Bulgari: 1960's and 1970's.
The Italian firm of Bulgari, like the couturiers of the 1960's, departed from the traditions established by the venerable French houses to cultivate their own highly identifiable oeuvre.
While Christian Dior's "New Look" defined the post war couture with its return to the feminine silhouette, the 1960's saw a radical transformation. Designers such as Mary Quant and Andri Courrhges reacted to the conservatism of the 50's by raising the hemline to an unseen length, giving us the "mini-skirt". Dresses became loose, giving the wearer a sense of movement and freedom. Angular lines and geometric prints dominated design, imparting an androgynous appearance to the wearer which was epitomized by the model Twiggy. Pierre Cardin experimented with the "space look" and synthetic fabrics, while Paco Rabanne utilized metal and plastic and Yves Saint Laurent promoted transparent clothing. The center of the fashion industry shifted from Paris to Carnaby Street in London and the market expanded making it accessible to the masses.
Bulgari's sense of design shifted and several key characteristics emerge that contradicted the style of the 1950's. The elegant, assymetrical diamond cluster formed by marquise-cut diamonds in jagged, spiky forms were typical of the post World War II era. This outline was replaced by a smoother, more geometric contour punctuated by cabochon gemstones in brilliant hues and unexpected color combinations which gave their creations a more voluminous feel. Principal to this evolution was the focus on design rather than the value of a given gemstone.
The advent of the 1970's saw little change in the fashion industry but the theme of "wearable" attire dominated with minor differentiations between day and evening wear. "Natural", "real" and "authentic" were the trends and infusions of Indian culture translated into flowing skirts, blouses and scarves with printed fabrics and vibrant colors.
Bulgari responded once again to these changes with characteristic individuality. While geometry still dominated their work, it now became softer and more rounded. Oval motifs were incorporated throughout the designs and pendants, usually in the form of an ellipse with a central cabochon gemstone and surrounded by other stones or enamel, were suspended from long chains. Lots 32, 37, 48 and 49 are all unmistakable examples of this form. Another signature trait of their 1970's production was the introduction of the "gourmette", a thick oval chain of curbed design, which continued the oval image. The taste for Indian-inspired creations can be seen in lot 63, the large pendant set with a cabochon emerald and enhanced by rubies and diamonds, typical colors of that palette.
THE PROPERTY OF A LADY