BVLGARI

Prestige (Malaysia) - - Contents -

A sure sign that the 1980s is back

in full swing

Bvlgari’s new and spec­tac­u­larly bold high jew­ellery col­lec­tion, Wild Pop, is a sure sign that the 1980s is back in full swing. Cre­ative di­rec­tor Lu­cia Sil­vestri shows candice chan her in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the decade

what’s not to love about the 1980s? It was a time of ex­cess, ex­trav­a­gance and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. We’ve seen glimpses of its re­vival on the run­ways this Au­tumn/ Win­ter sea­son: Over-pro­por­tioned shoul­der pads at Saint Lau­rent and Bal­main; lo­go­ma­nia prints at Gucci and Ver­sace; power suit­ing at Moschino and Gareth Pugh and lots of shiny Stu­dio 54 glam­our over at Halpern and At­tico. But all this is noth­ing com­pared to the glit­ter­ing tribute Bvlgari makes with its lat­est Wild Pop col­lec­tion, a high jew­ellery ex­trav­a­ganza rife with mu­si­cal ref­er­ences, pop art mo­tifs and au­da­cious 1980s ref­er­ences.

“The 1980s was the epit­ome of beauty and cre­ativ­ity. When it came to jew­ellery, it was when Bvlgari was ex­cep­tion­ally cre­ative. This cre­ativ­ity was also present in other in­dus­tries such as movies, art, mu­sic and fash­ion. That’s why we de­cided to cel­e­brate that decade,” ex­plains cre­ative di­rec­tor Lu­cia Sil­vestri.

In­deed, the 1980s was a defin­ing mo­ment for Bvlgari: It de­vel­oped a look that was vo­lu­mi­nous, colour­ful and in­cred­i­bly stylised, es­pe­cially with the in­tro­duc­tion of the Par­entesi em­blem and its brand logo as de­sign mo­tifs. Ex­ist­ing col­lec­tions such as the chunky Tubo­gas and the Monete pieces be­came even more pop­u­lar, cov­eted by the decade’s tastemak­ers, who wanted to match their big buoyant hair­dos and strik­ing out­fits with bold jew­ellery choices.

But it was not just an era’s charm that spurred the cre­ation of the 80-strong Wild Pop col­lec­tion; there was also Andy Warhol to thank. The inim­itable lead­ing fig­ure in pop art met Nicola Bul­gari (grand­son of founder Sotirios Bul­gari) when he was liv­ing in New York City in the 1980s. Both men struck a friend­ship and Warhol found Bul­gari’s de­signs very vogue. In a quote im­mor­talised by the House, Warhol re­ferred to the Bvlgari store in Rome as “the most im­por­tant mu­seum of con­tem­po­rary art”.

That pow­er­ful state­ment re­mained in­grained in Sil­vestri’s mind. In­spired by this di­a­logue be­tween Warhol and the brand, she vis­ited The Andy Warhol Foun­da­tion for the Vis­ual Arts in New York City. “I dis­cov­ered sketches Andy Warhol made that were in­spired by Bvlgari and it was such a great ex­pe­ri­ence,” she shares.

Within the col­lec­tion, Pop Flow­ers, Pop Love, But­ter­flies, Eggs and Sam the Cat sets are ex­am­ples of di­rect ref­er­ences to Warhol and pop art. Pop Flow­ers shows a bracelet of gem­set flow­ers planted re­peat­edly on 14 mother-of­pearl square pan­els, while Pop Heart fea­tures a mag­nif­i­cent 53.80-ct heart-cut cabo­chon tan­zan­ite. The But­ter­flies neck­lace al­ludes to

Warhol’s art­works on but­ter­flies and is set in pink gold and adorned with a 10.79-ct peri­dot, amethyst, rubel­lite, topaz, cit­rine, aqua­ma­rine, tour­ma­line and over 30cts of di­a­monds.

In the bizarre Eggs neck­lace, named af­ter Warhol’s 1982 silk screen print of the same name, Bvlgari strings to­gether five over­sized peb­ble-shaped stones: Cit­rine, amethyst, rubel­lite and two chal­cedony, each tied with a pretty di­a­mond bow like a tempt­ing Easter egg. Equally pe­cu­liar is Sam the Cat: Adorned with paw prints and kitty faces set in di­a­monds and chal­cedony, it is chris­tened af­ter Warhol’s book of hand-coloured lith­o­graphs, 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy.

Other pieces like the Homage to New York City neck­lace pays tribute to both Warhol as well as Nicola’s time in the Big Ap­ple. A geo­met­ric de­sign pro­posed in rose gold, mother-of-pearl and

di­a­monds re­calls the mo­tif of a crown — specif­i­cally, that worn by the Statue of Lib­erty — used by Warhol in one of his silk screens. In the Supreme Di­a­mond Light bracelet, Man­hat­tan’s im­pres­sive sky­line is in­ter­preted through the vivid pair­ing of onyx and white di­a­monds, while a sparkling mar­quise-cut di­a­mond serves as the cen­tre­stone.

An ar­dent fan of 1980s pop cul­ture who be­gan her ca­reer at Bvlgari in the same decade work­ing di­rectly un­der the Bvlgari broth­ers, Sil­vestri nat­u­rally drew in­spi­ra­tion from these years to hit the cre­ative jack­pot. Draw­ing on in­flu­ences from Dy­nasty and Mi­ami Vice to Madonna and hot rollers, she con­ceived a col­lec­tion that is fun, mem­o­rable and most cer­tainly, wild.

A set of pearl jew­ellery, for ex­am­ple, with al­ter­nat­ing Tahi­tian and South Sea pearls in­ter­spersed with di­a­mond-set cone-shaped links, is an ode to Madonna’s in­fa­mous cone bras. “I love Madonna,” Sil­vestri gushes. “It was easy for me to be in­spired by her be­cause I love her. She’s my idol.” In an­other set made with rose gold, emer­alds and ru­bies, moth­erof-pearl light­ning bolts run amok, as a tribute to the late David Bowie’s iconic Aladdin Sane al­bum cover.

Mu­sic in­evitably plays an im­por­tant role in Sil­vestri’s cre­ative vi­sion. One of the col­lec­tion’s most com­pli­cated de­signs is a vinyl recordin­spired neck­lace called Play It Again. Hung on a triple-row di­a­mond-set col­lier are three vinyl records ar­ranged on dif­fer­ent lev­els, each with gem-set tone arms and head shells. That’s not all: Each vinyl is made of a thin slice of onyx hand-carved with lines that mimic the spi­ral grooves on the ac­tual item. And, to top it off, each one is mo­bile and can be ro­tated, com­plete with a size­able gem­stone set in the mid­dle (the

largest be­ing a 5-ct di­a­mond). “This was re­ally dif­fi­cult to make and pre­sented an in­cred­i­ble chal­lenge. It took some­thing like seven months for us to fi­nally pro­duce it!” says Sil­vestri.

Other stun­ning mu­si­cal tributes in­clude the Syn­the­sizer and Pop Mics sets. “When you see the Syn­the­sizer jew­els, you feel as if you could play them,” she says of the di­a­mond-and-onyx set. Pop Mics, which com­prises a neck­lace, bracelet and brooch, is per­fect for the karaoke queen — each has minia­ture mi­cro­phones made of spe­cially cut amethysts, peridots, rubel­lites and aquamarines set on di­a­monds and onyx.

Stay­ing true to its name, the Wild Pop col­lec­tion is not without a few brow-rais­ing de­signs for

some tongue-in-cheek hu­mour. Among them are Happy Leaves, with pieces that fea­ture pavé di­a­mond and emer­ald mar­i­juana leaves, as well as Curls My Love, a bracelet of di­a­mond-an­de­mer­ald-set tubu­lar com­po­nents in­spired by none other than hot rollers, the quin­tes­sen­tial ne­ces­sity for ladies in the eight­ies. Made of gold and ti­ta­nium, as Sil­vestri shares, the use of this light­weight metal rep­re­sents a new chap­ter for Bvlgari in high jew­ellery man­u­fac­tur­ing. It has been used only in Bvlgari watches un­til then. “The re­sult is some­thing that is very light and feels very com­fort­able,” she says.

Fi­nally, no high jew­ellery is com­plete without its headliners — two unique and ul­tra-pre­cious multi-mil­lion-dol­lar neck­laces adorned with large and rare sap­phires. The first shows off a 55ct cush­ion-cut sap­phire in the most mes­meris­ing shade of blue. The sec­ond, a favourite of both Sil­vestri and CEO Jean Christophe Babin, is named Queen of Pop. Pre­sented in plat­inum, it is a mod­ern take on the 1980s jew­ellery sil­hou­ette with its struc­tured col­lier-style di­a­mond-set frame. Com­posed of di­a­monds, round and bufftop sap­phires and 10 fancy-cut mint tour­ma­lines, the fo­cus here is a 24.82-ct cush­ion-shaped Sri Lankan sap­phire.

“You have to dare,” Sil­vestri says of the most im­por­tant les­son she learnt from the Bvlgari broth­ers. And that she has, gutsily pulling from myr­iad sources to turn out Wild Pop, a high jew­ellery col­lec­tion that hits you un­ex­pect­edly with its bound­ary­push­ing aes­thetic yet re­mains in essence, quintessen­tially Bvlgari.

CURLS MY LOVE NECK­LACE IN TI­TA­NIUM AND WHITE GOLD WITH DI­A­MONDS AND EMER­ALDS; POP MICS NECK­LACE IN WHITE GOLD WITH SPE­CIALLY CUT AMETHYSTS, PERIDOTS, RUBEL­LITES AND AQUAMARINES, DI­A­MONDS AND ONYX

FROM TOP: MU­SI­CAL LIGHTNINGS BRACELET IN ROSE GOLD WITH EMER­ALDS, RU­BIES, DI­A­MONDS AND MOTHER OF PEARL; DAVID BOWIE’S ALADDIN SANE AL­BUM COVER

FROM LEFT: HIGH JEW­ELLERY NECK­LACE IN WHITE GOLD WITH PEARLS AND DI­A­MONDS; MADONNA IN CON­CERT WEAR­ING THE ICONIC CONE BRA BY JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

ANDY WARHOL IN­SPIRED POP HEART NECK­LACE IN WHITE GOLD WITH A 53.80-CT HEART-CUT CABO­CHON TAN­ZAN­ITE, TAN­ZAN­ITE AND EMER­ALD BEADS, AND DI­A­MONDS

FROM LEFT: PRE­CIOUS RUF­FLES NECK­LACE IN ROSE GOLD WITH 65.44 CT OF DROP CUT ZAM­BIAN EMER­ALDS, AMETHYSTS, EMER­ALDS, TURQUOISE, AND DI­A­MONDS; PLAY IT AGAIN NECK­LACE AND BROOCH IN WHITE GOLD WITH ONYX, RU­BIES AND DI­A­MONDS

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