Hubert Burda Media

La Dolce Diva

Showcased by Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Bulgari’s latest high jewellery line enchants with its Italian allure, charm and molto magnifico moments.

Italy has romantic landscapes, fantastic food and a captivating culture. And it also has Bulgari. Ever since the haute joaillerie House opened its flagship store on Via dei Condotti in 1905, it has placed the country on the world map (not that it really needs it) whenever it launches a collection. From the iconic Bulgari Bulgari, to the Serpenti line, the jeweller has been performing consistently through the years.
Not one to buck the trend, the fine jewellery-maker now presents one-of-a-kind pieces, which are part of its latest Diva collection. These are directly inspired by the Bulgari jewels owned by Elizabeth Taylor and her travels within the enigmatic isles of Italy.
Indeed, who better to epitomise such brilliance than the effusively beautiful Taylor who was the brand’s most loyal devotee and collector? One of the greatest film stars of the 1950-1960s period, she adored the jewellery-maker’s flamboyantly elegant pieces with audaciously large, precious stones. There were even creations made just for her by Bulgari to celebrate her love affair with Richard Burton after they met on the set of Cleopatra (1963) in Rome.
Breathtaking pieces include the Emerald Suite, which began as an engagement gift bought by Burton for Taylor and consists of a pendant-brooch mounted with a sumptuous Colombian emerald of 23.44ct and an emerald and diamond necklace he had made for her in 1964. The stunning piece has 16 step-cut octagonal Colombian emeralds with a total weight of 60.50ct, surrounded by brilliant-cut and pear-shaped diamonds. Taylor was so fond of the necklace that she wore it all the time, even at home by her poolside.
Apart from her green-hued fancies, Taylor was often seen wearing Burton’s 40th birthday gift to her: A sautoir in platinum with sapphires and diamonds with a pendant mounted and a 52.72-ct sugar-loaf Burmese cabochon sapphire, which was created by the House in 1962.
Today, our modern era’s very own diva, Bruni-Sarkozy, is the new face of Bulgari for the Diva collection. Born in Turin, Italy on December 23, 1967 as Carla Bruni-Tedeschi, she and the brand have transcended their Italian roots to become global icons.
Starting out as a small family company, Bulgari has developed into an emblem of Italian excellence and an international business known for its fine jewellery, timepieces, fragrances, eyewear and accessories. It also counts today among its repertoire two Bulgari hotels in Milan and London and a resort in Bali — clearly demonstrating the brand’s versatility in engaging the luxury lifestyle market.
Similarly, Bruni-Sarkozy evolved from supermodel to singer and since marrying ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008, has become an international personality. The stylish global ambassador for Unicef and UNAids administered her diplomatic duties well while keeping at the top of her music career. In April 2013, she released her fourth album Little French Songs, which looks set to garner the same positive feedback that her Quelqu’un m’a dit debut in 2009 enjoyed, selling over two million copies.
Charismatic, intelligent and glamorous, Bruni-Sarkozy is truly the contemporary embodiment of the Bulgari Diva and dons its pieces with elegant flair. Characterised by bold, richly coloured gems and luxurious statement pieces, the collection is distinctively Bulgari with time-treasured designs that are traceable back to the end of the 1950s era.
During that period of time, Parisian-style jewellery was in vogue and featured a rigid adherence to a combination of a few muted colours. With typical Italian aplomb and gumption, Bulgari disregarded the norm and came up with unusual blends of vivid, fiery coloured gemstones.
Adopting a mix-and-unmatch method where big stones were paired with the small, and cuts swung from cabochon to emerald and even octagonal in shape, Bulgari created a signature look that has lasted till today. This is best exemplified in the Diva range: A sparkling gem-encrusted set where one is charmed by a plethora of circular, oval, pear-shaped, bead and even pebble-shaped cabochon styles.
“Bulgari is for me the symbol of passion and of this vivid and colourful Roman gaiety”
 — Carla Bruni-Sarkozy