Burton and Bulgari: two of Elizabeth Taylor’s great loves. So much so that the Italian jewellery maison was enmeshed in the narrative of their relationship. ‘I introduced Liz to beer, she introduced me to Bulgari,’ Richard Burton famously quipped.
He wasn’t the only one the legendary jewellery lover introduced to Bulgari. Photographed on the set of Cleopatra in 1962 wearing a diamond-encrusted Serpenti watch, Taylor catapulted the snake motif – first introduced by the house 14 years earlier – to international fame.
Today the Serpenti remains one of the world’s most instantly recognisable – and iconic – jewellery designs. No wonder it continues seduce today’s screen stars and regularly slinks onto red carpets. Women of style and substance who want their bling with bite gravitate towards it, be that Zendaya (a gobstopper emerald for the Dune premiere), Charlize Theron (a 75-carat diamond necklace for the Academy Awards) or Julianne Moore (watch, bracelet, necklace).
And now ahead of its 75th anniversary next year, Bulgari is celebrating one of its most famous designs with a new exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Serpenti Metamorphosis invites visitors on an immersive journey in collaboration with internationally renowned media artist and director Refik Anadol. Chiming with Bulgari’s reputation for innovation, Anadol has created an AI-generated immersive sculpture exploring the concept of metamorphosis. In conjunction with this, there is a rare opportunity to see archival sketches and pieces, dating from the 1940s to today, from the captivating collection.
The exhibition, which is free to attend, is testament to the longevity of excellent design. But, as a glamorous symbol of female emancipation, it is also a reminder of something even more pertinent: strong women never go out of style.
The Serpenti Metamorphosis exhibition by Refik Anadol is open now until 23 December at the Saatchi Gallery in London. To book your free tickets visit Bulgari.com