A star-studded saga, Bvlgari’s new film documents its entire process, where gemstones travel from Colombia to India, finally landing in the studio of Roman artisans. A film dedicated to craftsmanship, it’s an informative treat.
By: Tripti Jangpangi
Posted on: September 23, 2022
Haute jeweller Maison Bulgari recently unveiled a docu-film, ‘Inside the Dream’, directed by French director Mathieu Menu, which presents the ‘behind the scenes’ work before the launch of Magnifica Collection 2021. From the design process in the studio in Roma, to identifying right gems, cutting and polishing and finally to the intricate task of stone setting – which is invisible to the human eye - in Bulgari Laboratories, the movie encapsulates it all.
The cinematic extravaganza opens with actress Zendaya’s Venice Film Festival 2021 red carpet dressing room, where she is waiting for a Bulgari box that has the iconic Magnifica Serpenti necklace, carefully cradling a 93.83 carat cabochon cut Colombian emerald, which took 1,800 hours of craftsmanship.
The next scene takes the viewer two years ago, through a journey undertaken by Lucia Silvestri, Creative Director of Bulgari, as she visits Jaipur, India, to buy precious gemstones in all shapes and sizes, from gem suppliers like Abhay Kumar and Sakshi Godha, to create divine composition with stones like tourmaline, sapphire, diamond, mandarin granite, rose tourmaline, and amethyst in the atelier of Rome. Magnifica, indeed, was one of the most colourful and expensive collections by the brand in recent years. The necklace worn by Zendaya was a tougher labour of love as Ms. Silvestri got the 93 carat emerald cut and polished specially, thanks to a 4 kg emerald uncut stone preserved by Vicky and Pooja Jain, another long-time coloured gemstone supplier for Maison Bulgari. A stone that was in their family for 25-30 years, Vicky Jain agreed to cut it for something special only. The movie has portrayed Jaipur as a city where there is true skill and wonder behind the daily bustle.
The movie also features Nicola Bvlgari, grandson of the founder of Bvlgari, as he explains the conception of the brand: “A humble silversmith from Greece settles down in 1880s-90s, sets up a shop in Via Sistina, and started building Bvlgari”. The movie talks about the love of colours for the brand, and shows the emblematic necklace and brooch that belonged to Oscar winning Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor.
Expressing their gratitude to celebrities and influencers, the movie shows Lisa of Blackpink, presenting a Diva Dream creations, a delicate pendant encrusted with a mother of pearl element and pavé diamonds. The movie gives a glimpse into the work that goes behind the Prodigious Colour Necklace, inspired from the legendary portraits of Artemisia Gentileschi, created with blue topaz, rubellite, pink quartz, citrine, amethyst and citrine, weighting 288.20 carats, flaunted by model Lily Aldridge. Influencer Chiara Ferragni oohs at the pieces created by Ms. Silvestri.
There are enough sparklers included in this movie to keep your eyes open: a Ruby Metamorphosis Necklace with a 12.02 carat ruby, surrounded by 96 round cut and 345 buff top cut precious rubies which took 2,500 hours of craftmanship; a Green Dream Necklace inspired by art evoking chiaroscuro, a famous baroque era painting technique, featuring an incredible set of emeralds weighing 128 carats; and a Mediterranean Queen Necklace, embedded with five marvelous oval cushion-cut Paraíba tourmalines totaling 500 carats with the central stone alone weighing 153.91 cts, all linked by curved and sinuous elements set with emeralds and diamonds, creating a symphony of blue and green hues.
As Zendaya finally dons the Serpenti necklace created especially for her and steps off the boat, the docu-film ends with Indian star Priyanka Chopra Jonas, sharing her love for fine jewellery with Ms. Silvestri: “I adopted the love for jewellery from my mother, she bought jewellery whenever she saved money, each piece represented her evolution”. When asked which stone she likes the most, she replies “emerald”, and then Ms. Silvestri opens a Bulgari box – the contents of which are hidden from the audience.
What we liked about the movie is how they went into the intricacies of the actual product creation. It was purely the business of jewellery. Ms. Silvestri mentions the many emotions that must flow when making jewelry. “The stones have to talk to me” and “I like to hear the sound of the gems as they fall on the table” are some of the things she says as she tries to explain her process of selection while choosing gemstones. The many celebrities have a small role, enough to bring some marketing excitement to the documentary. Yet the creators are the main protaganists. The duration is just about an hour, making it ideal enough to stay engrossed.
However, considering we are talking about ancient techniques of jewellery making, enthralling colours and a high-profile world of celebrities, there was some magic missing. You are not fully immersed into the world of Bvlgari. It’s a great journey as the movie zips from Venice to Roma to Jaipur to boardroom and back to Jaipur, but the enchantment of Bvlgari’s jewels haven’t carried over to the cinematic experience. It’s a documentary that, well, tries to enhance the magic, but falls a wee bit short.
The movie is available to watch on Amazon Prime.