Atelier Swarovski enlisted Matthew Campbell Laurenza to design its first fine-jewelry collection, which features thousands of Swarovski cut gemstones set in 15 lavish, one-of-a-kind garden-themed designs. Unveiled at Bergdorf Goodman in New York in April, the Jeweled Garden collection ($8,750 to $118,000) portrays colorful flora and fauna in bold, fantasy forms, such as an 18-karat-gold spider ring with a large bright-blue topaz body surrounded by 92 black diamonds, and a floral necklace with a single black pearl and a bouquet of flowers fashioned in gold, pink, and blue sapphires and blue topazes.
The partnership between Swarovski and Laurenza began more than three years ago when the crystal house approached the designer to develop an art project highlighting its wide range of colorful gemstones. In addition to the 15 jewelry pieces, Laurenza—who studied sculpture before moving into jewelry design—created 15 oversized flora and fauna sculptures adorned with gemstones. The outlandish sculptures include a black widow spider made of silver plated with black rhodium, with legs spanning nearly 3 feet that are set with more than 30,000 black spinels and 375 red topazes ($295,000), and an elaborate branch of lilacs nearly 4 feet tall made with more 30,000 white, violet, and pink topazes ($195,000).
Like a painter selecting his palette of colors, Laurenza meticulously chose from thousands of Swarovski gemstones to create the sculptures and jewelry. Over the period of three years, each piece was handmade, including the hand setting of every single stone, by specialized jewelry artisans, with Laurenza keeping a watchful eye on the execution of every creation. (Available through Bergdorf Goodman, 212.872.8977, www.bergdorfgoodman.com)