Italian jewellery designer Giampiero Bodino has no jewellery boutiques, and only shows his work at his Milanese villa or for a few days a year during Paris Couture week. The arrival of his new collection in southern France at Èze’s Cap Estel hotel is therefore something of a moment for the diary, especially so given that it will barely be there for three weeks (July 8-27).
Named Mediterranea, the 19-piece range of one-off gems (price on request) has been inspired by the Mediterranean Sea and oozes characteristic Bodino: bold colour, whimsy and fantasy, and transformability. Barocco, for example, is a delectable necklace and earring suite of over 195cts of rubellite droplets, matched with a burst of amethysts, yellow beryls, fire opals, diamonds and rose gold. Fire opals also feature prominently in the Corona bracelet and earring designs, their sunset-like hues set off by intense sapphires and emeralds, all interlaced in a complex pattern reminiscent of historic Sicilian majolica.
Upping the femininity factor is the bougainvillea-inspired Primavera necklace and earrings suite, its vivacious flowers crafted from pink sapphires, red spinels and yellow and white diamonds, topped off with pear-shaped diamonds. The necklace can be worn with either one or all three flowers, or transformed into a brooch with two.
Also transformable is the whimsical Tesori del Mare earring-brooch that recalls a pair of swimming fish. Sparkling marine hues come courtesy of blue and yellow sapphires, tsavorites and rock crystal, while a matching ring is topped with a divine 11.42ct Paraíba tourmaline.
The Tesori del Mare designs also include a standout seahorse pendant-brooch – the otherworldly creature fashioned in stunning detail from yellow sapphires, mandarin garnets, rubies and spinels – and a delightful titanium shell bracelet and earrings set featuring a medley of multicoloured stones chicly punctuated with pearls.
Finally, and speaking most to Bodino’s Italian roots, is Mosaico, a stunning necklace and cuff suite that romantically juxtaposes pink opals and violet amethysts in a classic mosaic theme. It’s the kind of contemporary yet elegant jewel that you’d expect to find in his Villa Mozart in Milan, but with a bold luxuriousness that can equally hold its own on the French Riviera.