By Zue Wei Leong
June 24, 2021
Bulgari’s creative director also talks about the year-long journey to create the exquisite fine jewelry collection
This week Bulgari unveiled its brand new fine jewelry collection in a stunning film by Tommaso Ottomano. Shot at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan against the opera vocals of legendary Andrea Bocelli, the exquisite pieces were donned by a beaming cast of models, including Vittoria Ceretti, Lily Aldridge, He Cong and Solange Smith.
A stunning collection of 350 jewelry and watch masterpieces, Magnifica pays homage to the powerful women of the world through time – a natural move given that Bulgari’s jewelry design team is made up entirely of women.
From Art Deco artist Tamara de Lempicka and Maharani d’Indore to modern voices of architect Zaha Hadid and Chinese writer Eileen Chang, inspiration spawns magnificent creations that push the boundaries of jewelry design. and craftsmanship while channeling the spirit of past eras.
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Speaking from her studio at Bulgari’s headquarters in Rome, Creative Director Lucia Silvestri gives us an overview of the Magnifica collection’s journey of creation, which spanned a year.
“This is how I normally start the day,” she said, pouring a small cloth bag of sparkling jewelry onto her worktable. Using her hands, she shapes them into a necklace-like mound before selecting a piece from her cache of larger and exquisite gemstones from around the world to create an arrangement that will later inspire the design. She points out that Bulgari is known for their careful selection of gemstones, but that discernment posed a significant challenge in the early stages of conceptualizing Magnifica due to the pandemic.
Unable to travel, the process of selecting some of the beautiful gems took a lot longer than usual. âWe couldn’t work with videos and images. Instead, we received the stones in Rome and made the selection here,â she explains, before revealing a selection process that highlights her expertise in precious stones, refined over many years of training under the guidance of the master. , Paolo Bulgari himself.
Buy a stone not only because it is beautiful, but also because you can use it
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“I touch the bundle of the stone without seeing it. I can feel right away if the cut of the stone is beautiful. And if I open the bundle and the stone is as beautiful as the cut and I can feel its energy. , I say, ‘Bonjourno!’ But I also have to be able to use it. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from Mr. Bulgari is to buy a stone not only because it is beautiful, but also because you can use it. ”
Still, there is a silver lining to being anchored in Rome. It is reminiscent of the “load of creativity” that went through Bulgari’s headquarters, which perhaps explains the breadth of this collection and its designs that push the boundaries. “I was able to work closely with the artisans in Rome and follow the process from start to finish. We wanted to emphasize the quality of the gemstones and our craftsmanship.”
She continues to share the stories behind some of her favorite pieces from the collection.
At 131.21 carats, the extraordinary gemstone at the heart of this necklace is the fourth largest spinel in the world. Silvestri remembers seeing the stone for the first time: âI received a call from a collector regarding this piece of jewelry. At such a huge size I expected not so great quality but when I finally saw the photos and the video I was shocked It was really one of a kind, red but not really red, with a hint of orange. It was as if there was a fire burning inside.
“It may be the fourth in the world but I would say it is number one in terms of quality,” she concludes.
For the design, the creative director wanted to share the beauty of this stone. “We had so many ideas for mounting the stone but in the end we decided to let it sit alone in the center to emphasize its beauty, size, color and clarity.”
Indeed, this precious jewel from Tagikistan is proudly set amid this intricate creation of cascading diamonds and emerald pearls to complete its show-stealing appearance.
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This necklace includes five large, oval, cushion-cut Paraiba tourmalines, weighing a total of 500 carats, joined by a sumptuous motif of cabochon emeralds and diamonds. âThey were unique, full of happiness and energy,â Silvestri says of the vibrant aqua hue of the extraordinary and incredibly rare Paraiba tourmalines in this piece. “Bulgari always dares to use huge stones.”
But how much is too much? She laughs and repeats Bulgari’s campaign slogan last year: Mai Troppo, which means “never too much” in English.
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Several pieces in this collection are dedicated to the famous Anglo-Iraqi architect, artist and designer, the late Zaha Hadid. Silvestri had previously met the visionary to reinvent Bulgari’s iconic B.zero 1 design with a structurally complex design, inspired by the Colosseum in Rome.
In the fine jewelry creation Fluid Tanzanite, Bulgari’s iconic invention, tubogas, is encrusted with pave diamonds, incorporating a Hadid-inspired design of curves and irregular geometry. A dark blue tanzanite weighing 77.88 carats in the center combines this fusion of styles.
Another design inspired by Silvestri by Hadid’s architectural designs is the Monete Weave, a diamond encrusted choker with a Roman Emperor Nero coin at its heart, a piece she has often been spotted wearing on networks. social. âYou can see the combination of Bulgari’s house style with that of Hadid, especially the idea of ââincorporating curves into the geometry,â she says before demonstrating the necklace’s surprising flexibility.
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With convertible and detachable elements, this Bulgari Ruby Metamorphasis can be worn in at least nine different ways to enhance the beauty of its 10.02 carat cushion-cut antique Mozambique ruby. This masterpiece also features a sparkling tassel of baguette diamonds and cabochon rubies with fluid movement, a testament to the unparalleled craftsmanship of Bulgari Studios.
Silvestri agrees that this technical marvel has elevated the house’s jewelry making to new heights, a positive result of the load of creativity among its artisans and itself brought on by the pandemic.
âWe want to keep building on this,â she says, bringing great hope that her new jewelry collection – which she has already started working on – will be just as revolutionary as the Bulgari Magnifica.
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Watch the spectacular unveiling of Bulgari’s Magnifica fine jewelry in Milan below: