Buccellati’s Mosaico Collection Launches During Paris Haute Couture
Words By: Sam Broekema
Photo by Benjamin Bouchet
A mosaic is a fitting description of the many exquisite individual pieces that form the house of Buccellati: handcraftsmanship, iconic design heritage, and generational family passion create a picture of enduring beauty. The new high jewelry collection, Mosaico, the first as part of Richemont group, utilizes all these parts to express the fullest extent of their craft. Andrea Buccellati, CEO and Creative Director of the house, and his daughter and co-creative director, Lucrezia Buccellati sat down with Only Natural Diamonds as they celebrated the launch of the collection in Paris during Haute Couture week.
OND: How do you create a new collection that is immediately recognizable as Buccellati?
Andrea Buccellati (AB): There are two fundamental points in the Buccellati style: one is the design that is different from all others; second is the workmanship in [using] different colors of gold, the different ways [we] set a stone. This is what makes the difference. You immediately recognize Buccellati. If I design something very simple, not in the Buccellati style, [our clients] won’t accept it. When they come to Buccellati, they want Buccellati: they like to have something different. We keep [our traditions] and one of our most important investments is to invest in people who can continue the tradition of engraving. This is very important.
OND: You support such a community of people who are passionate about handicrafts.
AB: For us, it’s a very big investment in time, in education, in money. We have a lot, a lot of young people coming to learn. Some people you lose because they may change their mind and not like the work. But those who really love this work, who are patient, and have passion, those you keep forever.
This is artistic work, it’s not a machine that makes everything with the same movement every day for hours. You [put] your personality into the engraving. Each engraver has a different style of engraving. The concept is the same, but they each have a different style, like handwriting.
You have to respect that. I’ll give an example: If we make a parure with a necklace and bracelet, I can’t give the bracelet to one engraver and the necklace to another engraver because they are going to do something different. You must take the time to wait, finish one piece, then the other piece. This is one of the reasons why sometimes it takes months of work to make one of our objects. Nobody else puts so many hours in.
Lucrezia Buccellati (LB): Sometimes you only have one artisan that can do one type of workmanship and one type of piece. But this is beautiful. I just posted on Instagram the story of one of our artisans. He fell in love with Buccellati when he came to Paris and saw the store, saw the workmanship. He was probably eighteen. He came with his school and said this is what I want to do. Since then, Luca has been working [with us]. But it was amazing because he saw it here, he saw the technique, the workmanship, he fell in love, he said this is really what I want to do. So, it’s like a passion. It’s almost like a –
OND: A calling?
LB: A calling, exactly. It’s really amazing to see that.
OND: How did you land on the inspiration for the mosaic for this important collection?
AB: What I like is the regularity of the design, the motif, that they repeat, and the color that you have in the mosaic. And we try to interpret the mosaic, Byzantine mosaic, not only with stones but also with design. That is important. In this case where you have a bracelet that is all white and yellow diamonds and is very intricate. You see the motif that repeats. The beauty of this bracelet is in the softness. This bracelet takes almost one year and a half to make. You see this is perfectly square but look how soft it is. So, this is very important for us because when you wear it fits perfectly on your arm.
OND: How do you see someone wearing this bracelet and this collection?
LB: How I wear it and how I see our clients wearing this collection, it becomes a statement piece. I think we’re becoming more minimal. But at the same time, when you wear a piece like this bracelet, that’s the piece, that’s the center of attention. But you can also have the flexibility to play around with other pieces and collections. I think the flexibility of the iconic collection that is more affordable and easier to wear, you can mix them with these beautiful pieces because it all ties in together, it all has the DNA. You can feel it when you wear it. It’s a constant conversation and I think an identification of how you represent yourself with your jewelry, which I think is important.
AB: This is what is the most special. We are still able to do this kind of work, that today is a little bit anachronistic. It takes over a year to produce [this collection]. It’s something that you don’t really see. Today they usually mount a big stone and forget about it. This is workmanship.
LB: That’s why I think the customer comes to us. Once [a client] purchases their first piece of Buccellati, they understand the craftsmanship behind it, and they fall in love. That’s why we have this fan club of this craftsmanship and that’s the treasure of our brand, its uniqueness, the timelessness.
OND: How did diamonds express what you wanted to do in this collection?
AB: The diamond is the prince of the stones in a certain way: there is no other stone that gives off light and life like the diamond. We play a lot with different colors. And I like to play with white diamonds and yellow diamonds. The contrast of these colors is very good. Yellow diamond we always set in yellow gold and white diamonds in white gold. Even this, means that you have different colors of gold to make it different and more difficult. Because you could do it all in white [gold] and then set the stone. But each stone here has its own color of gold!
OND: What is next for Buccellati and high jewelry? You’re smiling, I love that.
LB: No, we know what we are doing…
OND: But it’s secret.
LB: A secret.
OND: But if you’re talking about how each craftsman that finishes a piece will think, okay, this is beautiful. Next time, I can do better. What is the next challenge?
AB: Let me tell you, the next collection will be exasperato.
AB: I imagine the woman that wears these pieces has the softest and most delicate concept of jewelry. Nothing heavy, not big stones.
This interview has been condensed and edited for length.