A few weeks ago, an image of global icons Priyanka Chopra, Zendaya, and Anne Hathaway made its rounds on the World Wide Web and broke the internet. A deeper glance gave us the story. On May 16, 2023, the Italian luxury fashion house, Bulgari, unveiled its Mediterranea High Jewellery and High-End Watch Collection in Venice. The Maison chose the crossroads of Mediterranean influence to present the brand’s precious assortment of over 400 one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery. The event was the perfect amalgamation of history, culture, and beauty, and was staged at one of the city’s most recognisable symbols—Palazzo Ducale.
The exclusive jewellery show was curated by French fashion editor and writer, Carine Roitfled, and presented many exquisite pieces of jewellery. The collection, which has always been inspired by multicultural spaces and nature, traces the history and culture of the regions along the Mediterranean Sea, which has served as a cradle of civilisation and an inexhaustible source of inspiration rooted in its art and craft. In an interesting yet, perhaps, deliberate coincidence, the collection pays homage to the vision of the brand’s founder, Sotirio Bulgari, who left his homeland of Greece and travelled across the Mediterranean region before settling down in Rome.
“This High Jewellery collection is an homage to the Mediterranean beauty and essence in all its forms. For me, being in the region is an awakening of all senses and a real inspirational experience. The architecture, the nature, the people—I am seeing beauty everywhere,” stated Lucia Silvestri, Bulgari Jewellery Creative Director. The Mediterranean Muse necklace is a tribute to the beauty of the sea and is embellished with gems in a range of blue tones. The central sapphire, along with the aquamarines and diamonds, completes the necklace. In line with the brand’s historic symbol of the Serpenti, the Mediterranean Sapphire Serpenti Necklace, has been crafted using nine sapphirrs from Sri Lanka to evoke the snake’s scales. This, along with the pave diamond body construction culminates into a dramatic pendent that reflects the silhouette of the snake as well as the many tones of the sea. Other pieces include the Oriental Fantasy Necklace, which is a testament to the warm dunes of the deserts; the Tribute to Venice Necklace that is a reflection of Venetian architecture; and the Oriental Buds pink-gold necklace, among many others.
Besides the brand’s jewellery collection, the event also unveiled its Mediterranean-inspired timepieces for men and women. ‘South Radiance’ is a celebration of the underwater world—from its white gold coral shaped parts to the gemstone-embellished starfish. The Giardino Marino Piccolo is set in the tones of blue and green and is designed as a reef, featuring fish, anemones, and seashells. And these, are only a glimpse into Bulgari’s multifaceted collection, born out of exceptional creativity and craftsmanship.
Through the collection we see layers of culture, traditions and craft interspersed with contemporary designs, innovation, and the use of technology such as AI. The conflation of eastern and western elements and references of art and craft from North Africa to Southern Italy can be best described as cross-pollination, eclecticism, and syncretism.
The Mediterranea collection was showcased by models such as Stella Maxwell, Blesnia Minher and Eva Herzigova, who walked on a specially designed mosaic catwalk inspired by the collection itself. They wore luxury shoes by Rene Caovilla, featuring an ankle strap decorated with a snake, symbolic of the brand’s adoration for the animal and as an ode to the Serpenti line, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
Bulgari’s brand ambassadors, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Zendaya, Anna Hathaway, Lisa of Blackpink, Hikari Mori, and Lashana Lynch along with fashion icons such as Law Roach and Erin Walsh arrived on the red carpet looking elegant. The show was followed by a gala dinner at Palazzo Ducale’s Sala Dello Scrutinio which was nothing less than a grand soiree with textile-decorated tables and a specially curated menu by Michelin Star Chef Massimilliano Alajmo. The near perfect evening was made even more splendid with a performance by singer, Norah Jones who sang her much-adored hits such as Don’t Know Why, and Come Away With Me.