The Art of Performance

The Art of Performance celebrates Swarovski’s longstanding relationship with Hollywood’s top entertainers and creatives.

This Chamber of Wonder is an immersive presentation of Swarovski’s rich history in the world of entertainment, iconic outfits from the screen and the stage will be exhibited against a dazzling backdrop celebrating the brilliance of Swarovski Crystals.

In this landmark exhibition, curated by famed wardrobe designer Michael Schmidt and dreamt up by award-winning set designer Derek McLane, a timeline of illustrious history is explored.

>>Michael Schmidt
>>Derek McLane

From costume design and red-carpet creations to global sporting events, Swarovski has inspired generations through its collaborations with world-renowned designers and artists. 

Schmidt found himself spoilt for choice when he started to select the pieces that would go into the exhibition, saying "As a creative, utilizing Swarovski Crystal gives you infinite opportunities to express yourself. When you think about all the impactful moments throughout cultural history that Swarovski has been a part of, it’s truly incredible. From Dorothy’s ruby slippers and Michael Jackson’s glove to Simone Biles’ attire when winning all her gold medals, these moments are all covered in Swarovski Crystal.”


Original outfits worn by Elton John, Cher, and Dita von Teese will stand alongside recreations of Marlene Dietrich’s 1932 Blonde Venus outfit, which marks the first time Swarovski appeared on the big screen, Marilyn Monroe’s “Birthday Dress” that wowed not only John F. Kennedy but the world at the president’s legendary birthday dinner, and Katy Perry’s Moschino Chandelier gown she wore to the 2019 Met Ball. Elsewhere, Björk’s Foraeva dress and pieces by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé make up just some of the notable items on display.

Marilyn Monroe
Film star, singer and style icon

In the 1950s Marilyn Monroe made many dazzling appearances at premieres and on movie screens, wearing gowns embellished with Swarovski crystals. These included her famous 1953 performance of the song “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” wearing jewelry by Swarovski, and above all her legendary May 1962 appearance in Madison Square Garden in New York. Wearing a figure-hugging, skin-toned chiffon gown covered with thousands of sparkling crystals, created by Jean Louis to perfectly follow the curves of her body, she sang her celebrated birthday serenade for US president John F. Kennedy. It made history – just a few weeks before her sudden, early death.

An exact replica of the original “Happy Birthday, Mr. Kennedy” dress is on display at Swarovski Kristallwelten (Swarovski Crystal Worlds), together with an original black chiffon scarf. An original invitation and menu card give some insights into the legendary evening birthday party for John F. Kennedy. All the Marilyn Monroe exhibits are on loan from the Ted Stampfer Collection. Ted Stampfer is a German private collector, lender, and curator of original possessions and memorabilia of the US screen legend Marilyn Monroe. Ted Stampfer’s collection of 1,500 items is now the largest of its kind, and the only one to offer public access to such a wide range of items. 


Exhibition Catalog for the Ted Stampfer Collection

This catalog is published exclusively to mark the opening of the new Chamber of Wonder, titled The Art of Performance, at Swarovski Crystal Worlds. The display celebrates iconic moments in the history of stage and screen, and presents glamorous gowns and accessories from the world of movies, music, and sport. Marilyn Monroe was the most spectacular style icon of all in the 1950s and 1960s, making history in glittering gowns covered with Swarovski crystals. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s career debut (2021) and the 60th anniversary of her death (2022), this special publication describes the exhibition items on loan from Ted Stampfer, and highlights of his private collection which have been included in exhibitions all over the world.          

Chambers of Wonder

The realm of the Giant hosts a rich collection of precious items housed in 18 Chambers of Wonder. Here, in a world of fantasy inspired and designed by some of the world’s greatest artists, visitors can believe in miracles for just a moment.