An incandescent glow, a magical atmosphere. For ten years, Madonna has chosen Swarovski as her go-to atelier. In fact, the iconic American singer, often referred to as the “Queen of Pop”, can’t embark on another tour without her crystals, as contested by her Costume Designer and Tour Stylist, Arianne Phillips.
“At this point, there is no Madonna tour without Swarovski crystals,” says Phillips, who has used over 5.3 million Swarovski crystals to add some glam and attitude to Madonna’s costumes in four world tours over ten years.
She added, “It’s really the first call I make after I find out the tour is happening and they’ve been fantastic partners in collaborating with us on the costumes. It’s a relationship that has grown as our desire for more crystals has grown. It has been a really wonderful collaboration.”
And wonderful indeed they are, as we take a step into a time machine of sorts to take a look at the glitz and glam over the ten dazzling decades of music making and tours.
Rebel Heart Tour, 2016
The on-going tour concludes at the end of March 2016 in Sydney, Australia. Wardrobe for Rebel Heart is courtesy of Phillips, who also designed several pieces herself. Gucci, Alexander Wang, Prada and Miu Miu also contributed some looks. More than 2.5 million Swarovski crystals in 50 different colors were used, which took at least 1,200 man hours to apply every dazzling crystal to the show-stopping costumes.
MDNA World Tour, 2012
The high-energy stage performances were dazzling not just because of Madonna’s powerful voice, but also Phillip’s creation of 700 pieces for the tour’s wardrobe, including those for her 22 back up dancers and singers, in a total of 315,000 Swarovski crystals.
Sticky And Sweet World Tour, 2008
Wardrobe for the 2008 world tour used a record 1.5 million crystals, which would line up to reach about half a kilometers when placed in a row. More than 700 meters of Crystal Mesh was also used in a wardrobe, which are one of the most expensive crystal products in the world, with fluid metal fabric coated with thousands of precision cut crystals.
Confessions World Tour, 2006
The 2006 world tour was when it all began. Specifically, when a giant disco ball flashing with $2 million worth of Swarovski crystals and blinding LED lights. But wait, that’s not it. It soon opens like to reveal Madonna, who proceeds to steal the show with her.
“Crystals are an integral part of the Confessions tour”, said Madonna. “Swarovski creates magic better than anybody. When the spotlight hits their crystals, whether it’s on an outfit I’m wearing or the billion bright lights on my disco ball spaceship at the start of the show, the glow is incandescent. It creates the perfect effect.”