9, 2010, 125 Years of Italian Magnificence: Bulgari at the
Grand Palais in Paris was inaugurated, welcomed by a number of red-carpet
celebrities including Juliette Binoche, Julianne Moore, Lenny Kravitz
and numerous others. The exhibition, held for a limited time only
at the museums nave (from December 10 to January 12) embraced
the true radiance of the art and attractiveness of Sotirio Bulgaris
designs and creations.
The black diamond, beneath the Grand
Palaiss glass dome.
Sotirio Bulgari created luxury, grace, an essential
beauty and as the name of the exhibition suggests, magnificence.
Upon entering the exhibition, visitors arrive in a beautifully large
shaped area in the form of an opened black diamond,
placed directly below the Grand Palaiss glass dome. The sunlight
gleaming from the exterior is strongly reflected upon the black
diamond, emphasizing a precious stones interior finery. A
large portrait of Sotirio Bulgari welcomes visitors to his universe
of exquisiteness and sophistication.
The exhibition is divided into seven rooms. They are
dark but the diamonds and precious stones are projected as glistening
lights. The walls are decorated with pictures of movie stars wearing
Bulgari accessories as a touch of allure and glamour.
A crowd of enthusiastic people of all ages wait in line
to look at a total of 603 stunning jewellery pieces. A range of
Bulgari accessories includes earrings, clips, brooches and alarm
clocks, just to name a few. Precious stones vary, including diamonds,
rubies, emeralds, turquoise, amethyst and jade, projecting a collection
of colours absolutely blinding to the eye and creating an array
Bulgari jewellery was very popular amongst a number
of leading female movie stars including Ingrid Bergman and Sophia
Loren; however, Elizabeth Taylor was especially a great fan. The
Elizabeth Taylor Collection at the exhibition is solely devoted
to Taylors personal collection with a total of 16 Bulgari
pieces. Taylor once said, One of the biggest advantages of
working on Cleopatra in Rome was Bulgaris nice little
shop. She even wore Bulgari jewelry in movies, adding an extra
spark in motion pictures.
In 2009, the first Bulgari exhibition in Roma was entitled
Between Eternity and History: 18842009. There, as visitors
viewed certain historical aspects, they also witnessed splendour
that will last for an eternity.
This exhibition highlights the changes and evolution
from one decade to another. In the 1930s, convertible jewellery
was very popular. It was designed in divisions, transforming from
a bracelet, to a brooch or even to a clip. The 1970s were inspired
by pop art: fun and stylish creations. Longer necklaces (des Sautoirs)
and larger forms were en vogue during this period. Andy Warhol,
the famous pop artist, once said, I always visit Bulgari,
because it is the most important museum of contemporary art.
In the 1970s, Bulgari went international, opening shops
in Paris, New York, Monte Carlo and Genève.
Many visitors at the Bulgari exhibition described their
experience as a way of allowing themselves to dream.
We spoke to Amanda Triossi, curator of the Bulgari vintage
collection, who shared with us her point-of-view and perspective.
A pair of clip brooches in gold with sapphires and diamonds, c.
1945. Each of palmette design set with six cabochon sapphires and
a line of pavé set diamonds.
Serpent bracelet-watch in gold with polychrome enamel, c.
Emerald and diamond necklace, owned by Elizabeth Taylor.
in gold with sapphires, diamonds and blue enamel, c. 1975.
Bianca Brandolini dAdda
Nicola Bulgari, Bulgari Vice-President, Sarah Marshall and Jean-Claude
Lola Saab is Paris editor of Lucire.