Like a Bulgari jewel born of a drawing made with water colours or tempera, and then formed into a perfect object by expert craftsmen, hand drawn sketches represent the initial image and expression of the concept of beauty that lays under Marco Piva’s projects, which stroke after stroke take shape to become a concrete and vital element. The inspiration stems from the desire to make a great theatrical exhibition, different and innovative, able to showcase the aesthetics and manufacturing techniques of Bulgari creations in a fascinating setting of shapes, lights and colours, rich with references to the history of goldsmithing and Italian design. Intensive attention to detail and the rigorous selection of exclusive materials have contributed to the creation of a new window dressing concept for Bulgari that emphasizes the quality and original, unmistakable style of this brand, one among the most innovative and significant in the global jewellery industry.
In Marco Piva’s project for Bulgari, one feels that the soft, realistic shapes of the exhibition elements have a clear artistic reference to the portraits by Modigliani, with the sublimely beautiful women’s necks and faces, suspended in an eternal moment of elegance and expressed through the immaculate brilliance of ceramics (a material that has been used in the past by Bulgari, with great success) and the sheen of metal that defines the thin shelf supports and light sources as if it were molten gold. The jewel in all its forms, materials and colours is thus glorified and is displayed so that it can be admired and desired in all its perfection.
The materials selected for the window dressing are metals, woods and ceramics embellished through the use of refined techniques, the result of a millennium of unequalled craftsmanship made current with the latest technologies. The tubular elements supporting the lamps and the shelves are made from a special aluminium alloy whose surface has been treated with a finish of sparkling gold, the gleaming colour of luxury and class. Lacquered wood has been used to create the shelving to reflect and diffuse the light in the exhibition space.
Ceramics were used for the lamps and props, this being a material that symbolizes the strength and quality of Italian craftsmanship, as it can be shaped and used in such a way that the end result can vary from a prestigious work of architecture to a tiny, precious piece of jewellery. In the window dressing created for the Biennale des antiquaires at the Grand Palais in Paris, Marco Piva’s design is pushing the ceramics to the limits of its manufacturing potential by creating what are perhaps the largest shapes ever moulded, simulating a small crowd of elegant figures in the round, reminiscent of Fausto Melotti sculptures, with the unusual life size elements showcasing the most exclusive jewels of the Bulgari collection.
Light is also of the essence in this new window dressing: the large ceramic lamps with their organic and encompassing shapes are both exhibition elements and light generators, while the theatrical use of fabric in the windows interacts with the light to create the unique and exclusive atmosphere of the Bulgari world.Architect: Studio Marco Piva