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Whether you’re going out or just going to bed, Kim Kardashian wants to make sure you can glisten head-to-toe. The reality star-turned-business mogul’s clothing brand Skims revealed this week a new partnership with jewelry brand Swarovski: A line of shimmering crystal bodysuits, dresses and even underwear launching November 7.
“For this collaboration, we really wanted to celebrate individual creativity and bring more glamour into getting dressed every day,” said Kardashian in a press release.
The launch comes at a time when Kardashian is using her label to experiment. Just this week, Skims has unveiled a controversial molded “nipple-bra” to give wearers the appearance of, well, ever-visible nipples (as its name suggests), and become the official underwear brand of the NBA.
Alongside body chains and glittering second-skin dresses, the Swarovski x Skims collection includes embellished flesh-toned jumpsuits and crystal-encrusted briefs. While a departure from the minimalist shapewear essentials typically offered by Skims, it is not as left-field an offering in the underwear stakes as you might first think.
In fact, the crystal company has long had a foot in the fashion world, having collaborated with a range of storied designers. In the 1950s, Coco Chanel was known for her penchant for garish, exaggerated costume jewelry which added intrigue and contrast to her muted color palettes and boxy tailored silhouettes, and Daniel Swarovski, the brand’s founder, often worked closely with Maison Gripoix and Robert Goossens — Chanel’s jewelry designers — to create costume pieces for the fashion house’s shows and presentations.
Swarovski similarly developed intimate working relationships with labels including Lanvin, Dior, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, embellishing delicate brocade gowns for Christian Dior, for example, and regal empire-waist dresses for Cristóbal Balenciaga. In 1957, Swarovski created a vivid gem inspired by the shimmering iridescence of the northern lights — these stones became the centerpiece to an iconic black Dior cocktail dress that is still in its archives today.
These relationships with fashion brands have endured for decades, engineering noteworthy runway moments — such as Viktor & Rolf’s 1999 Fall-Winter show, which went down in fashion history for its “Russian Doll” presentation.
On-lookers watched as model Maggie Rizer stood on a revolving platform and was gradually layered with nine Swarovski-crystal embroidered couture garments.
It took another 15 years for Swarovski to help create a pop culture moment that could perhaps rival the Viktor & Rolf show, but it was worth the wait. In 2014 the jewelers partnered with Adam Selman to create the custom-made, completely sheer dress Rihanna wore to the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s annual awards ceremony in New York City.
Featuring more than 230,000 of the brand’s stones, and yet leaving next to nothing to the imagination, the dress made headlines across the globe.
And while the latest Swarovski collaboration is not quite couture, it is certainly more accessible. And at least now anyone wearing a new Skims bras can co-opt Rihanna’s unforgettable comeback when questioned on the modesty of her dress: “They’re covered! In Swarovski crystals, girl!”
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