Thursday, January 28, 2016

Celebrations: Swarovski's Rock Royalty

During my entire career as a writer, editor and creative director, I have rented all kinds of things: cars and all sorts of location vehicles, of course, a gorilla suit for a comedian's promotion and even a taxidermy beaver (and a raccoon and a wolf and a bear!) for a Maxim magazine fashion shoot. But I had never rented a throne until a few years ago when I was charged with realizing a "Rock Royalty" concept showcasing the brand's sparkly jewelry to fashion editors.

Not only did the throne become a focal point in the Swarovski entry, but it also instantly set the tone for the event and became a favorite place for guests to stop and take a photo and channel an inner queen or king.

After establishing the theme, the other elements naturally fell into place, such as the crown that came from the Swarovski archives.

To play up the rock 'n' roll aspect of this assignment, I scoured vintage sources for old press photos, magazines and vinyl records from the '80s. Granted, I took some creative liberties. Most people wouldn't consider Madonna a rocker, but she certainly is musical royalty. And as for the made-to-order chopsticks, don't all rock stars eat sushi?

The face of Swarovski for that season was former bond girl Bérénice Marlohe, and she got the royal treatment with custom frames created by the family-run Polyplastic Forms, Inc.  in Farmingdale, N.Y., which has been making innovative materials for visual displays since 1940. The talented people there also made the laminates of historic royal figures that also decorate the corridor and entry area. 

What would an event celebrating rock 'n' roll be without a few guitars incorporated into the display scheme to further enforce the idea of "Rock Royalty."

All photographs by Stan Williams

Just like an enticing tablescape, the jewelry displays in the main showroom needed something exciting to direct the eye through the space. Michael Quinn, my creative partner for this entire production, dreamed up and executed this attitude-packed trio of Rootstein mannequins as the centerpiece to do just that.  Dressed in vintage and thrift apparel and accented with bold jewelry from the Swarovski archives, this moody masterpiece brought the entire spectacle to life.

Playing out loud, 

The Elegant Thrifter

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