ROME — With a stage such as the imposing fortress of Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome, offset by a modern and digital installation, and a history that spans more than 130 years, Bulgari’s exhibition “The Story, The Dream,” successfully mirrors both cultural evolutions and the exquisite art of Italian jewelry craftsmanship. Further emphasizing Italian know-how, the more than 170 Bulgari jewels are displayed together with a stunning selection of gowns and looks by some of the best Italian couturiers and designers, from Valentino Garavani, Emilio Pucci, Romeo Gigli and Roberto Capucci to Gianni Versace, Krizia’s Mariuccia Mandelli, and Gianfranco Ferré for Dior — all owned by fashion collector Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini.
The exhibition opens with a selection of “giardinetto [small garden]” brooches from the Fifties and Sixties, reproducing flower vases, where rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds delicately sprout from cabochon stones shaped like vases — signaling how Bulgari revolutionized the world of jewelry through daring color combinations. In this first room, a mannequin wears an Elsa Schiaparelli cheongsam and turban, and another dons a Jole Veneziani gown.
In a nearby glass case, Bulgari’s original “trembling” diamond brooches show how the leaves and stems of the flowers lightly quiver through a system of tiny
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