Today we have a fabulous guest post by jewelery designer extraordinaire Rachel Leigh of New York. Rachel has teamed up with the crystal house Swarovski for yet another year of gorgeous glittering goods.
Rachel explains their design process below:
“For the third year in a row, we’ve been honored with a request from Swarovski Crystal to design jewelry to be showcased in their booth at the Accessories Circuit – essentially the fashion-week equivalent for contemporary shoe, handbag, and jewelry collections. So what exactly does it mean to undertake such a project? First, a trip to Swarovski’s New York office where our product development team got to see a trend forecast followed by a sneak peek of their newest Crystallized elements (the raw materials we’d be using in conjunction with our designs, for a bit of bedazzlement). Though we can’t show you pictures of this presentation, we can show another equally impressive shot of Swarovski’s bathroom signs – even those are sparkly!”
“After getting schooled on what’s new in the world of crystal, we placed our order for the components we’d need to implement our design concepts. While we waited for them to arrive (about 4-6 weeks as each order is custom-made and shipped from Austria), we began developing the base silhouettes that would later be decorated in an assortment of colors, shapes, and sizes of bright crystal. Here’s a picture of a cuff (temporarily held with double-sided tape to show where the metal pieces should be connected):
And finally, after much anticipation, our shipment arrives! If ever there was candy for the eyes, this is it!”
“Now that we had our crystals, we got to work applying them to our base designs – a bib-style necklace, some chandelier earrings, and a very chic (albeit potentially hazardous) bangle all finished with a coat of shiny gold plating:
After making sure the pieces were exactly what we’d hoped for, we shipped them off to Swarovski so that they could be photographed and merchandised into their display for the show. A few more weeks passed, and we quickly became distracted with getting our own line ready for market week – always a chaotic time regardless of how much preparation we’ve put into it. So amidst the craziness of market, imagine our pleasant surprise to see the pieces front and center in Swarovski’s booth – the perfect motivator to get us ready for next year’s show!”
Thank you Rachel for showing us this fabulous design process! What beautiful pieces!