MY LIFE, MY STYLE Jeweller Carolina Bucci’s London home.

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Contents - By LUCY HALFHEAD Pho­tographed by HARRY CROWDER

The jeweller CAROLINA BUCCI’S London home re­flects her flair for be­spoke de­sign.

Over earl grey tea and home­made blue­berry muffins at her kitchen ta­ble, the jew­ellery de­signer Carolina Bucci lets me in on a se­cret.“the fam­ily safe was in my child­hood bed­room, hid­den be­hind a paint­ing,” she says. “At night, be­fore go­ing out to din­ner or to the theatre, my mother would un­roll all the jew­ellery on my bed and let me try things on. I re­mem­ber it like a vivid dream.” Bucci is kind-eyed and softly spo­ken, wear­ing sher­bet-pink Zara cu­lottes and a chunky knit from The Row that en­velops her slen­der frame. She be­longs to a jew­ellery dy­nasty that dates back to 1885, when her great-grand­fa­ther opened a work­shop in Florence, spe­cial­is­ing in pocket-watch re­pairs. Today, she is known for fine jew­ellery that is both play­ful and so­phis­ti­cated, and that is still hand­made by ar­ti­sans in the fam­ily ate­lier.

Along with her two sib­lings, Bucci grew up in Fiesole, a charm­ing lit­tle town high in the hills above Florence.“my child­hood was idyl­lic,” she says,“but I wanted to be some­where more mod­ern, with a faster pace of life, and more con­crete …”At the age of 18, she sur­prised her par­ents by mov­ing to New York (where her mother is from) to study stu­dio arts, fol­lowed by a master’s in jew­ellery de­sign. “I’d been liv­ing in a bub­ble,” she says.“go­ing away to Newyork made me ap­pre­ci­ate the cen­turies of tra­di­tion I would have oth­er­wise taken for granted, and gave me a vi­sion of how to pre­serve them and push them for­ward.”

New York was a game changer for Bucci in more ways than one. She met her hus­band, James, an art dealer, and, shortly af­ter­wards, her Lucky bracelets ap­peared on the wrist of Car­rie Brad­shaw, the char­ac­ter played by Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and the City, pro­pel­ling the Carolina Bucci brand to world­wide fame.wo­ven on a cen­turies-old Floren­tine loom from 18-karat gold and coloured silk thread, they were a lux­ury rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of the cot­ton friend­ship bracelets Bucci used to make and sell on the beaches of Forte dei Marmi as a child.“you could say my trad­ing started young,” she says, laugh­ing.

Af­ter mov­ing to London, she opened her flag­ship shop on Mot comb Street, Bel­gravia, in 2007. “I spent nearly two years look­ing for the per­fect lo­ca­tion,” she says. “i knew that the brand wasn’t tra­di­tional enough to suit Bond Street, but at the same time it wasn’t [boho] west­bourne Grove. when Mot­comb Street came up it felt just right.” Her first client was vic­to­ria Beck­ham. “David kept wear­ing vic­to­ria’s Lucky bracelets,” she says, “so she wanted me to de­sign a match­ing one for him for their an­niver­sary, with charms of their sons’ ini­tials, hearts and en­graved crosses.” Be­spoke has al­ways been at the heart of Bucci’s brand — and her wardrobe. Her favourite item of cloth­ing is a khaki Saint Lau­rent jacket she has cus­tomised with sewn-on patches, in­clud­ing the merit badges from her old sum­mer camp; and when she in­her­ited her great-aunt’s col­lec­tion of fur coats she de­cided to have them tai­lored and re­lined with sky-blue silk.

Else­where, her at­tire is un­der­stated and el­e­gant, to let her jew­ellery do the talk­ing. “whether I’m meet­ing a buyer, do­ing the school run or at­tend­ing a din­ner, it’s im­por­tant that my clothes aren’t over­pow­er­ing,” she says. “In­stead, I look for high-qual­ity fab­rics and in­cred­i­ble cuts.” Re­cent dis­cov­er­ies that fit the bill in­clude palmer//hard­ing shirts and Frame jeans.“i also love Anna Oc­to­ber, Bot­tega Veneta, Mis­soni and Miu Miu, and I think Alessan­dro Michele has done an amaz­ing job re­vi­tal­is­ing Gucci.”

Bucci lives in a two-storey apart­ment in Bayswa­ter with James and their two sons, 11-year-old Lu­cas and eight-year-old Julius. Com­plet­ing the fam­ily are two gold­fish, Red Alert and Swedish Fish (named af­ter Bucci’s favourite Amer­i­can lol­lies), and Ar­turo, the 15-year-old minia­ture york­shire ter­rier who came over with the cou­ple from New York. Each one is rep­re­sented by a di­a­mond-stud­ded fig­urine charm, which all hang from a gold chain around her neck.“the chil­dren love the fact that we’re so close to [Hyde] park,” she says of the home,“and I love the high ceil­ings.” High ceil­ings mean spa­cious walls, per­fect for dis­play­ing

“Whether I’m meet­ing a buyer, do­ing the school run or at­tend­ing a din­ner, it’s im­por­tant that my clothes aren’t over­pow­er­ing.”

the cou­ple’s re­mark­able art col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing colour­ful pieces by Ste­fan Brügge­mann,alas­tair Levy, Pe­dro Reyes and Sal­va­tore Em­blema. Bucci also col­lects glass­ware, and the kitchen cab­i­nets are filled with a joy­ous ar­ray of Se­guso and Bac­carat pieces, along­side stacks of beau­ti­ful flo­ral Gi­nori china. Bolted to the wall above the man­tel­piece in the sit­ting room is an­other show­stop­per — a huge mir­ror that used to be the head­board of her grand­par­ents’ bed in Italy.

Bucci’s lat­est pro­ject is a reimag­in­ing of the iconic Aude­mars Piguet Royal Oak ladies’ watch, re­leased last month in cel­e­bra­tion of its 40th birth­day. Her love for the brand started five years ago in New York when she fol­lowed a wo­man into Bergdorf Good­man and up five floors to get close enough to iden­tify her watch. It turned out to be a men’s gold Royal Oak from 1982 that was out of pro­duc­tion, but James tracked one down and gave it to her as a 35th birth­day present. She is justly proud of her con­tri­bu­tion to the male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try: “The usual ap­proach was to just make a men’s watch smaller, stick some di­a­monds on it, or maybe a pink strap, and then a wo­man should be happy. I’ve de­lib­er­ately moved away from this.”the re­sult is a fit­ting rein­ven­tion that owes its shim­mer­ing sur­face to one of her sig­na­ture gold­smithing styles — the Floren­tine tech­nique.

This au­tumn, Bucci is also launch­ing a sea­sonal sil­ver jew­ellery line, Caro — her child­hood nick­name — which will have the same carefree spirit as her main brand but will be even more wear­able.“in a way, I’m de­sign­ing for my teenage self, who found fine jew­ellery too tra­di­tional and wanted some­thing fun and rel­e­vant,” she says. “I am rooted in the past, but I al­ways look to the fu­ture.”

Carolina Bucci wears Valentino dress, $5860, Carolina Bucci gold and pen­dant neck­laces and charms, all price on ap­pli­ca­tion, blue neck­lace, $1478, bracelets, $297 each, and ring (on right hand), $4672.

Bucci in the sit­ting room, wear­ing Gi­ambat­tista Valli dress, $3017; Carolina Bucci white neck­lace, $1479, charms, gold neck­lace, all price on ap­pli­ca­tion, and ring (on right hand), $4672; Aude­mars Piguet watch, price on ap­pli­ca­tion (worn through­out). From left: a mir­ror made from the head­board of her grand­par­ents’ bed; the liv­ing area.

Rok­sanda jump­suit, $2153; her own shoes; Carolina Bucci gold neck­lace, price on ap­pli­ca­tion, blue neck­lace, $1478, charms, price on ap­pli­ca­tion, bracelets, $297 each, and ring, $4672. Be­low: the hall­way fea­tures a bal­loon sculp­ture by Livio De Marchi. A selec­tion of Se­guso and An­gelo Man­gia­rotti glass­ware.

Palmer//hard­ing dress, price on ap­pli­ca­tion; Valentino jeans, $1050; her own adi­das shoes; Carolina Bucci neck­lace, and pen­dant, both price on ap­pli­ca­tion, and bracelets, $297 each.

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