Buccellati and Giambattista Valli: When Haute Couture and High Jewelry Collections Collide
I have been having a romance with the house of Buccellati for as far back as I can remember. My passion grew even stronger when I interviewed Gianmaria Buccellati in 2002 . During that first interview with him in his New York-based Madison Avenue shop, he explained, “My father Mario came from a family of goldsmiths that date back to the mid-eighteenth century. Mario was fascinated by forgotten antique techniques and much of his design aesthetic was influenced by the Italian Renaissance and French Rococo periods. He did not copy or imitate but instead began to meld together many of these techniques to create an original signature style.”
You can imagine how my eyes lit up when I saw this aesthetic Gianmaria talked about 14 years earlier (which has been passed on to son Andrea and daughter Maria Cristina), come to life on the on the fall 2016/17 haute couture runways of Giambattista Valli. Valli conjured up a seamless and youthful contemporary blend of the styles of the Renaissance and the fashionable dress of French Empress Josephine.
This collaboration of the high jewelry of Buccellati and haute couture of Valli could not be more breathtaking or synergistically matched. Nor could it be more apropos that longtime friends Maria Cristina Buccellati And Giambattista Valli work together again. The first time was in 2004, when Buccellati was asked by Valli to bejewel his Emanuel Ungaro show. Twelve years later the adornments flourished for Valli’s own couture label.
The runway show came on the heels of a private presentation of Buccellati’s high jewelry collection at the maison’s new boutique in rue de la Paix. Buccellati then debuted some of its most recent one-of-a-kind intricate ornate fabric inspired embellishments on the Valli’s catwalk. The jewelry house’s honeycomb and brocade patterns spun into gold and diamonds enhanced the necklines and wrists of the impeccably embroidered and elegant cocktail dresses and gowns. Colors such as peridot, ruby, emerald and kunzite picked up the feminine prints in earrings and brooches and echoed the opulence and graceful beauty of the empire waists, high necklines and flowing skirts of the collection.
One can only hope that we will see more collaborations between high jewelry and haute couture—and especially between these two Italian houses, rich in history, tradition, heritage and romance.