BVLGARI celebrates its 130th years since its first shop was opened in Rome. To mark this significant anniversary Bulgari commissioned renowned American architect Peter Marino to refurbish its flagship store in Rome at via dei Contotti 10 and to finance the renovation of the Spanish Steps. Jean-Christophe Babin, Chief Executive Officer of the Bulgari Group thus commented “2014 will be a particularly important year for us, as it marks Bulgari’s 130th Anniversary. The celebrations start with the reopening of the historic flagship store in via dei Condotti in Rome, an event designed as a tribute to the city whose eternal history has been an inexhaustible constant source of inspiration for our collections. Furthermore I am extremely proud of this agreement with the City of Rome which will allow us to “adopt” the Spanish Steps. They are at the heart of our history, between via Sistina - where Sotirio Bulgari first opened its doors in 1884 - and the historic store in via dei Condotti. Who better than Bulgari can contribute to the renovation of such an architectural jewel in the Eternal City? For me this is just one of the many steps that Bulgari has taken towards Eternity.”
Sotirios Boulgaris was born into a family of Greek silversmiths in 1857; an exceptionally skilled and talented craftsman, he was also blessed with keen business acumen. In 1879, the search for new opportunities prompted him to leave Greece and, after a short period in Corfu and then Naples, in 1881 he settled in Rome, the capital of the newly established Kingdom of Italy. In 1884, as soon as his finances permitted, Sotirio opened his first shop at via Sistina 85 - on the fashionable promenade leading to Piazza Trinità dei Monti at the top of the Spanish Steps - where he was to remain until 1923. In 1894 Sotirio opened a second store located at via dei Condotti 28 and, in 1905, a third and larger one at numbers 10b and 10c of via dei Condotti.
This shop is situated at the end of the street which leads to the Spanish Steps, opposite the elegant and fashionable Caffé Greco. It is at the heart of the so called “Tridente” complex of roads, and on one Rome’s most glamorous shopping streets. For years the three Bulgari shops coexisted, linked together by the Spanish Steps. La Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti, as this monumental stairway with its 138 travertine steps is known in Italian, was designed by Francesco de Sanctis as an interpretation of terraced garden stairs on a massive scale; it was completed in 1725, and is still to this day the widest in Europe. For nearly four decades the Spanish Steps played an important functional role for Bulgari, physically connecting the shops situated below and above the hill. Surely no other jeweller in the world boasts of a more spectacular architectural backdrop. Not surprisingly Bulgari capitalised on this visual connection when, in a 1960s advertising campaign, it framed the Spanish Steps with a magnificent necklace, set with diamonds and the finest Burmese rubies.
In occasion of its 130th Anniversary, Bulgari has created an amazing one-of-a-kind necklace named Ultimate Temptation, a piece that celebrates the snake both as one of the most iconic signs of the brand and as the symbol of eternal renewal. Like the snake which changes its skin to renew itself, but without ever losing its identity, Bulgari’s rendition of this motif has evolved through the years, never breaking the link between past and present. With its lightness and its sinuous nature, Ultimate Temptation symbolizes the unique relationship between women and the snake: the jewel coils around the woman who owns it, it embraces her shape and it becomes as one with her. In the same way as women hide numerous secret worlds within themselves, the necklace transforms itself smoothly from the regularity of its body to the extravagance of its tail, suggesting that new treasures lie under its skin, waiting to be discovered. Over 60 carats of fancy-shaped diamonds are set in an apparently random pattern, but the mosaic is actually a per fect balance between design and superlative craftsmanship in which the 70 diamonds follow each other along the tail of the snake form, leading f inally to an extraordinarily beautiful 12.16 carat drop.
The new B.zero1 Roma ring makes its debut on this historic 130th Anniversary as a tribute to the city which has inspired the Bulgari for so many years. Made of pink gold, with a body with four strips in bronzed ceramic, this new addition to the B.zero1 collection is a celebration of both Bulgari’s roots and its timeless link to the Eternal City. The industrial design of the B.zero1 which was launched at the end of 1999 merges two distinctive elements of Bulgari’s iconography: the Tubogas and the BVLGARI logo. The iconic logo, has been crafted from Bulgari in an elegant tribute to Rome itself, searing the DNA of the city’s glorious past, into the house’s creative oeuvre, by signing the new B.zero1 ring with the BVLGARI ROMA logo. The fluid beauty and circular form of the new B.zero1 Roma symbolizes eternal renewal, its shape recalling famous Roman architectural masterpieces such as the Coliseum, Castel Sant’Angelo and the Pantheon. Their magnificent and imposing round shapes have survived the centuries with grace and indomitable strength, and their physical presence find an apt metaphor in the circularity of the B.zero1 Roma. A jewel inspired by the past, and yet fully part of the present, the ring’s dedication to Rome represents the artistic culmination of a 130-year-old journey.
Carbongold ~ One of the most iconic models in Bulgari’s watch collections which made its debut in 1993 and which was re-launched in 2005 is offered anew, this time specially clad in plastic and gold. Two new Octo models make their appearance for this special anniversary: Octo Solotempo and Octo Velocissimo. The first is powered by the Solotempo Caliber, a self-winding mechanism conceived, developed and produced within the Bulgari Manufacture. The Octo Velocissimo is powered by the manufacture Velocissimo Caliber. Both creations are crafted with a pink gold case equipped with an alligator strap. Octo Solotempo and Octo Velocissimo embody distinction with absolute charisma. The inspiration ruling the distinctive shape of the Octo has ancient roots. Throughout the centuries, both in the East and West, the octagon power fully symbolised per fection, equilibrium and harmony. The ladies’ anniversary versions pay tribute to Bulgari’s great tradition of watch-jewels. The new Bulgari Bulgari Catene watch in white gold, embellished with 887 round and baguette cut diamonds totalling 27.97 carats, took Bulgari’s dedicated craftsmen over 2,000 hours to make. The double tour bracelet is incredible fluid and flexible, wrapping around the wrist like a second skin. The iconic Serpenti watch, which has always been one of the most enduring symbols of Bulgari’s creative universe, is interpreted in three precious new versions. Each features a hidden watch case in the snake’s head, and each incorporates diamonds paired with turquoise, onyx or coral. With their bold colours and combination of precious stones, they are perfect expressions of one of Bulgari’s most distinctive styles. The women’s anniversary collection is completed by two Diva watches in white gold and diamond pavé, embellished with the vivid emeralds and sapphires for one model, and rubellites and sapphires for the other.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Men's Collection: A Precious Gift For Father's Day Reciprocate His Love With The Classic Master Ultra Thin 1907. “Time” is the most valuable thing we treasure in life. Picking a right watch for father that can be a loyal company of his, also reminding him to slow down his pace and spend some quality time with his family. As an embodiment of the passage of time, a graceful and classic ultra-thin watch can be made an heirloom to be passed from father to son, marking the inheritance of the unshakeable and priceless bonds of family. The new extra-slim pink gold case of the Master Ultra Thin 1907 watch is shaped like a knife-blade, a design that ensures en even thinner profile. The engineers and watchmakers of the Manufacture meticulously studied each movement component and each case element in order to save precious millimetres at each stage of production. Nonetheless, at no stage does this asceticism compromise beauty. Loyal to its history of which one part was written in the City of Light and the other in the splendid isolation of the Vallée de Joux, the Manufacture well knows that the watchmaking art represents both a technical and an aesthetic accomplishment. The minimalist philosophy behind the Master Ultra Thin 1907 watch is thus expressed in a 39 mm-diameter case designed to smoothly embrace the curve of any wrist. This relatively modest size required the Jaeger-LeCoultre specialists to achieve even greater feats in designing and building a Fine Watchmaking movement able to fit within such a comparatively small case. Manually-wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 849 is a marvel of finesse entirely crafted, assembled and decorated by hand in the complications workshop of the Manufacture. It comprises 123 parts, has a 35-hour power reserve and is equipped with a balance steadily beating at the frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. In keeping with grand watchmaking traditions, it also displays the hours and minutes by central hands with the legendary precision of Jaeger-LeCoultre movements, despite measuring just 1.85 mm thin. The dial of the watch is the aesthetic embodiment of this horological minimalism. Two dauphine-type hands sweep smoothly over the grained white dial punctuated by baton-type hour-markers that are doubled at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The minutes dots between two hourmarkers are dusted with pink gold, while the Jaeger-LeCoultre signature topped by the JL logo appears at 12 o’clock. After a slow and gentle process of maturation, horological essentials are thus expressed in a few concise lines a privilege that remains the exclusive preserve of true masters. The Master Ultra Thin 1907 watch comes with an alligator leather strap secured by an 18-carat pink gold pin buckle.
Michael Kors New 2014 Eyewear Collection offers sleek, trend-right styles for male and female customers alike. Drawing inspiration from the accessories collection, women’s frames feature details like the iconic MK charm, pave crystal, and metal accents interpreted from handbags. The men’s styles combine fashion with functions, offered in basic colors and classic shapes. Rich materials like luxurious leather add a touch of flair to masculine styles. <M2904S> Tessa, from the Signature Collection, uses high-octane colorations throughout the frame. Modified rectangular lenses are accented by a Michael Kors foil logo on both the temple and temple tip. Available in Green, Island Blue, Chili, Cornsilk, Orange.
<M2064S> Kendall is a modern aviator that showcases faceted pyramid embellishments on the temples with a metal and plastic combination top bar. The design details add dimension and a glamorous edge to a classic shape. Available in Light Gunmetal, Gold, Rose Gold.
<M2484S> Julia is a plastic navigator with pressed faux leather detail on the outside rim of the sunglass, accented with metal detail on the frame fronts. Available in Black, Brown, Crystal Sand, Crystal Navy, Matte Crystal Blush.
<M2903S> Sabrina. Part of the Signature Collection, Sabrina features high-octane colorations throughout the frame. The modified cat eye silhouette is accented by a Michael Kors foil logo both on the temple and temple tip. Available in Palmetto Green, Blue Jay, Iris, Hot Pink, Mandarin.
<MKS849> Mila is a glamorous frame with zyl temples that are wrapped in a beautiful snakeskin leather that emulates luxurious snakeskin that is featured on Michael Kors handbags. Metal hardware detailing frames the leather on both ends. Available in Black, Tortoise, Brown Horn, Amber Tortoise.
<M2935S> Emerson creates a dramatic statement with bold styling. Metal and pave detailing is showcased across the top bar, giving this high fashion shape a glam edge. The Michael Kors logo is represented on both the temple and the temple tip with a clear epoxy coating. Available in Black, Tortoise.
<MK876> taking inspiration from the Miranda sunglass, this style features a modified rectangular shape adorned with Swarovski crystals in a channel setting across the brow of the frame. The Michael Kors logo is represented on both the temple and on the temple tip with a clear epoxy coating. Available in Crystal Smoke, Crystal Champagne, Crystal.
<MK857M> This classic modified square shape is constructed in handmade acetate materials and features rich gradient dark to crystal colorations. The logo is lasered on both temples. Available in Black Gradient, Brown Gradient, Tokyo Tortoise, Cinnabar Gradient.
Charlotte Olympia opens its first store in The LANDMARK Hong Kong recently. The over 900 square feet, first stand-alone store in Asia encapsulates the spirit of the brand and is inspired by a by-gone era of old Hollywood glamour. The 'open vision' concept accentuated by the extended rectangular showcase window and a signature gold spider web spanning the glass entrance are an invitation to passersby to step into the world of Charlotte's Web.
Brass bamboo effect paneling and a dazzling mirrored wall offer eye-catching displays for the shoe and handbag collections. The brand’s aesthetic is mirrored in the luxurious blush furnishings and signature leopard print Eames style seating for customers to sit back and enjoy the welcoming environment of this unique store.
This Hong Kong stand-alone store marks the fifth for the designer, following openings in London, New York, Los Angeles and Miami, as well within prestigious stores worldwide including On Pedder. Charlotte Olympia Dellal; ‘I am delighted to be opening my first store at such an internationally renowned shopping destination as The Landmark. It marks a key milestone in the development of Charlotte Olympia in Asia.’
The special occasion marked with a sultry spy-themed grand opening by an exclusive showcase of Charlotte Olympia’s upcoming Pre-Fall 2014 collection Eye-Spy. Taking inspiration from Bettie Page, the "Queen of Pinups", the Eye-Spy collection uses suggestive prints and cheeky accessories to entice the season ahead.
Thigh-high lace-up Bizarre boots will get hears racing while Hands On silhouettes embrace flirty feet in nude patent and blushing suede. For the ultimate aphrodisiac, Fetish heels scream Shoes! Shoes! Shoes! And Mistress Dolly pleases in a selection of tantalising colours. This collection is one to be kept under lock and key!
Charlotte Olympia's statement sky-high stilettos and playful, unique flats have made the brand a firm favorite with glamorous shoe lovers.
Vacheron Constantin introduces a fresh tribute in the ongoing saga of the Métiers d’Art collection, Vacheron Constantin presents The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac – a series of captivating timepieces based on the 12-year cycle. A symbol of a lively and independent spirit, the sign of the horse will take over from the snake on February 1st 2014. To mark this occasion, the Manufacture presents two new watch creations magnificently enhanced by enamelling and engraving. China, a land with which Vacheron Constantin first began establishing a trust-based relationship from 1845 onwards, is famous for numerous discoveries including the invention of paper and also known as the initiator of the art of paper-cutting or Jianzhi. This technique appears on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list and is echoed in Scherenschnitt, the popular art of paper-cutting born in the Pays d’Enhaut region of Switzerland. Sculpted in paper according to the principles of Jianzhi, the animals of the Chinese zodiac provide a remarkable demonstration of the art of using full and empty spaces. The Year of the Horse model, part of the Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac collection, is endowed with that unique touch of soul possessed by watches bearing the Hallmark of Geneva. With this exceptional collection, Vacheron Constantin intends to pursue its special ongoing dialogue with collectors and devotees of Fine Watchmaking. The horse is delicately applied to the centre of the dial, poised as if ready to galop through the sapphire crystal and thus creating a truly striking effect. A challenge that Vacheron Constantin has taken up and translated into the field of watchmaking thanks to the skill of its experienced artisans. Engravers and enamellers have worked alternatively on this Year of the Horse model, crafted in pink gold or platinum and limited to 12 pieces each, reserved for Vacheron Constantin Boutiques exclusively.
Harrods Knightsbridge hosts Prada as an honoured guest for a month-long celebration includes 40 window displays, a pop-up store, multiple screen displays, an elegant Marchesi café, and Pradasphere: an exhibition that traces the company’s multivalent obsessions from fashion and accessories to art, architecture, cinema, sport and beyond. Housed on the Fourth Floor of Harrods, Pradasphere is a collection of archival objects arranged to reveal the complex, often intertwined obsessions of Prada. The Prada vision is manifest in everything from fashion and accessories to art, architecture, film, and culture. Pradasphere posits that there are core ideas : beauty, taste, embellishment, gender, vanity, and power that are repeatedly reworked through those diverse channels. The Prada oeuvre represents both an aesthetic journey and a critique enacted through the products of culture. Yet it is also an unabashed celebration of exquisite craftsmanship, a paean to the rare and the finely wrought, and a wholehearted endorsement of the stylistic iconoclast.
The centrepiece of Pradasphere comprises six towering showcases dedicated to the central themes that have distinguished the work of Prada. The displays combine ensembles from multiple collections to demonstrate the recurrent concepts present in the products. In addition, the exhibition includes: heritage items from the Prada archives; shoes and bags from past collections organised by theme; examples of exquisite fabrics and materials; a Prada history wall that links the design collections with all of the extracurricular projects, from Fondazione Prada to Luna Rossa; a screening room presenting short films from directors such as Roman Polanski, Wes Anderson, Ridley Scott, and Yang Fudong; architectural projects from Rem Koolhaas/oma and Herzog & de Meuron; and a library of publications, both physical and digital.
A private lounge is adjacent to the exhibition space. The walls and ceiling of the intimate room are wrapped entirely in deep green velvet that matches the Clover Leaf sofas a revival of Verner Panton’s modern classic reproduced exclusively for Prada that furnish the space. The contrast created between the black-and-white carpeted floor and the velvet-covered walls adds to the aura of contemporary luxury.
The 130m2 Prada pop-up store is on the Ground Floor adjacent to the entrance at the corner of Brompton Road and Hans Crescent. Designed in classic Prada style, the shop features an iconic black-and-white-chequered marble floor, slim polished-steel and crystal display shelves, striking black marble portals, steel and crystal display counters, and lilac velvet ottomans. The boutique showcases women’s leather goods, accessories, jewellery and eyewear.
Directly alongside the Pradasphere exhibition, against a backdrop of the London skyline, is the Marchesi café, patisserie, and restaurant. Marchesi is a legendary Milanese patisserie founded in 1824, renowned for its wide range of delicious pastries, chocolates, and Panettone, the traditional Milanese Christmas cake. The original architecture of the balcony room, with its exquisite boiserie and subtle lighting, has been preserved for the temporary café.
The wallpaper covering the bar counter features exact replicas of the details and decorations found at the original Marchesi patisserie, and the bar mirrors display images of its early 20th-century splendour. Opposite the bar, a wall with mirrors and crystal-lined alcoves presents a selection of Marchesi products and a display of boxed delicacies.
Harrods’ windows represent Prada’s multifaceted identity. The hybrid approach, a quintessential feature of Prada’s design philosophy, is evident in the recurrent themes and motifs combined in each tableau. The windows serve as an index of classic store elements, from marble floors to green ‘sponge’ walls. The windows also reference Prada’s contributions to popular culture, art, architecture, and film, revealing the complexity of the company’s approach to fashion.
Pradasphere is a collaboration between Prada and 2x4 New York Pradasphere at Harrods opens now till May 29th 2014 at Knightsbridge store.
To find out more about Pradasphere at Harrods, go to www.harrods.com and follow @Harrods @Prada #Pradasphere.