Grief.

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After the official unveiling of Manufaktur, Swarovski’s guests headed to the original home of the founder, Daniel Swarovski, where Giovanna Battaglia had curated a party space filled with archive pieces, and imagery from the new Swarovski tome, Book of Dreams.

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Little baubles created by Swarovski line a medicine cabinet in one of the rooms of the founder’s home at the cocktail reception.

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After cocktails, it was on to dinner, where guests – many decked in crystal-embellished dresses – dined under shimmering crystals for the remainder of the evening.