Moonlighting from his day job as the costume designer for Gossip Girl and the upcoming Carrie Diaries, Eric Daman hit the Swarovski boutique in Rockefeller Center to present his spring/summer collection for Atelier Swarovski. The shop was packed with industry types and loyal Swarovski clients, who sipped on bubbly and gawked at all the sparkly and distinctive pieces designed by not only Daman, but also Christopher Kane, Philip Crangi and Zaldy. Amidst posing for photos, the very friendly Daman took a few minutes to have a chat with me at the back of the shop on a seriously boss Swarovski crystal-encrusted couch.
"I really wanted to do a Native American-inspired line but with a very contemporary urban feel to it," Daman explained. "Almost like post-apocalyptic – heavy chains mixed with antique gold and all these vintage stones that would have come from either the sea or somewhere like Santa Fe. It was the stones that really kind of inspired me to do this collection."
The designer was probably the best advertisement for his Atelier Swarovski collab – sporting countless rings, a twisted-chain and stone necklace and a totally mesmerizing and aptly-named "Peyote" cuff from his "personal collection." Each piece is unique and features vintage tumbled stones mixed with signature Swarovski crystals.
"I love the tomahawk ring," Daman said as he pointed to the multi-stone statement piece he was wearing. "It has the heft to it and the shape of it is actually from a vintage ring that I saw from the Mao era. It was a coral ring with all these other stones around it and I wanted to wrap it with the chains from Swarovski to give it that modern edge. It has almost a punk rock meets kind of regal edge to it. I’m very into statement jewelry. If you’re going to buy a piece that’s really – the Atelier collection should be a bit overdone and a bit dramatic."
This isn’t Daman’s first foray into designer collabs. He created a line of party dresses for teen retailer Charlotte Russe back in 2010. But he’s not giving up his day job yet, so I couldn’t help but ask for a little hint on what to expect from the much-anticipated Carrie Diaries, for which he’s doing the costumes. (Some photos have already surfaced.)
"We don’t want to stick to a tongue and cheek over-the-top ’80s look," Daman explained. "We want to have a very contemporary fashion edge to it. Stephanie Savage, the creator of Gossip Girl and co-creator of The Carrie Diaries, coined this term that we keep saying: aspirational authenticity."
"So it’s the best of the ’80s and then the resleeked," he excitedly continued. "Because there was an ugliness and an unbecoming-ness to it ['80s fashion] if you were to wear it today. So we really wanted it to be where the viewers at home could be like, I really love that ’80s sweater, but it’s not really an ’80s sweater, I can actually go buy it at Marc Jacobs."
Along with Jacobs, the high school junior-age Carrie Bradshaw will also be wearing 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexandre Birman and lots of very non-high school Manolo Blahnik. Daman would neither confirm nor deny if his vintage-y, rocked-out Atelier Swarovski pieces will make it into either of his shows ("You have to tune in to see …"), but in any case, we both agreed that they’re SO Serena.
Click through the slideshow below to shop Eric Daman x Atelier Swarovski:
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