TROPHY HUSBAND: The prince of minimalist design, John Pawson, has a long history of setting some big challenges for the craftsmen at Swarovski, and the crystal trophy with its convex lens that he’s designed for the 2017 Fashion Awards in London is the latest in a long line.
“It’s the most simple of forms — a cylinder — but it’s only faceted on one side, which is unusual,” said Pawson from his basement kitchen in London’s Holland Park, where he and his wife Catherine hosted a dinner to mark the trophy’s reveal ahead of the awards, which will take place in partnership with Swarovski on Dec. 4 at the Royal Albert Hall.
There was a problem with the colors, too: Each crystal cylinder has a lacquer “thread” of a different color streaking through the center. Because it’s impossible to put certain materials through crystal, Pawson and Swarovski had to create an acrylic tube to hold the colors — which include gold, silver, platinum and ebony — in place.
The two have traveled this winding road before: In 2011, Pawson created a work called “Perspectives,” which involved a Swarovski-made concave crystal meniscus — the largest lens possible to manufacture. It was a feat of engineering that made its debut at the foot of the Geometric Staircase at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, giving a never-before-seen view of the Sir Christopher Wren-designed church.
This is the second year that the BFC and Swarovski have tapped a top designer to create a bespoke trophy for The Fashion Awards. Last year, Marc Newson designed it. The new aim of the Fashion Awards is to raise money for the BFC Education Foundation, with the principal sponsor being Swarovski.
The trophy is just one of myriad projects that Pawson has been working on: He’s designing the interiors at the W Tel Aviv for Aby Rosen and working on sets for the ballet.