As manufacturer Bisazza was recently keen to demonstrate at Salone with their new Crystal Collection, there's nothing like a Swarovski gem to show you mean business. The sentiment holds sway whether we're talking about the clear crystals and ruthenium plating of the new Mad Hatter Necklace, the "thousands of glittering chatons" enlivening the classic Crystalline Vase, or Bisazza's tantalizing mosaic-cum-wall-covering made from a shining palette of Swarovski crystals, glass, and white gold. This last item might come with a heftier price tag than either the aforementioned jewelry or stem ware, but what it takes from you in rubles it gives back five-fold in sheer, unadulterated, audicious showmanship.
Skulls and Crowns from the Crystal Collection. Designed by Bisazza.
Swarovski is no stranger to this kind of center-staging. During the last couple of years, the lone Swarovski Crystal has been featured alongside others of its ilk in multiple dashing displays of translucent luminosity. Yves Behar recently did his take on Swarovski (also at Milan), as did Tokujin Yoshioka. And let's not forget that David Rockwell has incorporated the Crystals for two year's running into his spectacular Oscar stage sets. I don't think, however, that I've ever seen them used as a surrogate for wall tile. The Crystal Collection incorporates the showier Swarovski material with their glass tile to create wall-sized paintings, or murals in tile, if you prefer.
The new line includes five motifs: "Corals and Seahorses," "Skulls and Crowns," "Flash," "Stars," and "Rain." Each style reveals the named pattern via an interplay of contrasts--white against cobalt blue shows placidly floating sea creatures; blinding white dots against black simulate the effect of a slashing rain; and "skulls in corsair style and royal crowns ironically interpret new legends and anticipate living trends." I can't say whether it's this last pattern's prescience or a retrograde affection for swashbuckling (likely owed to Johnny Depp), but at Milan, Skulls and Crowns seem to have stolen the show. With its dazzling interplay of highly-reflective white gold and mesmerizing Swarovski Crystals, the captivating pattern is like an unfurling flag on a pirate ship--it might be a dangerous signal (especially for your bank account), yet you can't tear your eyes away.