Since the 1920s, Bulgari have had a long-standing relationship with Hollywood, one that traces the entwined history of cinema and fashion. From Ingrid Bergman’s iconic emerald necklace in Bernhard Wicki's The Visit to the likes of Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly and Monica Vitti who glittered both onscreen and off, the diamonds and sapphires by the Italian house pave cinematic history.
Elizabeth Taylor claimed that the only Italian word she knew was Bulgari. She would sit and swap stories with Gianni Bulgari during the filming of Cleopatra, on the set of which she met and fell in love with Richard Burton. He would spend their years together showering her in jewelled gifts, including a 65-carat cabochon sapphire and diamond sautoir in a bold geometric design, and an emerald necklace that she wore to meet HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Following her marriage to Eddie Fisher, Taylor left his ex-wife Debbie Reynolds Bulgari diamonds in her will as an apology for stealing her husband.
Pop Art influenced Bulgari in the 1980s, worn by Raquel Welch on the arm of Andy Warhol, who would comment, "I always visit Bulgari because it is the most important museum of contemporary art." Grace Jones and Naomi Campbell shaped Bulgari in the 90s, with Jones frequently photographed wearing a triple-spiral yellow gold ‘Tubugos’ necklace with matching watches on both wrists.
Bulgari: Portfolio is out now, published by Skira.
Text by Mhairi Graham