I had the great fortune yesterday of being invited to attend the Giampiero Bodino High Jewellery event in the Connaught Hotel, in London. These were jewels that were eye catching for all the right reasons: every single one was a one off piece, with breathtaking attention to detail. The array of stones was wonderful in its variety, ranging from tanzanites to spinels, Paraiba tourmalines to coloured sapphires.
The House of Giampiero Bodino is the Richemont Group’s latest foray into high jewellery. The designer is well versed in the decorative arts and a firm grounding in fine art. Born in Turin, he trained as an architect; his love of shapes and three dimensional concepts led him to design cars for Italdesign and while he was there, he caught the eye of Gianni Bulgari. This led to a long and happy collaboration with the Italian jewellery firm, after which he opened his own jewellery and watch studio. As Bodino’s work for the Richemont Group grew, he became exclusive to them and was created Art Director in 2002.
With the group’s backing, the House of Giampiero Bodino opened in 2013. Its business model takes us back to the days of unique pieces, beautifully made by talented craftsmen- but unlike most of its counterparts, this brand will not open worldwide. Bodino has its headquarters in Milan and will host private viewing events. This immediately cuts the overheads of a prohibitive retail operation and delivers jewellery which is admittedly expensive, but not overpriced.
Bodino aims to create pieces with ‘Anima’, or soul, and he certainly succeeds. The sources of inspiration are varied and disparate: Art Deco, Baroque, nature, India, feminine form, architecture; yet there is a stylistic coherence rarely seen in other designers.
Personally, I loved the use of colour, a subject very close to my heart- the mixing of hugely valuable rubies and diamonds with more humble materials, such as amethysts and chalcedony. I enjoyed seeing these pieces yesterday and look forward to seeing what Bodino produces in the future.