Andy Wardhol was such a big a fan of Bulgari’s bold, colorful designs that he never made a trip to Rome without visiting the jeweler’s headquarters. He dubbed it “the most important museum of contemporary art.” Fittingly, it was a conversation between Warhol and Nicolo Bulgari, published in the November 1980 issue of Interview, that provided the biggest inspiration to current creative director Lucia Silvestri for Wild Pop, the brand’s latest high jewelry collection. The 83-piece range–which recently made its debut in the Italian capital this past June–is a glorious nod to flashy living.

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Eggs by Andy Warhol (1982)

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

“I think your jewelry is the ’80s. Everybody is trying to copy this look,” Warhol told Bulgari at the time, to which he replied: “But they can’t because we are always breaking our heads to do better; always better.” This season, Silvestri did just that, delving into the Warhol archives and channeling several of the artist’s early works and other pop culture totems into playfully extravagant baubles. Among the standouts: a three-strand Tubogas choker, adorned with egg-shaped stones; and the Synthesizer necklace, a collar comprised of articulated diamond and onyx “piano keys.” Meanwhile, the Cat bracelet took its design cues directly from Warhol’s 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy (1954).


Lily Aldridge in Bulgari High Jewelry

German Larkin


An image from Warhol’s 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy (1954)

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

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The Diamond Sapphire and Chalcedony Cat Bracelet

Don Penny

Given that the collection contained several music-inspired pieces, Silvestri couldn’t very well give her designs a proper celebration without a concert. Enter the ultimate in nostalgia acts, Duran Duran, who entertained guests after the launch dinner at the Stadio dei Marmi. Making the rounds were current faces of the brand Bella Hadid and Lily Aldridge. Hadid’s gold chain-mail dress shimmered even brighter with the help of more than 60 carats of white diamonds, but it wasn’t enough to dim a surprise appearance from OG supermodel Pat Cleveland. Her arrival sent a clear message: The Factory days are here again.

This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of ELLE.


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