the blackpool swarovski dress 2017

Author Victoria McGregor

06 Jun 2017

Chrisanne Clover collaborated with SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS to create this stunning Couture ballroom dress displayed proudly in the Imperial Hotel at this years Blackpool Dance Festival 2017. The design inspiration began with the launch of the NEW Crystal Shimmer stone, which Designer Natalie Watterson combined with principal elements of art Nouveau inspired gowns and decorative border patterns. The essence of the dress is to capture the Nouveau spirit of shimmering light and the refracted colours through that light, which SWAROVSKI have perfectly combined in their range of shimmer stones. Fabric has been specially sourced to enhance this fluid and almost liquid quality of light on fabric when in movement. The dress combines rich and luxurious fabrics such as smooth black velvet and black satin with softer more delicate fabrics from our range as luxury georgette, satin chiffon and tulle. The dress features close to 10,000 individually hand applied SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS, hand sewn SWAROVSKI pendants and stunning NEW globe pearls.

This beautiful piece of visionary is a depiction of what Chrisanne Clover lives to achieve – creating dreamlike mastery garments that can only be imagined in every young girls dream.


Featuring a black velvet top with a stunning shaped top skirt in black satin hemmed in wide wrapped crinoline to give the skirt top piece fine definition. Underneath the satin top layer features skirts lavishly layered with a fantastical chimera organza over black tulle, over cappuccino satin chiffon with layers of gorgeous cappuccino organza underskirts.


The floats are layered with black georgette and shimmery organza floating down from the back of the dress, attached to gorgeously embellished armbands and wristbands to finish. Thin ribbons hang beautifully from the wristbands in colours black and cappuccino.


A true work of craftsmanship with over 72 gross of glass cut crystals from Swarovski have been applied individually, creating a wonderful array of design and shine. Embellished with over 10,000 crystals in colours Crystal AB, Crystal Shimmer, Silk Shimmer, Topaz, Light Colorado Topaz and Light Silk this garment dazzles like no other.


An indulgent spectre of a neckpiece featuring Crystal AB and Crystal Shimmer Swarovski crystals adorned with rich AB sew on stones. Along the seamlines of the bodice features elegant brocade style embellishment design, using a rainbow of colours swirling out from the centre front and velvet seams. Sparks of starbursts fading out towards the floats and hip structure accentuating the hipline and opening the shoulders. A beautiful open back feature bordered with the embroidery of crystals that follows through from the front design, finishing off perfectly with a crystallized dropper standing beautifully proud from the neckpiece.

Chrisanne Clover is known for its inventive use of Swarovski Crystals. Could you tell readers how crystals work for dancewear—not just aesthetically, but also technically: how they draw the light and magnify movement? Is it tricky to get this aspect of positioning the source of light refraction right in order to draw a judge’s eye?


SWAROVSKI Crystals are an integral part of a dancer’s costume. From the moment that young couple are eligible to wear stones (and believe me the rules are very strict!!) a whole new world opens up to them! Not just for the intrinsic beauty of the crystal itself but also for many technical reasons.


SWAROVSKI Crystals can create light and brightness around a dancer particularly if placed along the top style line, as it illuminates the face. Think of an MGM movie star and the glamourous photos taken with carefully placed a singular light source to create just the right amount of light on the cheeks and silhouette against the neck. For dancers, facial movements should match to the dance and enhance the emotional feeling of the steps, so to draw light into this area helps avoid the many shadows that can be cast from spot lighting or lower level lighting on older ballroom floors.


The facets on SWAROVSKI Crystals have been created to catch the maximum amount of light. The distance that the light is refracted as well as the intensity of that light, so for our dancer’s to be able to be seen just as brightly close up as from across the whole floor. The quality can be instantly be detected on close inspection of the number of facets and the depth of the stone. This is one of the reasons that all our dresses are produced using only SWAROVSKI Crystals because we can be assured that the look will have the same impact to both the judges and the spectators.  


Contouring, as in the cosmetic beauty sense of the word. A dancer’s body is held under intense and often microscopic scrutiny. Each and every line and movement is analysed and every weakness or flaw noted. Clever or considered use of stoning can enhance and sculpt a body smoothing over flaws and accentuating a good line. When varying sizes of Crystals and sew on jewel stones are used, they can build an area up to give the illusion of more volume such as at the bust line or along a man’s shoulders to broaden them. Judges will have a range of scoring criteria and it is important to understand the role of the costume as not just entertaining and colourful but also as a sportsperson’s equipment, to be utilised to enhance performance.


Lastly but most importantly… Magic! As a child, I was captivated by Disney Princes and Princesses dancing across the scene in a trail of magic sparkles and this is exactly what the crystals create: an air of magic around a dancer. Light shimmers across the crystals due to the number of facets and placement, creating these little bursts of light, like a hundred camera flashes. It is a natural instinct for the eye to look towards them, so Judges will be drawn instinctively to look at the dancer for longer or to single them out on a crowded floor. Prompting the moto especially in Ballroom and Latin that “You can never have too many crystals!”


Natalie Waterson Designer


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