Have you ever wondered how a high jewellery creation, the most precious of all gems, comes into being? If so, then Bulgari’s feature-length documentary 'Inside the Dream' is for you. Follow Lucia Silvestri, Bulgari’s Creative Director for Jewellery on a journey from initial spark of an idea in the firm’s Rome headquarters to tracking down the perfect gemstone in Jaipur to its debut on the red carpet in Venice.
This is the first ever 'docu-film' that takes us inside the very heart of a high jewellery house and closely follows the 12 month process of creating a one-of-a-kind show-stopping jewel. The film starts with Lucia Silvestri poring over gemstones in her light-filled Roman design studio, the walls papered with the hundreds of designs she has dreamt up over her 40 years at Bulgari. She touches the stones, talks to them and runs her hands through piles of glossy emeralds, rubies, sapphires and tourmalines as she connects with the personality and energy of each stone. Her ease in handling the stones is the result of decades of experience in selecting gemstones and working them into breath-taking designs, all in the unmistakable colour-saturated and joyous style of the house of Bulgari.
Nicola Bulgari, grandson of Sotirio Bulgari, a Greek silversmith who founded the company in 1884, taught Lucia her trade and he is consulted when important high jewellery pieces are being produced. Nicola and his brother Paolo Bulgari, together ran the design studio and taught Lucia how to buy stones and design jewels to showcase their magnificent colours. This privileged education has made Lucia known as the woman who buys the most extraordinary gemstones in the world, a high stake task that requires knowledge, courage and a clear vision of what the final jewel.
One of the few women to ascend to such heights in this traditionally male-dominate world, Lucia takes us with her on a buying spree to Jaipur, India, one of the most important colour-gem stone trading centres in the world. Relationships in the gemstone world are built up over the years and trust is at the heart of every transaction. Lucia has earned the respect of the most important gem dealers who open up their vaults to reveal dazzling hoards of gloriously bright gems, rich in saturated colours offering an Aladdin’s cave of temptation.
The stylish and canny Lucia is on a very special mission for this foray to Jaipur: she is seeking out an outstanding emerald to set at the heart of a new Serpenti necklace, a unique creation that represents one of the most precious jewels ever created by the Italian jeweller.
The Pink City, as Jaipur is known for its ancient rose-hued buildings, offers an exotic backdrop to the serious business of selecting gemstones, negotiating a price and arranging details such as cutting and polishing and timing. The prize gem that Lucia has set her sights on, is a 4 kg. Colombian emerald that a distinguished family of gem dealers have kept for themselves for decades, waiting for that special jewel to come along. Lucia convinces the gem dealer to cut a 93.83 carat cabochon-cut emerald from the rough for the Serpenti Hypnotic Emerald necklace she has in mind.
Back in Rome, the design team are assessing design options for this extraordinary emerald and we see hand painted gouaches come to life of the design and others that will grace Lucia’s inspired gem purchases. But this is just the start. A constant to-and-fro is set into motion between the design team and the master craftsmen and women in Bulgari’s high jewellery atelier who spend hundreds and often thousands of hours in making each jewel entirely by hand.
Every step of the process is closely studied by the design team, head of the workshop and Lucia herself, who has the final say on each piece. Ease of wear, flexibility and drop dead magnificence are all key in creating a high jewel worthy of the Bulgari name.
And no high jewellery masterpiece is complete without a beautiful woman to wear it. The actress Zendaya was the lucky one to wear the Serpenti Hypnotic on its maiden outing and dazzled the world at the 78th Venice Film Festival in 2021, the culminating moment of the year-long journey this awe-inspiring masterpiece. Four other glamorous and accomplished women feature in the documentary. Chiara Ferragni, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Lily Aldridge and Lalisa aka Lisa all appear in the film choosing jewels for key red carpet moments and sharing their love of these most luxurious of all creations they will ever wear.
Inside the Dream is available to watch on Prime Video
The Bulgari Serpenti Hypnotic Emerald necklace is set with the spectacular 93.83 carat cabochon-cut emerald in this fluid design that drapes on the neck despite the high carat weight of the central stone.
The Italian digital entrepreneur and fashion influencer Chiara Ferragni is a friend of Bulgari and chose to wear this stunning emerald and diamond choker for her appearance in the film Behind the Dream.
The Thai rapper Lalisa Monabal also simply known as Lisa is a Bulgari ambassador who appears in the Inside the Dream documentary meeting Lucia Silvestri and choosing a diamond choker from the house's high jewellery collection.
The film follows the journey from rough gemstone to sketches and finally the finished jewel of the Serpenti Hypnotic Emerald that features a 93.83 carat cabochon-cut sourced in Jaipur by Lucia Silvestri. Here a sketch to guide the craftsmen is being meticulously painted by the Bulgari design team in Rome.
Back in Rome, Lucia Silvestri arranges the stones she has selected on soft putty base, moving the gems around until she achieves the perfect composition in the signature Bulgari look of brilliant and bold colour.
Nicola Bulgari, grandson of founder Sotirio Bulgari, has been a mentor to Lucia Silvestri who is now Creative Director for Jewellery at the Roman house. Lucia Silvestri has worked at Bulgari for 40 years and Nicola Bulgari still oversees important high jewellery pieces.
Lucia Silvestri travels the world, including Jaipur in India to buy gems for Bulgari’s most precious jewels. Over four decades Lucia Silvestri has become known as the woman who buys the most spectacular gem stones in the world.
Lucia Silvestri has trained her eye to be able to select the best gemstones from piles of different samples and has earned the trust of the most important dealers in Jaipur, a leading gemstone trading centre.
The 93.83 carat cabochon-cut emerald was cut from a rough weighing over 4 kgs that belonged to a gem dealer in Jaipur whose family had saved for a special jewel.
The American actress Zendaya, who recently starring in Dune and Spiderman: No Way Home, wore the Bulgari Serpenti Hypnotic Emerald with a 93.83 carat cabochon emerald on the red carpet at the 78th Venice Film Festival in 2021.