The Art of Craft: Bulgari’s homage to the excellence of Made in Italy opens at Expo 2020 Dubai

Dubai, 13 December 2021Bulgari’s exhibition The Art of Craft – The Glamour of Italian Excellence opened yesterday at the Italy Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai: 60 creations of Bulgari’s Heritage Collection are in dialogue with 21 dresses by the great historical and contemporary masters of Italian fashion. Revolving around the event’s evocative motto, “Beauty Connects People”, the Italian concept of Beauty comes to life like a harmony of visions and strong influences of a centuries-old tradition, always ready for experimentation. The initiative is promoted with the support of the Italian Ministry of Culture. The Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, Nicola Lener, and Paolo Glisenti, Italian Commissioner General for Expo 2020 Dubai joined Bulgari Brand Curator Lucia Boscaini for the opening event.

Presented in a majestic vertical open display across three levels over 8 metres tall, the exhibition’s story unfolds from the 1950s to the 2000s, and is enriched by images featuring artistic and lifestyle shots from leading fashion publications. Moving from top to bottom along the walkway through the Italy Pavilion, the visitor is immersed, gradually discovering the creations exhibited on a journey between past, present and future. From exquisite craftsmanship to unusual materials, impeccable lines to innovative design, the selection of jewellery and clothes showcases the key aspects that have rendered Made in Italy inimitable and universally beloved. The exhibition displays provide snapshots of style and trends from different time periods, creating an evocative fresco in the name of Italian excellence.

For the Bulgari jewellery, the selection on display showcases famous colour combinations with cabochon-cut stones, captivating geometric shapes and bold volumes. Naturally, the sinuous Serpenti creations and the contemporary reinterpretation of history with jewels mounting ancient coins, still amongst the Brand’s most beloved icons, are not forgotten. The timeless elegance of 50s and 60s jewellery is brought back to life in the most classic white gold creations with just one coloured stone, and in the chromatic exuberance of jewellery combining precious gems and coloured stones. Brooches are also on display, the most versatile fashion protagonist at the time. The stylistic experimentation of the 70s and 80s makes an appearance, from sumptuous sautoirs with elaborate pendants to chokers with optical motifs and lavish gems. For the 90s, necklaces with refined tassels and jewellery defined by expertly calibrated gemstones are on display. The eclecticism of the 2000s stands out, in particular with the new interpretation of the tiara, a piece of jewellery traditionally reserved for special occasions transformed into creations that are very wearable, exquisitely ethereal and markedly feminine. 

Alongside the jewellery, the Haute Couture garments on display offer an overview of clothing and trends. The dresses of Schubert, Sorelle Fontana and Gattinoni invoke the dream-like atmospheres of the Dolce Vita. The vibrant colors of Pucci and Galitzine bring back the energy of the 60s, while the 70s desire to experiment is brought back to life through Mila Schön’s design research with references to art and the vibrant shades of Renato Balestra. The optimism and exuberance of the 80s are dressed in Krizia’s futuristic style and Moschino’s irreverent fun. The luxurious minimalism of Giorgio Armani and the skilful eclecticism of Fendi furs dominate the narration of the 90s. Then there are the essential sculptural lines of Roberto Capucci’s haute couture and Gianfranco Ferré’s remarkable balance of material and form. The 2000s are punctuated by the Mediterranean charm of Dolce & Gabbana, the sophisticated glamour of Valentino, the opulent volumes of Giambattista Valli and Antonio Marras’ refined references to folklore. The snapshot of the last ten years reveals a blend of responsible innovation and tradition through the creations of Fausto Puglisi, Stella Jean, Vivetta and Marco De Vincenzo. The mannequins displaying the garments, made by Bonaveri, are produced with biodegradable materials in keeping with the special attention paid to sustainability by the Italy Pavilion.

Lucia Boscaini, Bulgari Brand Curator, thus commented: “This journey through the stylistic development in fashion is perfectly in tune with the evolution of jewellery: from the 1950s to the most recent creations, visitors can experience how taste has changed together with volumes, shapes and materials, with a continuous research ignited by great craftsmanship. Hence the title ‘The Art of Craft’ “.

The exhibition is complemented by a bilingual Arabic/English catalogue published and distributed by Motivate Media Group. Available in major bookstores in the UAE, the 120 pages volume is a precious token of The Art of Crafts experience through stunning pictures and storytelling about the jewels and dresses on display.

Open for five weeks, the longest period ever for an exhibition hosted by the Italy Pavilion, The Art of Craft will run until 8 January 2022.