Written by Nemo Monti | 01 July 2019
Rome, June 26th, 2019 | Bvlgari is the perfect ambassador for ‘Made in Italy’, employing production techniques that combine engineering and beauty, passion and talent. Their work is a unique mixture of originality, manufacturing excellence and tradition. “BVLGARI, the history, the dream” is an autobiographical presentation of the brand’s heritage. Conceived by the regional museum centre (Polo Museale del Lazio), in collaboration with Bvlgari, the exhibition is staged within Rome’s Palazzo Venezia and Castel Sant’Angelo; two prestigious buildings that lend their atmosphere to the event.
Using jewellery and objects from private collections, the exhibition creates a narrative based on the Bvglari family history, commercial strategies and their unique creative intuition.
Emblematic of old school Italian jewellery, Bvlgari has been able to reaffirm this method, always faithful to their own unique and distinctive style.
The exhibition narrative by Chiara Ottaviano (historian and mass communication sociologist) offers key insight into the way commercial brands such as Bvlgari have established a foundation for ‘Made In Italy’ fashion and design worldwide.
The conceptual setting of the exhibition draws on the idea of “temporal passage”: installations of arches and staircases form a backdrop for a mannequin to become both audience and actor.
75 mannequins from the iconic Schläppi 2200 collection are silhouetted against the magnificent and monumental spaces of the interiors. It is through collections such as the Schläppi 2200 that Bonaveri has become known a leader in the mannequin industry.
The 2200 Collection has been validated and adopted by the most important of couturiers (from Yves Saint Laurent to Hubert De Givenchy…), for its innate ability to acquire a spirit of fashion, infusing every garment with a heart of elegance.
For this reason, Bonaveri has been able to forge important partnerships with many of the main costume museums, including the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum in NY, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, MoMu in Antwerp and the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala in Milan, amongst many others.
For the exhibition “BVLGARI, the history, the dream” the mannequins are displayed in a matt finish in black and gold to emphasise the jewellery and the garments.
Together with the items for Bvlgari’s Heritage Collection, some of which are displayed here for the first time, the exhibition presents creations from exclusive private collections. Never before seen archive documents, vintage photographs and film footage add to the complete narrative.
Haute couture garments from Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini’s collection offer a vivid reference point for the appreciation of Bvlgari’s work through era, trend and historical taste.
Bvlgari was established in 1884 by Sotirios Voulgaris, a Greek silversmith who settled in Rome to seek his fortune. “BVLGARI, the history, the dream” retraces almost a century of the Maison’s economic, social and daily activities. The narrative of the brand is augmented by the successes inherent in its wealthy and celebrated clientele.
By enhancing and defining the characteristics of Bvlgari, the exhibition displays some of the most emblematic creations of the brand: the jewellery exhibits the manufacturing excellence, the taste for colour, the luxurious volumes and the graceful silhouette typical of the brand.
The gold jewellery, often considered Bvlgari’s most renowned creations, is made with ancient coins reflecting a creative sensibility toward historic tradition. Items made in the 1980s and 1990s, modular and ideal for every occasion, are considered especially sensitive to the needs of working women.
“BVLGARI, the history, the dream”
The exhibition was conceived by the Polo Museale del Lazio and directed by Edith Gabrielli in collaboration with Bvlgari. The content has been carefully curated by a committee of leading academics, including Francesco Benigno (Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa), Chiara Ottaviano (historian and mass communication sociologist), Daniela Luigia Caglioti (Università Federico II of Naples) and Emanuela Scarpellini (Università degli Studi of Milan). Background research on the style and creativity of Bvlgari was developed by Lucia Boscaini, Bvlgari Brand and Heritage Curator.
A unique opportunity to rediscover the history and creativity of Bvlgari as a Made in Italy icon, enhanced by the splendid surroundings of Castel Sant’Angelo and Palazzo Venezia. The talent, passion and ability to capture the zeitgeist of the founder, Sotirio Bulgari, and of the following generations, marked a successful path and the history of jewellery itself”Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bvlgari Group.
“The exhibition comes from a transparent, well-thought-out and balanced scientific project” underlines Edith Gabrielli, director of the Polo Museale del Lazio. “I considered and do consider Bvlgari a most remarkable Italian company. That is because of its history in taste, as Bvlgari itself evokes a great tradition of technique and beauty of the applied arts. It is the history of its work: we should never forget about the hundreds of people, mostly Italian, working in the premises in Valenza or in the headquarters in Florence and Rome. This is the reason why an exhibition about Bvlgari and in collaboration with Bvlgari definitely means doing something good for our country”.
It is a precious work of investigation carried out with the scientific committee and curator Chiara Ottaviano that allowed to valorise in a truly original way the history of the company, interlacing it with facts and events that widen from Rome to the whole worldLucia Boscaini, Bvlgari Brand and Heritage Curator.