Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The New Swarovski Spring/Summer 2011 Release, Part 2


It's time to show the world the new Swarovski Innovations article styles for Spring/Summer 2011!   No, these styles are not yet available, but they will be sooooooooon.....

The thing that struck us immediately is that Swarovski has gone heart-crazy!   They seem to have realized they were onto a really good thing with their Wild Heart pendant, released 6 months ago.   Everyone went nuts for this graceful yet ultra-modern style of heart, and the factory still can't seem to make the larger sizes fast enough!

So what do we see in the new line-up? One new heart pendant style?   Nope.  Two or three new heart styles? Wrong again! Five, count 'em, five brand new Swarovski heart pendants will soon be on offer.


 The #6261 Devoted 2 U Heart Pendant seems the logical opposite of the Wild Heart - instead of being long and tapering, it is wide, plump and kinda cute.




 The #6260 Crazy 4 U Heart Pendant takes back the long organic lines of the Wild Heart, and adds asymmetry to the mix - this is the 'funkiest' of the new hearts, and the off-center drill hole guarantees it will hang at a funky funky angle.



The #6262 Miss U Heart Pendant has a cut-out in the middle - all the better for it to hang at a fetching angle from your favorite chain or cord.  One almost wonders why Swarovski didn't call this the 'Cosmic' heart, in accordance with the names of most of their other pendants with cut outs.  But I guess they couldn't resist the pun.  "Miss" U, get it?  Because the center of the heart is missing....


 The #6264 Truly in Love Heart Pendant seems to be a new classic, a slightly widened, plump heart, with an unmistakable silhoutte.    But that's not the end of the story, because.....

 
The #6263 Forever 1 Heart Pendant takes the Truly in Love heart, breaks it, and puts it back together.  At least that's what that matte finish 'crack' down the center of the heart seems to symbolize.  Or maybe it's a representation of two hearts becoming one.  Whatever. You pick!

The #5624 Stairway Bead is an attractive flattened squared bead whose precise square facets help pass it off as classic, deco, or ultra-modern.  It is a classic shape that fills a hole in the bead line.  This one is another in the Swarovski tradition of having to make at least one new fancy bead that looks better the larger it is.


Aha!  Here is the latest 'cosmic' shape.  The #4736 Organic Cosmic Triangle represents Swarovski's latest effort at making a man-made geometric construct look organic.   The assymetry presents interesting possibilities for creating visual rhythms with the use of multiple cosmic triangles in differing orientations.


Finally!  Swarovski  jumps on the Pandora-fueled craze for large-hole beads with metal linings with their new BeCharmed beads.   Until now we had to be content with using Swarovski's #5041 large-hole rondelle beads on our chunky beaded bracelets, but it looks like these two new styles of beads are worth the wait.

Not only will the #5940 BeCharmed Briolette Bead and the #5920 BeCharmed Helix Bead be available in tons of Swarovski colors, but they are lined with truly spectacular and streamlined custom stainless steel cores.  Very modern looking, and quite stunning.  It's a pity you can't see the side view in these official Swarovski photos.


Not all of Swarovski's sew-ons are that conducive to use by jewelry makers.  But we loved the #3251 Space Cut Sew-on the moment we saw it.  It comes in a variety of sizes, some quite large, and with the generous holes at either end, it looks like an ideal jewelry component.


Not content with adding more facets to their classic bicone beads and heart pendants,  Swarovski has now decided to enhance their classic round flatback rhinestone.  The #2028 article will slowly be replaced by the new 2058 Xilion Rose Enhanced Flat Back.   We'll be doing another blog soon to tell you all about the differences.
 

The new #2037 Eclipse Flat Back is a versatile little design.  We're thinking circles, wave patterns, organic curves, art deco .... this one should be good.



 I'm always a sucker for snowflakes!  The new #2826 Rivoli Snowflake Flat Back will add little bits of wintry sparkles to so many designs.  I just wish they had made it in some larger sizes - these snowflakes are not big enough to be centerpieces.



So what do you think of the new Swarovski shapes?  Are you already inspired?  Keep an eye out for these new articles, coming your way as soon as we can get our hands on them.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The New Swarovski Spring/Summer 2011 Release, Part 1


While we were in Tucson, right after teaching our super-fun Swarovski Make & Take classes, we were blindfolded, spun around three times, and taken into a secret room at the Swarovski headquarters.  There we were shown, under solemn vows of secrecy, the next release of Swarovski Innovations.   These new colors, finishes, and cuts will come out in Spring and Summer of 2011.

At last, we can reveal to you what we saw.   Today, we will discuss the new colors and finishes - in our next blog, we will show you the wonderful new cuts, or as Swarovski calls them, 'items' that will be coming out.

With the new additions to their color palette, Swarovski is definitely still counting on the trend for everything metallic, while also nodding to the continuing craze for vintage looking jewelry, and even incorporating the ongoing trend for nature imagery and 'green' materials. They also seem to be reaching out to designers who want the look of genuine stone, with the reliability of manufactured crystal.  

Probably the most significant new finish in the lineup, the new Bronze shade, manages to simultaneously fit right into the current trend embracing mixed metallics, and the craze for vintage brass stampings.   So whether you're bending some filigree right now, or coming up with a sleek modern futurist design, this color should be right up your alley.


Swarovski's delicate new pale green color,  Chrysolite Opal, will fit right into many nature-inspired designs.  It's the color of fresh leaves, and shimmering insect wings.   It's opal translucency will also remind many people of chalcedony, a natural mineral.  



Continuing with the trend of making manufactured crystals look like natural stone, Swarovski has introduced two "blend" colors, Amethyst Blend and Topaz Blend.   These combine a dark color with clear crystal, with natural-looking fading between the two.  Furthermore, no two beads or pendants will have exactly the same proportion of color vs. crystal nor will they have the two shades in exactly the same places on the bead.  


Thus,  no two beads will be alike. While this could be frustrating for those who rely on crystals for absolute consistency, it raises new possibilities for designers who want a natural 'gemstone' look, but are frustrated when it comes to getting precise cuts or large quantities. 



With every new Innovations release, Swarovski introduces a new pearl color.  This time, it's Vintage Gold Pearl.  Again, this is another good color for the vintage jewelry craze.

But wait, isn't this the third gold pearl color Swarovski has put out?  Maybe they're discontinuing one of the other gold shades?  We don't know.

Swarovski, meanwhile, has this to say about the new pearl color:  "It expresses a particularly strong trend towards softer, natural and more vintage-inspired pearl colors. It responds to the current and extremely strong design mood for pearl inclusion on accessories, fashion items and most importantly, in jewelry."

If you say so, Swarovski, if you say so!

Next blog:  New Swarovski Innovations Styles!

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