A new dimension to perception of high jewellery, making it less pompous but not less important: the personal view of Giampiero Bodino. Interview by Katerina Perez.
Interview by Katerina Perez
Giampiero Bodino, the doyen of haute joaillerie based in Milan is remarkable for his unorthodox approach to high jewellery design, which he has been nurturing while working as Art Director of the Richemont Group. From his Villa Mozart headquarters, Giampiero Bodino translates the visual aesthetics of the past into rather contemporary pieces by merging classic elements of design with modern styling.
It was not myself but Richemont’s Chairman, who announced the creation of a new High Jewellery division within the Group that would bear my name. It was a blessing to have this opportunity as it allows me to fully express my creativity in its various forms.
What attracts you to creating something unique?
I believe in the uniqueness of my creations as much as the uniqueness of the woman who wears them. In my mind jewellery, especially high jewellery, must speak to one’s soul and to achieve that it should be very personal. In your latest collection there are many transformable pieces.
Why so much attention on wearing jewellery in various ways?
I always try to experiment with design and believe that high jewellery should also be conceived in modern ways. One of these is transformability. As you mentioned, a number of necklaces could be transformed into brooches or earrings, or parts of necklaces could be taken off and worn as pendants. Making jewellery versatile creates the opportunity to wear it in so many different ways.
Where does your love for colours come from?
It is certainly rooted in my Italian origins. Shades of green, blue, and so on are all part of our Italian peninsula. I am also very much attracted by the particular tones of less common stones – such as the intense red of spinels or the light blue of tourmalines. I am particularly fond of the so-called happy colours and I like to explore unusual combinations of contrasting hues.
Does your passion for volumes have something to do with the automobile design you specialised in in the past?
For sure, my studies in architecture and my first working experience with Giugiaro in designing cars certainly are key to the creation of my jewels. Just as with colours, I pay a lot of attention to volumes and to the play of light that can originate from them. Three-dimensional space is essential to giving life to a jewel.
Tell us about the jewel you wear yourself – the Dragon statement ring?
This double-headed dragon – a fantasy creature designed by me in yellow gold with two diamonds – rotates. Two short phrases are engraved in Italian on the two sides – one says “I will never be anyone” and the other – “Nobody will ever be like me”.
How do you find balance between intricate jewels and jewels overloaded with details?
Each of my creations is based on a combination of three key elements: shapes, volumes and colours. The perception of a fulfilled balance indicates the right moment for me to stop.
Bespoke jewels. How do you translate a client’s idea into a piece of jewellery?
Jewellery must speak to one’s soul. I am a person who likes to listen, observe and imagine so while doing that with a client I sketch the future jewel. It’s all about interpreting a woman’s desires and making her dream – jewellery wise – materialise.
Which was the most emotional jewel you have ever created?
The African Paraiba tourmaline Barocco chocker necklace showcased at the 2014 Biennale des Antiquaires. This piece came to my mind after I was shown a lot of the stones together. I immediately visualized the creation, with its different shades of blue reminding me of the Mediterranean Sea which I am very fond of.
Italy and architecture are your main source of inspiration. Do you feed your creativity in any other way?
Italy is part of myself. Not only because I was born in Turin, but also because I am deeply in love with the Italian culture and the sea. All of these elements will for sure continue to be the main inspirations for me to create. They will evolve just as I do but my style will remain contemporary and Italian.