Bvlgari

limited edition

ALEXANDER WANG X BVLGARI

Serpenti Capsule Collection

Alexander Wang reimagines Bvlgari’s Iconic Serpenti motif in an exclusive handbag capsule collection. The special edition colours are peach, mint green, baby blue, and traditional black and white.

The bags are made from calf leather, with a new double Serpenti head closure in antique gold-plated brass and red enamel eyes. They are hot stamped with an “Alexander Wang BVLGARI” logo, to further mark Wang’s modern interpretation of the iconic Serpenti hardware with an urban chic attitude.

I like the compact size, clean timeless design and versatility: The bags come with a detachable top handle, crossbody gold chain, belt and leather strap. Yes, you hear right, you can wear these as a belt, over the shoulder, or carry in your hand, almost like a functional Bvlgari jewell complimenting you.

Wang about his concept on vogue.com:

“I found the original snake-head piece from the 1960s in the Bvlgari archives” (…). “It was a nod to the sinful woman, and that was something I could relate to. I always think about a thrill-seeker when I design.”

 

Two Alexander Wang x Bvlgari belt bags in baby blue and peach calf leather, with double Serpenti head closure.

 

Bvlgari says: “Alexander Wang x Bvlgari” infuses the iconic Serpenti Forever Bag with a touch of the unexpected. The Serpenti Capsule Collection merges Bvlgari’s “icons of glamour” heritage with Wang’s signature high-low approach.”

The six leather handbags include a shopper tote, a duette, and a two-in-one satchel. The mint green (below) is an ode to Bvlgari’s green tea fragrance, “which was Wang’s favourite growing up”. (vogue.com)

 

EXPLORE THE COLLECTION

 
 
 

History: Bvlgari launched its Serpenti Forever handbag collection in 2011. Since then, the collection’s bold snakehead closures have become a signature. The enamelled emblems are made in Florence at the brand’s leather goods factory, where bags are hand-assembled. The snakehead is cast in gold before each coloured scale is created by carefully placing melted powder in the desired spot, where it dries to a glassy finish. The serpent’s eyes—typically made from precious stones like lapis, malachite, and rose quartz—are placed by hand before being affixed to the bag.

High Jewellery

SERPENTI

Necklace

Serpents represent a creative life force. They are symbols of rebirth, transformation and healing. Perhaps it’s the reason I’ve had an affinity towards wearing serpent jewellery as long as I can think of. But also because I find them beautiful and powerful in a mysterious way.

The Serpenti High Jewellery necklace brings together the snake’s sinuosity and the contemporary soul of the tubogas design. Serpents are one of the most iconic symbols of Bvlgari, more about this further down the page. 

Bvlgari says: “For high-jewellery collections, assiduously crafted by skilled goldsmiths near Bvlgari’s headquarters in Rome, the snake is reimagined as a gem-encrusted necklace that sensually wraps around the décolletage. Evoking both the sensual curves of a woman and the serpent’s fluid shape. Radiating with glamour and a truly individual style, this Serpenti jewel is as magnetic as effortless.”

The Serpenti Tubogas necklace is available in 18kt rose gold with pavé diamonds and many other gems- to metal combinations. The double snake can be worn as belt, long necklace or wrapped around the neck twice, to create a seductive joker to décolletage piece.

Bvlgari

HIGH JEWELLERY

Collection

From an article in Surface Magazine:

Rome has been Bulgari’s home since the company’s founding in 1884. Inside its headquarters, Lucia Silvestri, creative director, designs the house’s jewellery at the famed Gem Table:

“The Gem Table is my comfort zone. It’s full of energy,” she says. “It’s my job to play with stones.” Silvestri arranges the rare emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and more—that are sourced from around the world by a team of six in-house experts who turn them into opulent pieces of jewellery. Often, they present a gem so rare that Silvestri will design a piece around its unique shape and size. From here, her designs are translated into technical sketches and drawings at the high-jewellery workshop where they’re made.

At the high-jewellery workshop, just outside of Rome, a highly specialised team creates Bulgari’s rare and one-of-a-kind wares. They employ the same ancient wax technique as does the Valenza manufacturer, carefully preparing pieces to house the precious stones from Lucia Silvestri’s gem table. Goldsmith’s file and sand the gold before drilling insets for jewels and diamonds. Stones are hand-placed into settings inside a specially lit room before each piece is fully assembled.

Bvlgari’s workshops in cities across Italy and Switzerland tap into the locale’s expertise in watchmaking, leatherwork, and jewellery. Similarly, at the Valenza workshop—the largest jewellery manufacturing facility in Europe—Bvlgari continues to make its famed tubogas pieces, in addition to an expanding collection of Serpenti watches, rings, earrings, and bracelets. The dial workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland (movements are made in Le Sentier) meticulously creates snakehead watch faces.

Still, even with its broad reach and global appeal, Bulgari maintains its sense of self. “We have a strong personality as a brand,” says Lucia Silvestri; “we are manic for details and craftsmanship. It’s an obsession.”

Bvlgari

THE ICON

Serpenti

In the image, I am carrying a Serpenti Forever Bag combined with the Bvlgari High Jewellery Piano Gemstone Necklace in Onyx and Diamond.

The Serpenti Icon

Making an icon requires the right combination of time and timelessness. It’s an equation mastered by Bvlgari. Decades after its inception, Serpenti—whose snake motif has become a distinct signifier of the brand—remains one of its most recognisable collections. 

“The history of Serpenti is very unique. It’s something that you can find in different cultures and centuries,” says Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, creative director of timepieces. As for Bulgari’s interpretation, “it’s made with very pure shapes,” he says. “It’s part of the Italian design rules to play with pure shapes and generate new aesthetics.” It is this design ideology that creates an obvious kinship across the brand’s diverse range of products.”

The serpent first appeared in Bvlgari’s jewellery collection in the late 1940s in the form of a yellow-gold watch, distinguishable by its hand-coiled precious metal—or tubogas—bracelet. Just after World War II and brothers Giorgio and Constantino Bulgari were tapping into Rome’s newfound craving for modernity.

“It was a moment where there was the energy to look at the future and to forget the past,” says Lucia Boscaini, brand and heritage curator of Bvlgari. “The piece was born out of a search for an object that was not meant to be too showy, but rather functional and modern.” That concept underpins current iterations, which now encompass timepieces and accessories, in addition to jewellery. The house remains steadfast in its dedication to forward-thinking design and time-honoured craftsmanship.

In the decades that followed, the Serpenti line continued to change its skin. During the 1960s, jewellery pieces became more colourful and creative with the use of enamel; the ’70s welcomed casual jewellery and watch options, and expanded into accessories, such as belts; the ’80s were marked by the popularity of the tubogas watch as a status symbol. Then in 2011, in what was also a sign of rebirth and transformation, Serpenti was reimagined, staking its claim as a contemporary design benchmark with the launch of the first Serpenti handbag, which soon became one of Bulgari’s icons of glamour, and in 2016 launched the new Serpenti Seduttori fine jewellery collection.

“There was a desire of the company to revamp the collection, not really thinking of it as just a collection, but thinking of it as an icon,” says Boscaini. Doing so required tapping into what was already beloved about it. “From the past to now, the fact that it’s very wearable has been important, but you can always recognise that it’s a Bvlgari piece,” adds Lucia Silvestri, creative director of jewellery. Since then, the snakehead has become a signifier of Bvlgari across all its categories.

Sources

https://www.bulgari.com/en-int/350680.html

https://www.vogue.com/slideshow/alexander-wang-unveils-luxurious-new-handbag-collaboration

How It’s Made: Bulgari Serpenti

Photographs: Alex Lambrechts @ Rogues Artist Management

Model: Jasmin Brunner

Special thank’s to Nicole Boghossian