Bulgari pulled out the stops in high glamour with an explosion of colour and dazzling creations at the launch of the Bulgari Wild Pop High Jewellery collection in Singapore recently.
A special showroom was set up at Capella Singapore in vibrant colours with quotes from Warhol on the walls. The visual feast of the senses saw beautifully crafted jewellery which drew inspiration from a variety of references such as pop art and the 80s, but primarily inspired by Andy Warhol.
While visiting the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York City, Bulgari’s Creative Director, Lucia Silvestri saw all the Bulgari catalogues and correspondence in the artist’s archive and it gave her the idea of doing a collection.
“It was a dive into the past, and with this collection I reinterpreted with some pieces the dialogue between us and AW (Warhol) who left a mark in the history of Pop art. The wild side is our courage to be more and more audacious and is the first lesson I learned from the Bulgari family,” said Silvestri in an email interview.
And a collection of course, starts off with the precious stones.
“The process starts with a brief that we received from our marketing department, then we will discuss together. After I call my team, the designer and the buyer, we start to match the creativity with the gemstones. Usually for the High Jewellery, the process begins with the stones.”
Silvestri says it’s a long process that usually begins two years before the launch of the new collection. What attracts her is not so much the stones, but the colour: “Not a stone in particular but the magic of colour, what nature manages to create in a perfect and unique way without the hand of man. This applies to the stones we buy and use for our jewels. Unique stones.Yes, when I buy the stones I always have in my mind what to do.”
Colour is actually a signature of Bulgari, and this collection is no different as Wild Pop sees striking and vivid hues.
The 80s is an era the brand is very much familiar and in tune with, Warhol himself told Nicola Bulgari, “I think your jewellery is the 80s”, during a conversation published in Interview magazine. He went on to add, “Everybody is trying to copy this look.”
Warhol was also quite a fan of the brand, he owned Monete jewels and a Tubogaswatch. Famous pieces of this era include the signature Monete gold chain link necklaces set with ancient Roman and Greek coins, which was extremely popular. Princess Caroline of Monaco, the former First Lady of the United States Nancy Reagan, and Academy Award winner Jane Fonda were just a few of the famous women who wore Monete.
At the showroom there were a number of stunning pieces on display with several notable ones. One of them was the Queen of Pop necklace, a platinum reinterpretation of an 80s jewellery silhouette which has a 24.80-carat sapphire combined with baguette diamonds, mint tourmalines and sapphires.
Then there is the Magnificent Green Ruffles necklace – this was actually inspired by a quote from Alexis Carrington, a character from the popular soap opera of the 80s, Dynasty who said, “When in doubt, add some ruffles to your dress.” This necklace is set with a 34.12ct Colombian emerald.
A particular favourite of mine was the colourful Pop Mics necklace, bracelet and brooch as its design has microphones!
When Silvestri, designed these pieces, she thought of Madonna and David Bowie as well as the synthesizers and the microphones that appeared in music videos on MTV.
The Supreme Diamond Light bracelet, earrings, and ring with its graphic combination of black onyx and white diamond, finished with a marquise-cut diamond is stunning and was inspired by New York City, a relationship that Bulgari forged in the 80s.
There is also the Homage to New York City necklace which has a geometric design made of rose gold, mother-of-pearl and pavé diamonds.
Witty pieces include the Curls, My Love necklace, bracelet and ring in titanium and white gold. This set is a glamorous tribute to the hot rollers women used in the 80s to create the iconic “big hair” looks of that era.
As the whole collection covers every section of the 80s, from fashion, dance, music to the popular TV shows, there’s also a necklace inspired by a TV show, in this case, Miami Vice.
The result is the pink gold, onyx and pavé-set diamond Flamingos necklace and the yellow gold, carnelian, agate and pavé-set diamond Palms necklace. If you’re wondering about the connection, the theme song opened with images of flamingoes, palms, blue skies and Art Deco buildings,
This same tropical Miami Vice feel is seen in the Serpenti My Handcuff Watch. A special system of tiny hidden springs moves each of the 30 malachite hexagons covering the cuff. The diamond snake set atop the watch is set with diamonds in white gold and accented by rubellites.
A necklace inspired by the “magical effects” of leaves? Why not? The Happy Leaves necklace is inspired by the recreational use of the herb and is made of white gold with 14.63 carats of pavé-set diamonds and over 5.60 carats of pavé-set emeralds.
Finally there is the Feast of Flowers necklace and earrings. This dazzling set has 12 Zambia emeralds (45.15ct) and a stunning pair of earrings set with two pear-shaped Zambia emeralds (4.99ct and 5.21ct) mixed with rubies and diamonds.
If you love beautiful jewellery with themes and references and especially if you’re a fan of the 80s, this collection is definitely for you.