A couple of years ago on the New York Garment/Fabric Shopping trip we visited the FIT Museum – this was the first item you saw as you walked into the exhibit. It’s an amazing garment – created in 2007 by Armani at the request of Swarovski to showcase a new “leaf crystal” added to the Swarovski collection.
We weren’t able to see the internal construction of the gown, but it must have been substantial to allow a wearer to hold up the 50 or so pounds of crystals!
I’ve been looking for images of the dress since I got back. I finally got the idea of writing to the FIT Museum to ask about it. They answered me with a lot of information:
The dress was designed for Armani’s Fall 2007 collection in collaboration with Swarovski. It is embellished with approximately 100,000 Swarovski crystal beads and rhinestones as you describe. The beads appear in graduated sizes from small ones around the neckline to larger ones at the hem. I’ve also included the label text that appeared with the dress in the exhibition in 2012 (Fashion journalist Suzy Menkes described Armani’s elaborately embellished women’s clothes as “symbols of escape from everyday reality.” This gown features approximately 100,000 Diamond Leaf crystals, a new shape designed by Armani for Swarovski. Prior to this collaboration, Swarovski had not worked directly with a designer since the 1950s, when the company partnered with Christian Dior.)