It’s been nearly a year-and-a-half since Katrantzou’s monumental Temple of Poseidon show. She appreciated the slower pace and the care that went into developing this Bulgari project, and has been thinking about ways to incorporate some of that consideration into her own process. “To be able to see the prototyping, how many times it can be done, what attention to detail can be given, how it feels to work on a collaboration for a year instead of two months—it was very encouraging to think about as a creator.
Modeling it all is Natalia Vodianova wearing bespoke jeweled bodysuits Katrantzou made specially for the Hugo Comte-lensed photo shoot. Should Bulgari get into the clothing category those second-skin pieces would be a brilliant start. The model’s participation brings the charitable aspect of Katrantzou and jewelry house’s work full circle; Bulgari will be donating a portion of proceeds from sales of the bags to Vodianova’s Naked Heart Foundation.
Those investigations helped produce the new collection’s hero piece: a Serpenti head minaudière with crystals for eyes, a forked tongue clasp, and each individual scale hand-painted in enamel. It’s more jewel than handbag. Katrantzou fancies displaying hers on a side table or mantle, a treasured objet. The collection also includes nappa leather handbags with S-shaped Serpenti handles and another style featuring an embroidered mosaic that combines a coiling snake with a kaleidoscope of butterflies requiring 40 hours of hand work—metamorphosis in action.
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