Style Spot­light

Bul­gari takes a walk on the wild side in the Big Ap­ple with a new jew­ellery col­lec­tion that chan­nels the he­do­nis­tic vibes of the 1980s, as Napha­lai Areesorn dis­cov­ers

Thailand Tatler - - CONTENTS -

Napha­lai Areesorn vis­its Sin­ga­pore to view Bul­gari’s Wild Pop high jew­ellery col­lec­tion, which looks to chan­nel the plea­sure-seek­ing vibes of New York in the he­do­nis­tic 1980s

Fancy mar­i­juana leaves around your neck? Well, when it is part of Bul­gari’s high jew­ellery col­lec­tion, then cer­tainly. The lux­ury jew­ellery com­pany is a quintessen­tially Ital­ian brand, tak­ing its in­spi­ra­tion from Rome and the coun­try of its birth—the his­tory, cul­ture, colours and pas­sion for life. But in the re­cently re­leased Wild Pop col­lec­tion, it moves from the Mediter­ranean across the At­lantic to New York. Specif­i­cally the Big Ap­ple in the 1980s with its elec­tric life­style in­flu­enced by disco mu­sic and pop art.

Ni­cola Bul­gari vis­ited New York and fell in love with the city, tak­ing up res­i­dence there. Drawn to its creative com­mu­nity and big per­son­al­i­ties, he de­vel­oped a close re­la­tion­ship with Andy Warhol. Theirs were two like minds: bold, dar­ing and ready to push the bound­aries. The ad­mi­ra­tion was mu­tual. Warhol was taken by the work of the mai­son and told Bul­gari, “When I am in Rome, I al­ways visit Bul­gari be­cause it’s the most im­por­tant mu­seum of con­tem­po­rary art.” He added, “I think your jew­ellery is the 80s.”

Dur­ing a visit to the Andy Warhol Foun­da­tion for the Vis­ual Arts in New York, Bul­gari creative di­rec­tor Lu­cia Sil­vestri was re­minded of this friend­ship be­tween Ni­cola Bul­gari and Andy Warhol. She also re­mem­bered an im­por­tant les­son learned while work­ing with the Bul­gari broth­ers, Ni­cola and Paolo: “You have to dare”. And so was born the Wild Pop col­lec­tion, show­cas­ing the ex­trav­a­gant 80s ap­petite for voglio tutto e voglio subito—want­ing it all and want­ing it now—the epit­omy of the brand’s rule­break­ing ap­proach to jew­ellery.

Ac­cord­ing to Mauro di Roberto, head of Bul­gari’s jew­ellery di­vi­sion, the 80s was a pe­riod of dis­rup­tion. “Pop art her­alded in new and unique de­signs and ma­te­ri­als be­ing used,” he ex­plains. It was also a time of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and free spirit­ed­ness. An eco­nom­ics and busi­ness man­age­ment grad­u­ate, di Roberto joined Bul­gari in New York in 1979 and was a part of the changes that rocked fash­ion, cul­ture, tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion at this time.

Colour is a hall­mark of Bul­gari and in the Wild Pop col­lec­tion, it is not only the themes that are wild, but also the kalei­do­scopic shades. The Pre­cious Ruf­fles neck­lace was in­spired by the Dy­nasty char­ac­ter Alexis Car­ring­ton and is high­lighted with ex­quis­ite Colom­bian emer­alds against hues of green, blue, pur­ple and white. Mu­sic was a big part of the 1980s with megas­tars like Madonna, Prince, David Bowie and Michael Jack­son to the fore. Sil­vestri cre­ated a play­ful set of mi­cro­phone neck­lace, bracelet and brooch burst­ing with colours.

The col­lec­tion also picks up on the de­tails of the Big Ap­ple. The geo­met­ric de­sign of the Homage to New York City neck­lace re­sem­bles the crown worn by the Statue of Lib­erty. In the Supreme Di­a­mond Light set of bracelet, ear­rings and ring, the de­sign evokes the ma­jes­tic Man­hat­tan sky­line.

These pieces and oth­ers in the more than 80-piece col­lec­tion were un­veiled first in Rome in June, fol­lowed by Sin­ga­pore. At the Capella Ho­tel on Sen­tosa is­land, guests and me­dia from the re­gion were pre­sented with their first glimpse of this new high jew­ellery cre­ations at a Wild Pop themed manor on the lush grounds of the ho­tel. Pro­ceeds from the sale of items di­rectly in­spired by Warhol will go to the Andy Warhol Foun­da­tion’s en­dow­ment, which has dis­trib­uted some US$300 mil­lion in grants so far in sup­port of the vis­ual arts.

“We need to add ex­pe­ri­ences to make our jew­ellery more in­ter­est­ing for our clients, es­pe­cially mil­len­ni­als. Be­fore it was fine to present just great jew­ellery, but the client to­day wants more in­for­ma­tion, more ex­pe­ri­ences, more sto­ries,” says di Roberto. And with Bul­gari on the ears, fin­gers, wrist or around the neck, the client knows her piece of jew­ellery is a part of a long and creative jour­ney be­fore reach­ing its des­ti­na­tion.

burst of colour The Pre­cious Ruf­fles neck­lace in pink gold fea­tures 11 Zam­bian drop-cut emer­alds, amethysts, turquoises and di­a­monds

(Clock­wise from top left) Mauro di Roberto is Bul­gari’s jew­ellery head; the Homage to New York neck­lace takes its geo­met­ric de­sign from the crown of the Statue of Lib­erty; Happy Leaves de­pict mar­i­juana leaves on the neck­lace; the Pop Mics bracelet of di­a­mond and onyx mi­cro­phones topped with colour­ful stones; Curls, My Love is a bracelet in­spired by the rollers women used in the 80s to cre­ate the “big hair” look

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