Rapaport Magazine
Style & Design

Magnificent women

A new book about Bulgari features the brand’s most expensive collection yet — and the fabulous figures who inspired it.

By Livia Primo Lack

Image: Bulgari.

The latest book to explore Bulgari’s high jewelry, Bulgari Magnifica: The Power Women Hold, is an ode to the fearless women who have inspired the Italian maison. Published by Rizzoli and divided into three chapters — “Head,” “Heart” and “Hands” — the lavishly illustrated narrative focuses on the different pillars of Bulgari that have made it a household name over the years.

The source of inspiration behind this volume is Bulgari’s Magnifica collection. Comprising 350 spectacular pieces, this collection is Bulgari’s most valuable and expensive yet, with 60 jewels worth over EUR 1 million ($1.1 million) each. The highlight is the brand’s unparalleled manipulation of colored stones, with most pieces featuring an important gem as its focal point.

Designed by Bulgari jewelry creative director Lucia Silvestri, the line was “created by women for women,” speaking to the struggles and spirit behind their successes.

Turning to the muses

The first chapter, “Head,” focuses on Bulgari’s female muses. Bulgari women have always boldly and unapologetically forged their own creative paths. Through storytelling, poetry and editorial imagery, eight of these muses bring the Magnifica collection to life.

Entrepreneur Amanda Nguyen, award-winning journalist Noor Tagouri, Christie’s specialist Alexandra Damianos, actress Aisha Dee, activist Raquel Willis, astrologer Chani Nicholas, queer activist Whembley Sewell and DJ Mia Moretti invite the reader to celebrate bravery and the joy of womanhood through personal stories of struggle that led to incredible creations. These women from vastly different geographical and professional backgrounds have distinguished themselves as trailblazers with indomitable spirits and independent attitudes, unafraid to shatter cultural norms and break through established boundaries in an effort to create new visions.

Superb stones

The next section, “Heart,” focuses on the stunning gems Bulgari sources from around the world. The brand’s incomparable mastery of colored stones is the pulsating heart of the Magnifica collection. The extraordinary and record-breaking gemstones the maison has been collecting for years imbue this chapter with vibrant energy. Among them are a 131.24-carat spinel that is the fourth-largest in the world and arguably the most beautiful ever found, and five breathtaking oval cushion-cut Paraiba tourmalines with a total weight of 500 carats.

Finally, “Hands” is dedicated to the hands of the designers and artisans whose contributions and craftsmanship brought this visionary line to life. The complex pieces revisit the convertible jewels and experimental designs for which Bulgari was so famous in the 1920s and ’30s, with an added eclectic touch. Each of these one-of-a-kind creations can be transformed to interpret the preferred mood and style of the individual wearer; many are also convertible.

The Serpenti necklace, the hero piece of the collection, is the perfect example to illustrate Magnifica’s innovation. This seductive snake design, featuring a jaw-dropping 93-carat emerald, is a reinterpretation of Bulgari’s iconic snake symbol in a way that has never been done before.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - December 2021. To subscribe click here.

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