Global jewellery brand Swarovski and University of the Arts constituent Central Saint Martins have announced Piran Caseley as the winner of the 2019 Jewellery Design competition.

The annual initiative aims to encourage innovation and support the next generation of design talent by nurturing creative education.

This year’s Design Project was inspired by Swarovski’s 70-year history of collaboration with the House of Dior. First year BA Jewellery Design students at Central Saint Martins were challenged to create a piece responding to the theme of ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’, and celebrating the exhibition at the V&A, supported by Swarovski, which has been extended to September 1 due to demand.


Students incorporated Swarovski’s Aurora Borealis crystal within their designs. The iridescent stone which echoes the beauty of the Northern Lights was created in 1956 from a collaboration between Manfred Swarovski, grandson of the founder and Monsieur Christian Dior. This began a longstanding partnership between Christian Dior and Swarovski which continues today.

From 32 initial submissions, 10 students were shortlisted by a panel of industry experts to realise their concepts. The esteemed judging panel included jewellery editors Maria Doulton and Alice Edwards, Central Saint Martins’ course leader Giles Last, Leanne Manfredi from the V&A and Kate Filmer-Wilson, executive vice president of operations at Swarovski.

Piran Caseley was awarded for his neck piece titled Scent which was inspired by the perfumes of Christian Dior and the concept of scent as an essential part of couture. The hand sculpted acrylic piece is a visual representation of perfume lingering around the body when worn, the spray of perfume illustrated by the use of Swarovski Aurora Borealis crystals.

Member of the Swarovski executive board, Nadja Swarovski, remarks: “As part of our longstanding commitment to nurturing new creative talent, Swarovski has been proud to partner with Central Saint Martins on the BA jewellery design project for over 17 years. This year’s students were inspired by our support for the ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ exhibition at the V&A and our 70 years of creative partnership with the house of Dior. It is wonderful to see how these exciting young jewellers have responded to this theme and we are delighted to award Piran Caseley for his piece which displayed an imaginative interpretation of the project brief and an exceptional level of craftsmanship.”

Giles Last, course leader of BA Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins, adds: “This year, the opportunity for students to combine Swarovski product with their responses to the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition has been a wonderful, insightful and exciting experience for the whole group. The ten shortlisted students have gained enormously in terms of designing and making an ambitious piece and then exhibiting it in such a major museum as the V&A. It is an extraordinary start to their careers as designers.”