THE SEXY NON-CONFORMIST

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Bvlgari’s iconic B.Zero1 design continuously innovates

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B.zero1 Labyrinth pendant

FOUNDED IN ROME IN 1884, the jewellery maison Bvlgari is known for its wearable, larger-than-life creations, and for always dancing to a different tune. At a time when traditional jewellers all favoured the faceted cut, Bulgari chose to use cabochon gems. And when it developed its famed snake-inspired jewellery that hugged the wearer’s skin, the diamond-and-gold scales weren’t stiffly soldered together, but inventively connected on a flexible inner core.

This bend-the-rules philosophy is also the bedrock of the B.Zero1 series introduced in 1999 — a line of jewellery that has lent itself to constant innovation and reinvention, taking inspiration from the great names of contemporary art and design to produce avant-garde shapes in truly innovative materials. While launched to celebrate the new millennium, B.zero1’s vision is rooted in the grandeur of the past. Its signature motif, the spiral, simultaneously evokes industrial modernity and Rome’s famed Coliseum.

In 2010, the renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor turned his vision to the iconic B.Zero1 ring by applying a mirror-like surface to its finish. Combining the traditional tubogas-inspired spiral with the gleaming and liquid curves typical of his work, Kapoor smoothly blended contemporary art with B.Zero1’s bold identity. A new version of the ring — the B.zero1 Labyrinth ring — was recently unveiled.

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Supermodel Bella Hadid wearing the B.zero1 Labyrinth pieces

Designed by the legendary ‘starchitect’, the late Zaha Hadid, it is a fresh interpretation of the B.Zero1 ring launched in 1999. In this design, Zaha Hadid infused the iconic spiral with her renowned iconoclasm, adding her signature curves to the wave-like shape of the ring, and creating a feeling of movement reminiscent of her architectural masterpieces. With its three-dimensional sculptural look, the ring differs from the usual thin band, defying classification and sitting comfortably on the finger of both man and woman.

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B.zero1 Labyrinth rings

Zaha Hadid had also brought fresh radiance to the B.Zero1 Design Legend collection, this year’s addition to the B B.Zero1 series, featuring rings, pendants, bracelets, and earrings. The original central band of the ring has been deconstructed with intersecting spirals that resemble undulating gold waves. This is held within two flat rings engraved with the classic Bulgari double logo, giving the overall design a free-flowing, linear yet organic quality. When worn, the ring seems to float on the finger, hovering rather than enclosing it.

The two rings in white or rose gold, with matching pendants, are set with a pavé of diamonds in varying sizes within their curvilinear structure, intensifying the sense of movement. The collection also features two bracelets with an edgy pendant available in black or white ceramic, as well as hoop earrings intertwined with the iconic spiral in rose gold. Such an array makes it easy to layer and combine the pieces, allowing a freedom of expression according to the wearer’s taste, character and style at a level rare in high jewellery. For instance the ring looks perfect on every finger, or stacked one above the other, or on a chain or a bracelet.

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B.zero1 Labyrinth bangles

The values of elegant power, individuality, and living by one’s own rules — as characterised by the designs of Bulgari — seem to be embodied in the spokesmodel of B.Zero1, Bella Hadid. With more than 16 million Instagram followers, the Californian model is one of the most watched and recognised figures in fashion and a natural muse for Bulgari since 2017. “The women that wear Bulgari are very strong, incredible women. B.Zero1 represents my powerful side, the one that proclaims difference in the face of conformity,” says the supermodel.

In their striking boldness, unconventionality, and wearability, B.Zero1’s pieces are some of the most intimate, most ‘personal’ objects that can be worn. Bella Hadid adds: “I think design says a lot about how we live, who we are and what we find beautiful. The world today is fluid: a painting becomes a bag, a dish inspires a dress, and an architectural masterpiece is crafted into a ring. To me, design is one of the arts that best catches this flowing energy.”