Serpenti Through The Eyes Of Nicholas Kirkwood

This September, Bulgari’s iconic Serpenti Forever bags, with their signature enamelled snake head clasp, are reinterpreted through the visionary eyes of Nicholas Kirkwood.

Kirkwood married his visual signatures with those of Bulgari so each bag reflects the key design codes shared by both brands, drawing inspiration from innovation, architectural design and graphic forms and blending unexpected materials to a high-powered end effect. The result is a new capsule collection that hypnotises with a highly distinctive studded chevron pattern. Sinuous zig zags cut across the prized leather, evoking the graphic scales and lithe movements of the serpent, a long-standing Bulgari icon.

Kirkwood and his design team wanted to change the silhouette of the Serpenti bags to create a modern collection with a contemporary feel. All the edges were sharpened to a squarer, boxier finish and the hardware on the bag was completely redesigned, even down to the iconic serpent head bag clasp which was made more streamlined with tighter and more aerodynamic proportions. The strap of the bag was made into a chunkier longer metal chain to make them easy to be worn across the body.

The chevrons were created out of rubberised and chrome studs which have faceted ends that are reminiscent of the diamond settings from some of the spectacular gemstones Kirkwood had seen in the Bulgari high jewellery atelier in Rome. The gemstone inspired colour palette of pink spinel, royal sapphire and gold have been fused with his favourite colours from the Nicholas Kirkwood collections and created the all black and the striking black and white colour-way.

Further details on the collection:

The starting point for the Serpenti Collection was inspired by Kirkwood’s inaugural visit to the Bulgari jewellery atelier in Rome where the one-off high jewellery pieces are made. Master craftsmen bring to life one-of-a-kind pieces that celebrate the beauty and power of each gemstone. The pieces are essentially crafted round the stones; the stones themselves dictate the look of the finished piece. One of the stories that stood out the most to Kirkwood was one that a craftsman told him that when making a symmetrical piece, he sometimes waits up to 6 months to find a matching stone. It was this level of attention to detail where Kirkwood really began his thinking and desire to develop an almost organic design process for the collection.

Kirkwood then went on to visit an exhibition called Serpenti Form in Rome, here Bulgari had masterminded and curated a creative experience all about the serpent motif and how it had been interpreted by so many different – contemporary and ancient – artists, sculptors, fashion designers, film makers and photographers. A lot of the artists included in the exhibition such as Keith Haring, Matt Collishaw and Alexander Calder are people whose work has also inspired Kirkwood’s designs throughout his career which gave him a great insight into the history and possibilities of the classic Bulgari brand insignia.