A MOVEABLE FESTA

Ro­man jew­eller Bul­gari’s daz­zling Festa collection once again high­lights the Ro­man jew­eller’s inim­itable eye for gems and in­no­va­tive de­sign. Mindy Teh trav­els to Bali for an up-close look.

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Contents - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BUL­GARI

Ro­man jew­eller Bul­gari’s daz­zling Festa collection once again high­lights the Ro­man jew­eller’s inim­itable eye for gems and in­no­va­tive de­sign. Mindy Teh trav­els to Bali for an up-close look.

Lu­cia Sil­vestri, Bul­gari’s Jew­ellery Cre­ation and Gem Buy­ing Di­rec­tor, is sit­ting next to me at the gala din­ner for a press pre­view of Festa, the new feast of haute joail­lerie de­lights from the Ro­man jew­eller. Amid laugh­ter and a de­lec­ta­ble din­ner menu designed by Res­i­dent Head Chef Fabrizio Cro­cetta at Il Ris­torante Luca Fantin of Bul­gari Re­sort, Bali, Sil­vestri and Gi­ampaolo Della Croce, the brand’s High Jew­ellery Di­rec­tor, are re­gal­ing us with how the best gems are se­lected for Bul­gari’s myr­iad themes. Sil­vestri smiles when Della Croce re­lates how she is a fierce ne­go­tia­tor, even when pre­sented with the most ex­quis­ite of gems. “Lu­cia is the one who is very de­ter­mined but never shows it,” says Della Croce. “I’m the one who can’t hide (my ex­cite­ment)!”

The pas­sion for jew­ellery is un­mis­tak­able and the Ro­man house, fa­mous for its bril­liant use of coloured gem­stones in spec­tac­u­lar cre­ations, sees the process of gem se­lec­tion and buy­ing as an essential one at Bul­gari, de­ter­min­ing the way the pieces are designed and, in­deed, what theme the col­lec­tions take on. This year’s new high jew­ellery collection sees a joy­ous cel­e­bra­tion of all things Ital­ian – an en­chant­ing

festa of principes­sas, child­hood treats and rus­tic de­lights, with more than 100 jew­els and haute hor­logerie pieces imag­ined into an Ital­ian art de vivre and re­cently pre­sented in Venice, a city leg­endary for two fes­tas – the

Car­ni­val and the Re­gatta Stor­ica.

“De­sign­ing this collection has been an ab­so­lute joy,” says Sil­vestri. “It’s all about fun and choos­ing a theme like festa has al­lowed me a lot of cre­ativ­ity.”

Un­der the de­sign di­rec­tion of Sil­vestri and Della Croce, the cre­ations cap­ture the imag­i­na­tion with dif­fer­ent as­pects of la dolce vita. Principesse re­calls the leg­endary Ro­man princesses of yore, famed for their wit, in­tel­li­gence and beauty, with more than 30 jew­els crafted in their hon­our. The Principessa Borgh­ese, sis­ter to one Em­peror Napoleon Bon­a­parte, for one, has a mag­nif­i­cent cabo­chon emer­ald ring and neck­lace set paid in her trib­ute. A 104 South Sea Akoya pearl sautoir set with a 26.10-carat cabo­chon emer­ald and a 41.98-carat bead emer­ald pays ador­ing trib­ute to Maria Mancini, the Principessa Colonna. Queen Margherita di Savoia is given homage in a neck­lace fea­tur­ing a 59-carat cush­ion-cut Colom­bian emer­ald in­spired by the leg­endary ball­room of her palace in Stupinigi.

With In­fanzia, child­hood is re­vis­ited with torta rings fashioned into colour­ful and de­lec­ta­ble pis­ta­chio, lemon and rasp­berry cakes, reminiscent of sum­mer and fun. Party favours, can­dies and bal­loons all lend to the festa – whether they be lec­ca­lecca (lol­lipops) cre­ated with yel­low di­a­monds, emer­alds and di­a­monds, or gelati in pink gold with buff-top ru­bies and di­a­monds, a spec­tac­u­lar pal­loncini neck­lace of pink gold with aqua­ma­rine, amethysts, emer­alds, pink tour­ma­lines, round di­a­monds and pavé-set di­a­monds.

Tradizione sees time-hon­oured Ital­ian pur­suits and tra­di­tions – olives, pep­per­oncini, palio races and taran­tella dances – feted in stun­ning cre­ations of semi-pre­cious and pre­cious gems, all care­fully se­lected by Sil­vestri and Della Croce.

“Gems have an in­trin­sic beauty that if you don’t ex­press to the best, you will kill them,” says Della Croce. “If you’re not there at the source, you never can tell. We stopped some­one from cut­ting gems into pear shapes – ‘No, no, no! It’s beau­ti­ful (the way it is)’ – and now it’s a beau­ti­ful neck­lace in the shop. What you would have (then) seen were lovely pear-shaped emer­alds but all the other jewellers can do this – we wanted to ex­plore more and more. This is the rea­son why we keep a strong re­la­tion­ship with mine own­ers and gem deal­ers.”

That spe­cial re­la­tion­ship can only add to Bul­gari’s ex­clu­siv­ity as a jew­eller and places the brand on a very dif­fer­ent level, thanks to sym­bi­otic work­ing re­la­tion­ships at ev­ery turn. “We are a team of peo­ple work­ing with the same pas­sion and con­sis­tent en­ergy,” says Della Croce. “Lu­cia has been work­ing for Bul­gari for more than 30 years and I’ve been work­ing there for close to 30. We have ex­ten­sive dis­cus­sions with Mr Bul­gari ev­ery morn­ing!”

If it were not for these daily meet­ings and for­ti­fied re­la­tion­ships, Bul­gari would not have been the in­no­va­tor it has al­ways been. “Our cre­ativ­ity changes ev­ery time,” says Della Croce. “It’s very much a con­tem­po­rary process. We were the first to play with un­con­ven­tional ma­te­ri­als like steel, porce­lain and then ce­ramic, bronze and wood in the 1960s. We were ‘crazy’ enough to craft pieces like huge chains al­ter­nat­ing gold and wood set with di­a­monds – and this isn’t just limited to ma­te­ri­als. We have just been de­sign­ing in a very dif­fer­ent way.”

01

03

03 & 04

Principesse is in­spired by the leg­endary Ro­man princesses.

06 In­fanzia re­vis­its the joys of child­hood. 06

02

01 Festa once again re­flects Bul­gari’s pas­sion for jew­ellery.

02 Bul­gari’s Gi­ampaolo Della Croce and Lu­cia Sil­vestri.

05 Time-hon­oured Ital­ian pur­suits and tra­di­tions give shape to Tradizione. 05

04

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