Yesterday, Maison Martin Margiela held an intimate cocktail event to celebrate the launch of “Crystalactite”— a new jewelry collection designed in collaboration with Atelier Swarovski—at the MMM Boutique in Miami’s Design District. The event—appropriately timed to fall during Art Basel and, thus, a prime time for any fashion brand to highlight an artist collaboration—also marked the debut of an exclusive installation by French artist Baptiste Debombourg entitled “Stalker”, created specifically to celebrate the new collection.
First, let’s talk about the jewels. The designer, who is known for his use of unconventional materials and commitment to form over function, lent his signature avante-garde style to the limited-edition collection. They were created using an innovative fusion technique that blends crystal and matte white resin so that the crystals appear to emerge spontaneously from their natural, stony origin. The result is a 4 piece collection that successfully combine Margiela’s more industrial aesthetic with the purity of Swarovski crystals.
Using the jewelry as inspiration, Debombourg, who is known for his sculpture installations and study of everyday raw materials, designed his site-specific installation using shattered, laminated glass. He arranged the glass in cascading layers over furniture so that the resulting structure resembles stalactites, perfectly pairing with the aesthetic of the jewelry collection. The artist was an obvious choice for the designer, as the two also collaborated back in the Fall when Debombourg transformed MMM’s rue de Grenelle, Paris boutique by recreating his famous “Turbo” installation specifically customized for the store. Turbo was originally erected in 2009 for Parcours Saint-Germain in partnership with FIAC and was inspired by the turbo wave of the 1980s, challenging the notion of masculine power. Within the store context, it was as if the wall of the store was exploding into the interior.
If you are down in Miami, be sure to stop by the Design District boutique to snatch up the limited-edition jewels and check out Debombourg’s installation.