Hortus Deliciarum: Gucci’s First High Jewelry Collection

Gucci debuts a High Jewelry collection inspired by the poetic and kaleidoscopic universe of Alessandro Michele, which will be sold in its new Place Vendôme boutique in Paris, France.

HORTUS DELICIARUM echoes the eclectic quixotism of Michele’s vision, drawing on motifs that are dear to him and are symbolic of Gucci’s distinctive canon of house iconography. The collection comprises more than 200 pieces, mainly one of a kind, and its motifs revolve around a trio of themes and seen through the prism of a mythical garden of Eden, Arcadia or Xanadu — but, most significantly, of Gucci.

The first pays homage to classical emblems of eternal love. It centers on vivid colored gemstones crossed with plume-tipped sagittate arrows, which glimmer on pink sapphire, yellow beryl and blue sapphire brooches with en tremblant movement as though having just been plucked by Cupid himself. The sense of romance is intertwined with settings that voluptuously wallow in the past, layering historical styles including Rococo, Baroque and Georgian. Yet each gemstone is uniquely set in what Michele describes as “discordant symmetry”, ever-so-slightly mismatched to channel the spirituality of imperfection. Ecumenical crucifixes nod to the devotional love of the Renaissance, exalted through the ornate splendor of Latin crosses with leonine and floral motifs, worn as triptychs pendants. Elsewhere, antique-inspired chandelier earrings, dramatic crest of hearts rings and lightweight coming-of-age tiaras artfully distilling the exuberantly peripatetic and eccentric world of Gucci.

The second chapter is an ode to the majesty of the animal kingdom, evoking mythic bestiary and ancient fauna. The symbolic strength of the Lion, the courage and passion of the Tiger, the wisdom and renewal of Ouroboros serpents, and the magical mysticism of Dionysus populate Gucci’s world of jewels and comprise the crest of this animal kingdom. Throughout the collection, lions clasp gemstones — most magnificently in the rainbow-hued Georgiana parure that sparkles with vivid green, hot-pink, blue and Paraiba tourmaline, bright yellow and violet sapphires, warm mandarin garnet, spinel and white diamonds. A swarm of colour-block

gemstone-headed bees offer magpie choice, and intricate tritons become lavender sapphire cuffs and pendants. Dionysus creatures twist into emerald cuffs and ruby rings and a magnificent 30,30 carat opal is hand-carved into a coiled serpent ring flecked with diamonds Each animal is also surrounded by nature as symbolic flowers, leaves and stars come to life in ornate diamond settings and hidden engravings.

Finally, singular and striking solitaires are redefined with maximalist allure. Pear-cut colored gemstones, intense and joyous, are juxtaposed with heirloom settings and recall the vibrant colors of a garden in full bloom: honey-hued imperial topaz, blushed-rosé topaz, velvety green tourmaline the hypnotic glow of mandarin garnet. Coiled rings envelop heart-cut aquamarines and rubellite — a reiteration of the emblems of love — and each stone has been chosen for its spiritual properties, too, alluding to the birthstone calendar of the lunar year.

Gucci’s “hortus” of jewels is inhabited by magical beasts and flowering with totemic symbols of love, distilling the beauty of past and present and evoking the splendor of love and nature. Such multifarious historic symbolism is testament to the incomparable vision of Alessandro Michele, the savoir-faire of Gucci and the precious universe that High Jewelry encapsulates.

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