STARS OF THE NIGHT: Swarovski has unveiled the tiara it designed for the 2023 edition of the Vienna Opera Ball, one of the oldest and most prestigious cultural events in the Austrian calendar, which is to make a comeback after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
A partner of the ball for decades, Swarovski has created the jewelry piece that each of the 144 debutantes will wear when they will be presented to Austrian society on Feb. 16 at the historic Vienna State Opera.
Nodding to the famous star-shaped jewels of Austrian Empress Sissi, this year’s tiara was inspired by the Swarovski Stella jewelry family. Each piece comes with 435 clear crystals and features a central star with a dancing stone surrounded by a constellation of shooting stars.
Swarovski’s creative director Giovanna Engelbert said she “wanted to create a piece that reflects the beauty of this partnership” with the Vienna Opera Ball.
“This year’s design is rooted in Austrian heritage with an uplifting sense of magic. The Sparkling Dance stone that seems to float magically in its center is a spellbinding reminder to always wish upon a star and believe in your hopes and dreams,” said Engelbert.
“The tiaras that Swarovski has created for decades for the Vienna Opera Ball are a symbol of the unique savoir-faire that is at the heart of our creations and a testament to a century-long heritage of Swarovski history. This decades-long partnership unites two icons of Austrian culture in a display of beauty, creativity and elegance,” echoed the company’s chief executive officer Alexis Nasard.
With its origins dating back to 1935, the society event is one of the oldest balls in the world and the most glamorous among the more than 450 balls filling the Viennese calendar. It annually gathers around 5,000 guests at Wien’s 1860s opera house but it reaches a bigger audience thanks to TV broadcasting.
The ball’s traditional dress code has the young debutantes donning a white gown and long white gloves — in addition to a sparkly tiara — while parading hand-in-hand with male escorts in a black suit and tailcoat.
In the past, a series of fashion designers also have been called on to collaborate with Swarovski on the creation of the annual jewelry piece, including Karl Lagerfeld in 2017, Dolce & Gabbana in 2018, Versace in 2019 and French couturier Christian Lacroix for the 2020 edition of the ball.