Eating and celebrating: two things Italians consider important. So genuinely in actuality that the nation’s most renowned gems house has devoted its most recent High Jewelry Festa Collection to the Italian specialty of throwing a ‘festa’. Propelled with a reasonably extravagant gathering in Venice, the collection is Bulgari’s most celebratory yet. More than 100 pieces fall into three subjects: Festa dell’Infanzia, Festa della Principessa and Festa della Tradizione, every one celebrating Italian art de vivre.
“Italians love to live and live to love,” says the brand’s creative director, Lucia Silvestri, as the collection is revealed. “We needed to praise the delight, soul and warmth of the Italian festa. It was such a great fun to deal with from start to finish and I hope you can feel that in the pieces.”
Bulgari Diamond Storm ring in platinum with a 15.05-carat D Flawless emerald-cut diamond and pavé-set diamonds
Bulgari Gelati brooch in pink gold with rubies and diamonds
There’s much enjoyable to be had in the Festa dell’Infanzia: candies, ferris wheels, presents, bunting and sweeties are among the themes rendered in gemstones in an unconventional yet remarkably valuable translation of a child’s birthday party. Cocktail rings delineate Italian deserts: spots of precious stones on overflowing layers of chalcedony and agate, with a cabochon emerald cherry on top.
Bulgari Torta al Pistacchio ring in pink gold with chalcedony and agate inserts, rubies, emeralds and diamonds
A marquetry mosaic of chrysoprase, coral, mother-of-pearl and sugilite pays praise to gelato, while Bulgari’s mark cabochon gemstones turn into a group of helium inflatables bunched on the décolletage, looking as if they’re about to float away from the chain to which they are tethered, their diamond ribbons trailing behind them. The Instagram hit of the collection, it demonstrated just as irresistable to customers, selling within hours of the launch.
Bulgari Peperoncini necklace in platinum with green tourmalines, rubellites, amethysts and diamonds
The eatable theme proceeds in the Festa della Tradizione, which recognizes rural southern Italian traditions, for example, hanging pepperoncini for good fortunes. Here the chilli peppers are cut from amethyst and rubellite, hung around the neck from a collection of cut tourmaline and peridot leaves, while amethyst and peridot grapes dangle from delicate diamond bracelets.
Bulgari Tarantella necklace in platinum with diamonds
These commonly vivid gems are scattered with more delicate, white diamond pieces in the Tarantella suite, a web of jewels propelled by the frenzied Tarantella dance which originates from the conviction that the best way to cure a destructive tarantula bite is to dance until exhaution.
Bulgari Il Palio di Siena bracelet in white gold with malachite, tiger eyes, coral, onyx, lapis, mother of pearl, turquoise, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds
Another suite is tribute to the Palio di Siena, the popular Tuscan horse race in which 17 district compete. Silvestri worked intimately with the city of Siena to precisely reproduce the colors of each of those regions in valuable hardstones, setting them in Pop Art-style themes which recall the famous Bulgari collections of the 1970s.
Bulgari Cuore di Roma necklace with a 12.10-carat Mozambique ruby, Akoya pearls and diamonds
The third piece of the set of three, the Festa delle Principessa, is a gesture to the highborn and honorable families all through Italy’s history and it’s here that hardcore Bulgari high gems lovers will feel most at home. The marketing blurb describes tasteful motivations – the stucco roofs of a memorable royal residence, the bows with which a respectable Princess embellished her ballgowns, secret mirrors within a Roman palazzo – however this string is truly about the superb coloured gemstones, gathered through the span of three years by Silvestri and her group.
Il Magnifico di Bulgari necklace in platinum with a 180.98-carat cabochon sugarloaf sapphire and diamonds
Take the 180-carat sugarloaf cabochon Burmese sapphire set on a stout diamond chain, as demonstrated by Bella Hadid at the Cannes Film Festival. “The sapphire originated from an antique piece – it was initially faceted and profound,” clarifies Silvestri, who is entrusted with finding the so-called ‘Bulgari stones’. “I’d utilized the greater part of the others somewhere else yet I couldn’t choose what to do with that sapphire. We recut it into a sugarloaf cabochon and finally I could see the life inside it.”
Bulgari The Green Liz necklace with a 59.11-carat cabochon Colombian emerald, diamonds and emeralds
That stone infers the sugarloaf sapphire pendant that Richard Burton gave Elizabeth Taylor for her 40th birthday celebration – the neckband is currently part of Bulgari’s Heritage collection, and gone about as motivation for another critical piece in the Festa collection. A long Seventies-style pendant is set with a 59.11-carat cabochon Colombian emerald in an unadulterated show of brazen Bulgari soul. “We’ve nicknamed it the ‘Green Liz’,” says Silvestri.
So something old for the Bulgari connoisseurs, alongside plenty of things new for the much-coveted millennial market (is it a coincidence that so many of the new motifs translate perfectly into emoji-speak?). With the likes of Bella Hadid and Lily Aldridge creating a buzz at the launch and several pieces snapped up immediately, Bulgari’s high spirits look set to continue.