Composed of unique pieces divided into five themes, the collection gathers the passions and obsessions of an imaginary Grand Tour – a traditional trip through Europe, with Italy as a key destination. The first theme of the collection remains true to what Michele is best known for, his storytelling. The designer worked with a set of micro mosaics of iconic structures like the Colosseum, Piazza San Pietro, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, the Temple of Vesta, the Temple of Hercules, the waterfalls at Tivoli, and the Pyramid of Cestius, to create miniature masterpieces, or in his words, “kaleidoscopic beauty.”
The second theme highlights the influence of travel between Rome and the India of Maharajas, and the journey between the magnificence of the eclectic architecture of the royal palaces and lush nature of the gardens. The jewels take the form of solitaire rings with pear-or heart-cut stones, multi-strand necklaces and bracelets with large stones of yellow beryl. Simply a dream to see, and obviously to own…
Pearls are known for symbolizing of femininity and mythological origins, which inspired Gucci’s third theme. With this great symbolism, the pearl guides the traveler to the point where East meets West. The set features sautoirs paired with striking earrings and brooches in white, cream and black pearls.
Moving forward, Michele uses the fourth theme to evoke the New World in the 1930s and ’40s, creating necklaces and bracelets with geometric shapes in chains with asymmetrical and flexible modules topped with opulent stones—think aquamarine and blue-grey beryl—for the perfect dose of drama.
And speaking of drama, the final theme of the dazzling Hortus Deliciarum jewelry collection ups the ante with a nod to the 1970s—the era of pop culture, free self-expression, the desire to discover foreign worlds, and an attitude that idolizes remote, mystical worlds. The pieces from this theme are meant to “protect” ideas, visions and stories.
It’s safe to say that the Hortus Deliciarum creations serve up a course in history course, and take their wearers on a trip back in time. It’s refreshing to see a high jewelry collection with such richness in its story.