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BVLGARI, the story, the dream exhibition is now on view in Rome
BVLGARI, the story, the dream, installation view, 2019, Courtesy of BVLGARI.

ROME.- The exhibition project is the work of Polo Museale del Lazio, directed by Edith Gabrielli, in collaboration with BVLGARI, with contents selected by a scientific advisory board of distinguished academics such as Francesco Benigno (Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa), Chiara Ottaviano (sociologist and historian of mass communication), Daniela Luigia Caglioti (Federico II University in Naples), Emanuela Scarpellini (Milan University). The themes relating to Bvlgari’s style and creativity have been developed by Lucia Boscaini, Bvlgari’s Brand and Heritage Curator.

Curated by Chiara Ottaviano, the exhibition follows BVLGARI’s history as an example of the success of an Italian company in the transition from being a small, family-run firm to a global luxury brand. Bvlgari stories and anecdotes are included in a broader study of the decisive factors in securing the international standing of Italian-produced fashion and design with its unique mix of originality, excellent craftsmanship, richness and tradition.

The show includes jewels from the company’s Heritage Collection, some of which are being exhibited for the first time, as well as creations on loan from important private collections. The exhibition narrative is enriched with previously-unseen archive documentation, historic photos and films covering over one hundred years of the Maison’s history, interlaced with numerous stories relating to the economy, society and customs. As an elegant counterpoint to the jewels of the Brand’s Heritage Collection, the haute couture dresses from Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini’s private collection give a vivid feeling of the tastes and trends of the various epochs in which the BVLGARI story has unfolded.

The story starts with the company's founder, Sotirio Bulgari, the talented silversmith who left Greece and came to Rome in 1884 looking for his fortune. It then covers family anecdotes, marketing strategies and creative intuition right up to the beginning of the 1990s. The Maison's success with wealthy clients and prominent socialites is a further element to illustrate the affirmation of the Brand and its network of contacts. The jewels that were owned and worn by the stars of the Dolce Vita like Elizabeth Taylor, Gina Lollobrigida, Ingrid Bergman, Anna Magnani and Audrey Hepburn reflect the international fame achieved by the brand in the period after the Second World War, a critical time for the rebirth of both Rome and Italy as a whole.

The show will focus on the key aspects that make BVLGARI's style unique and recognisable still today, as the emblem of an Italian school of jewellery with ancient roots and which is constantly evolving. The exhibition thus showcases the most emblematic jewels that capture the excellence in craftsmanship, the taste for colour, the sumptuous shapes and rounded lines that are typical of BVLGARI. The Maison's particularly popular and distinctive iconic creations include the gold jewels set with ancient coins which reflect its talent in revisiting old traditions in a highly contemporary manner. The creations from the 1980s and 90s, modular and wearable at any time of day, illustrate the Brand’s ability to be in tune with the dynamic life of working women.

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