Taking references from history, nature and modern innovation, 2022’s latest high jewelry collections by Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Bvlgari are a vision par excellence
By: Niyoshi Shah
Posted on: July 18, 2022
Big stones, metallic brilliance, curvaceous designs – fine jewellery has been capturing imaginations and hearts for years. A signifier of taste and class, high jewelry also signifies the technical proficiency and ingenuity of a brand. With fine jewelry houses catering to a high-profile international clientele for over 100 years now, it’s tough to invent new ideas constantly.
However, relying on mesmerising historical narratives and exceptional quality precious stones that cement their standing in the luxury jewellery profile, legacy brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Bvlgari have perfected their mission to create more accessible yet extraordinary jewellery. A feast for the eyes, the collections honour their heritage, marry tradition and innovation, are primed for millennials and relevant for each emerging generation. We deep-dive into their new high jewelry collections.
Gucci – Hortus Deliciarum
The collection is a resplendent manifesto of a fantastical journey suspended in time and space – “memory of memories”. Composed of unique pieces divided into five themes, the rings, necklaces, earrings commemorate the passions and obsessions of an imaginary Grand Tour. It explores themes of the animal kingdom and luxury. Mr. Michele’s infamous lion head symbol and raging tigers take centre stage, set with sky-blue tanzanites, tsavorites, yellow beryls and opals.
While the first theme takes wearers on a journey to 18th century Europe, the second theme journeys to Maharajas of India. Pearls assert their importance in the third theme and modernism accentuated by skyscrapers assume importance in the fourth theme. Pop culture and psychedelic colours transform the fifth theme into mesmerising jewels.
Mr. Michele created necklaces and bracelets with geometric shapes in chains with asymmetrical, flexible modules with meticulous structural details, which he ‘corrupts’ with grandiose stones that add real drama. Flexible chains are adorned with amethyst, aquamarine and cushion-cut blue-grey beryl, which replicate their splendour in earrings or central pendants set in cages of baguette-cut diamonds.
Jessica Chastain for Gucci
While the stones lit up the room with their kaleidoscope of colors, upon closer look, hand-painted miniatures have an equally tantalizing effect. Endorsed by actress Jessica Chastain in a spectacular campaign, the collection is filled with innovative creations that do not try to escape the assault on the senses while the worlds mix and mingle and give life to unique objects.
Louis Vuitton – Spirit
Loyal to their vision for elegant craftsmanship and selection of exceptional quality precious stones, the high jewellery Spirit collection is designed by Francesca Amfitheatrof, the brand’s Artistic Director for Watches and Jewellery. It features five key values across 125 spectacular pieces: Radiance, Liberty, Grace, Fantasy and Destiny. The collection is infused with designs of mythological creatures that the contemporary Louis Vuitton woman will recognize herself in.
The interplay of different stone cuts, setting techniques, and color gradations offer a masterful play on volume. The gems took three years to source and have been collected from different locations across the globe, including a 65 karat Tsavorite which took over three years to source. Sapphires from Sri Lanka, emeralds from Colombia and rubies from Mozambique interplay to form inspirational designs that are in pace with our world today. Adding a further element of historical folklore, the triangular shapes nod to the earliest graphic symbol created by humans, which remains referential of pushing us forward.
“Like the phoenix that rises from its ashes to take flight, or the dragon animated by a protective fire, the Louis Vuitton woman exudes strength, energy and unprecedented optimism. It is this liberating femininity, emblematic of the House, that I wanted to embody in Spirit,” says Ms. Amfitheatrof in the official statement.
To express the vitality that drives the collection, triangle shapes and Vuitton Vs are omnipresent, forging a new, modern and high-impact visual language. It comprises more pieces than any High Jewellery collection in the history of Louis Vuitton, making it the Maison’s largest ever. It required over 40,000 hours of work in the Parisian ateliers, a testimony to their levels of mastery and technical prowess.
Cate Blanchett for Louis Vuitton
With this collection, Louis Vuitton also announced Cate Blanchett as an ambassador, adding further allure to this sparkling collection.
Bvlgari – Eden Garden of Wonders
No conversation about high jewellery is complete without a mention of Bvlgari’s illustrious launch – Eden Garden of wonders. A collection of 140 breath-taking jewelry pieces and more than 30 pieces dedicated to magnificent emeralds, this collection represents the exquisite and sublime gifts of nature.
Architectural and geometric, the Tribute to Paris necklace is the highlight of the collection, featuring little Eiffel Tower motifs that like the city at night, shimmer around a 35.53-carat oval Colombian emerald.
No Bulgari collection is complete without new incarnations of the snake and the Serpenti Ocean Treasure features two entwined serpents. The writhing diamond-set bodies sensuously wrap around the neck and their shared head holds a 61.30-carat drop-shaped Sri Lankan sapphire.
The Flowers of Eden necklace captures the joyful spontaneity of nature, a task that took 1,500 hours of meticulous labour. Vivacious colour and an opulence of detail is at the heart of the “Garden of Wonders”.
Priyanka Chopra for Bvlgari
Witnessed by brand ambassadors Priyanka Chopra, Anne Hathaway and Thai rapper Lisa during the presentation, the collection reflects Bulgari's commitment to raising the bar of creativity and craftsmanship in both high jewellery and high watchmaking, all with characteristic Italian flair, a love of colour and a dash of humour.