Born in Milan in 1938 to a family of textile wholesalers, Gian Paolo Barbieri is one of the most famous fashion photographers. As a child, his first passion was the theatre; he studied acting and staged romantic dramas with a group of friends. He soon also became interested in films and trained as a cinematographer and a costume designer. He was particularly keen on the cinema of the fifties, with stars such as Ava Gardner or Lana Turner, whose beauty is made even more unforgettable thanks to the special lighting which highlighted their unique appeal. During the sixties and the seventies, Bulgari jewels starred in unforgettable photographs, interpreted by exceptional muses such as Benedetta Barzini, Capucine, Isa Stoppi, Mirella Petteni, Astrid, Marisa Berenson, Charlotte Rampling, Ivana Bastianello and many others. For Barbieri, Bulgari jewels, “fistfuls of stars in the eyes”, had to be celebrated by the model in all their strong personality. It was crucial to choose the right person to create the perfect shot which expressed the timeless beauty of the jewels through the beauty of the woman who, by wearing them, gives them life, pulsing with light and colour.
Today the Bulgari creations of the Heritage Collection once again shine before Gian Paolo Barbieri's lens, worn by the Brazilian top model Amanda Wellsh. Her intense gaze is a charismatic counterpoint to the distinctive design of the jewels. In Barbieri's approach, the simplicity of the model's clothes and make-up allow the beauty of Bulgari's Heritage jewels to take centre stage.
All the distinctive elements of the Maison's style and creativity are featured: the snakes of SERPENTI are coiled sensuously around Amanda's neck and arms, the coins of the MONETE collection add contemporary regality, the bold colour combinations with cabochon stones convey a typically Italian joie de vivre, the splendid tremblant brooches and diamond creations illuminate an atmosphere that is nearly dreamlike. The poses, natural and spontaneous, communicate another unique characteristic of Bulgari creations: their wearability. The sublime expression of the taste and personality of a woman, the jewel becomes a second skin, a precious ally in seduction, to captivate with the awareness of her appeal.