WITH A TWIST
THE LATE ZAHA HADID’S REDESIGN OF A BULGARI JEWELLERY LINE HAS SURPRISING QUALITIES REMINISCENT OF HER FINEST ARCHITECTURE.
Art Basel Miami is a regular witness to the unveiling of special new luxury products, as befits an event that attracts private wealth, collective status anxiety, celebrity faces and the elite of the art and design worlds. It’s small wonder that Christian Dior, Saint Laurent, Ruinart and Bulgari have hosted enviable beachside bashes there, the latter to toast its collaboration with late British architect Zaha Hadid, who had been working to reinterpret the Roman jeweller’s iconic B.Zero1 collection.
Bulgari doesn’t typically engage outside designers and creatives to work on its product lines. As jewellery director Boris Barboni says: “We don’t outsource creativity in general because we don’t need to – we’ve been innovating in the field of jewellery for more than 130 years.” So Hadid’s reworking of the B.Zero1 jewellery range comes not from commercial imperative, nor a desire to generate media coverage (though inevitably it will achieve both), but instead from mutual respect.
This, according to Suzanne Trocmé, is what drives the best collaborations between various creative disciplines. “I think more often than not collaborations are unlikely fits and shouldn’t happen,” the respected design critic and author said at the unveiling of B. Zero1 at an event as part of Art Basel Miami. “Brands have always wanted to bring in big names to sell stuff – to jump on a bandwagon – but when you’re working with people of the calibre of Zaha Hadid, then you can trust they’re not going to get it wrong, because they haven’t got it wrong so far.”
Hadid is one of the most recognisable names in 21stcentury architecture and design, despite many of her projects remaining unrealised or incomplete before her untimely death from a heart attack early last year. Once described as the Queen of the Curve, Hadid’s buildings often comprise contrasting organic forms, with sculptural shapes that bend and warp so as to rethink the solid rectangular structure of a building, be it a hotel or civic venue or arts centre. These include the Guangzhou Opera House, the London Aquatics Centre, the Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion, and the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. In Melbourne, a 54-storey, $300 million Hadiddesigned building at 600 Collins Street has just been given the green light
Bulgari first worked with the renowned architect in 2015, when Hadid created a temporary pavilion for the grounds of its Milan-based namesake hotel. Taking inspiration from the house’s use of snake symbolism in
STORY MITCHELL OAKLEY SMITH Bulgari’s reimagined B.Zero1 collection, the latest reissue of jewellery inspired by Rome’s Colosseum, designed by the ‘Queen of Curve’