Perhaps the bizarre brightness came from the merging of the city’s usual shower of lights that illuminated its landscape with the gleams of precious baubles and tinsels that adorned the svelte bodies of couture-wrapped Texan socialites.
Converging at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, an approximate of 220 guests, mainly Houston social influencers were there to celebrate the advent of BVLGARI: 130 Years of Masterpieces exhibition.
Featuring approximately 150 pieces created by the renowned contemporary Italian jeweller, the exhibition chronicles the jeweller’s evolution dating back to its beginning in 1884.
As the most substantial Bulgari retrospective to feature the Heritage Collection, BVLGARI: 130 years of Masterpieces exhibition highlights pieces that defined a key period in Italian design, featuring many pieces from the personal collection of the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor, an avid collector of Bulgari jewellery, as well as loaned never-been-seen-before baubles and tinsels from the personal collections of local collectors such as socialite and philanthropist Lynn Wyatt, Joanne King Herring and Christina Girard.
Intricately crafted pieces aside, the exhibition takes audience into an in-depth journey of Bulgari’s storied heritage through innovative uses of sketches, photographs and other archival materials, hence revealing an astounding intersection of celebrity design and fine craftsmanship.
In addition, the application of highly interactive technology allows visitors to experience the designs in an exceptional way.
While one might question why Houston was chosen in place of other major cities in the United States such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston or New York, Bulgari certainly has its unique reason behind its decision to exhibit its masterpieces in the Texan city.
“The exhibit has came to Houston for 130 years of the company because Houston is a mirror of Bulgari values ― it’s a bold, powerful, daring entrepreneur city, always forward thinking in exactly what Bulgari stands for in the world of jewellery, so it’s a great match,” said Jean Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari.
An evening affair that was punctuated by constant glamour and swathes of glitter, guests walked into the Houston Museum of Natural Science for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while admiring the stunning bejewelled pieces that were put on display.
Notable guests of the evening include the former Chairwoman of the Houston Museum of Natural Science Board of Directors, Windi Grimes; Joel Bartsch, President and CEO and Curator of Gems and Minerals of the Houston Museum of Natural Science; Nicola Bulgari, Vice Chairman of Bulgari; Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari; Veronica Bulgari and NFL superstar JJ Watts.
Lynn Wyatt, the Grand Dame of Texas, for instance, wore an 8kt white gold necklace with 29 emerald cut diamonds and 567 round brilliant cut diamonds; an 18kt white gold bracelet adorned with 12 emerald diamonds and 374 round brilliant cut diamonds; and an 18kt white gold diamond bracelet.
The beauty of the jewels were splendidly complemented with a classic ensemble of black, round necked long-sleeved top and a matching black multi-tiered ruffled skirt with beribboned satin sash around the waist.
Exhibition lender and former freedom fighter Joanne King Herring dazzled in an 18kt white gold necklace laden with sapphires, peridots, and milky quartzes and round brilliant diamonds, as well as a pair of matching earrings.
On the other hand, guest Isabel David was dressed in a beautiful sculptural dress in the hue of coral, paired with a Bulgari necklace that is laden with plethora of colourful gems.
However, befitting her current status as the silver screen siren, actress Naomi Watts was brimming with radiance in a sheer yellow dress richly embellished with silky floral embroidery, a stunning one-of-a-kind, sleek double coiled Serpenti necklace from Bulgari High Jewellery collection in white gold and two pear-shaped diamonds, emeralds and pavé diamonds.
Accentuating her goddess of glamour look that evening is a Bulgari cocktail evening pochette in palm embroidered silver and gold.
Later, guests proceeded to dinner inside a room that was designed to evoke the Spanish Steps piazza with floral chandeliers and an abstract representation of Rome via mirrored and framed images surrounded by terracotta pots planted with colourful blooms of azalea.
On crystal candlelit tables set with pink-hued flowers, guests were served with Italian dinner that was lavished with Mediterranean influences and entertained with a live performance by modern pianist Elizaveta in the centre of the room.
Opening remarks were delivered by the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Windi Grimes, Chair of the Board of Directors, Joel Bartsch, President and CEO and from Bulgari’s Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO and Nicola Bulgari, Vice Chairmen.
BVLGARI: 130 Years of Masterpieces exhibition will be on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science from May 2, 2014 through October 5, 2014.
*Photos courtesy of On The Mark Communications/Bulgari