Fashion: A night of 1,000 stars

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The Independent Online

All that glisters may not be gold, but if you happen to spot something sparkling on the international catwalks, you can pretty much guarantee it'll be Swarovski crystal.

The Austrian brand founded more than a century ago has staked out its position on the cutting edge of fashion in recent years by spotting and sponsoring some of the hottest emerging design talent around the world, including Giles Deacon, Gareth Pugh and Christopher Kane in London.

It may seem an unusual direction for a company once better known for making the crystalline animal figurines you might find on your granny's mantelpiece, but it is in fact more like a return to its roots: Swarovski once collaborated on couture pieces for Christian Dior and Coco Chanel as well as providing the sparkle for costumes during Hollywood's Golden Age, including Dorothy's red shoes in The Wizard of Oz.

The benefits of its current design partnerships aren't exactly revolutionary – the designers get much-needed backing and Swarovski sees its crystals become part of some of the most covetable creations around – but the results are often a sight to behold. And this Wednesday Swarovski is presenting a selection of this year's best pieces at its Runway Rocks catwalk show in London, which will go on display to the public the following day.

Expect full-on glamour from the king of bling Julien Macdonald as well as avant-garde looks from bright young things Shaun Lean and Hannah Martin.

Runway Rocks is open to the public from 10am-6pm on 12 June at Phillips de Pury and Company, 9 Howick Place, London SW1 (www.swarovskisparkles.com)

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