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March 2010

22 ways to say black

Little Black Dress Little Black Dress
Little Black Dress Little Black Dress
Little Black Dress Little Black Dress

Over the last century, the Little Black Dress has made its mark as the ultimate expression of chic, becoming a wardrobe staple for stylish women everywhere. Now a major international initiative from SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS brings added glamour to this fashion classic, while fund-raising for charity at the same time. Last year, SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS commissioned 22 of fashion’s best-known names and most talented newcomers to design a spectacular, one-off dress each, to be auctioned off in September 2010 in New York City. One hundred per cent of the proceeds from the auction and sale of the catalogue will go to the American Cancer Society and La ligue nationale contre le cancer in France.

After a successful launch in Paris during couture week this January, the dazzling collection of show pieces went on public display at the city’s prestigious Palazzo Pozzo di Borgo. The exhibition is now travelling to Beijing, where it will be unveiled at an exclusive event on 8th April 2010.

The Little Black Dresses range from soigné shifts by Gianfranco Ferré and Phillip Lim for 3.1 phillip lim, through frothy cocktail dresses by Lanvin and Alberta Ferretti, to sexy gowns by Donna Karan New York and Giorgio Armani Privé. Each designer found brilliantly inventive ways to make use of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS: Vivienne Westwood added crystal mesh peplums to her taffeta party dress; Alber Elbaz suspended SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS to create a trompe l’oeil necklace; and Martin Grant completely covered his curvy short-sleeved shift with crystals to imitate the glistening look of stingray skin.

Other designers participating in the 22 Ways To Say Black project are: Alexis Mabille, Azzaro, Boudicca, Catherine Malandrino, Diane Von Furstenberg, Fendi, Gaspard Yurkievich, Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Marios Schwab, Missoni, Sonia Rykiel, Thakoon and Valentino.

All 22 dresses are hand-made – perfect, one-of-a-kind distillations of their creators’ imaginations. “Couture is the purest expression of a designer’s art,” says Giorgio Armani of his gown. “It is an opportunity to really explore the possibilities of fashion without commercial constraints.” Through SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS’ partnership with Phillips de Pury, the American Cancer Society and La ligue nationale contre le cancer, this light-filled collaboration also offers the chance to help save a life.

For more information about the auction, including the date, time and viewing hours, please check www.swarovski-elements.com/black, which will be updated as the event specifics are finalized.