Creative director Alessandro Michele has unveiled a new Hortus Deliciarum (Garden of Delights) collection from Gucci. This second high jewellery collection is both joyful and sophisticated and is replete with his distinctive prism of colour and bold design.
The collection, comprising of over 130 pieces, is divided into four parts and takes inspiration from the changing nature of the sky, drawing its billowing clouds, vivid gradients of colour and graphic constellations in precious gems.
The first part focuses on natural landscapes, outlining crashing waterfalls in a torrent of diamonds and rethinking windswept forests into seductive, curving silhouettes. In this fantasy world, leaves tremble on diamond branches and comets shoot across a diamond-speckled sky. Michele nods to the free-flowing forms of the Twenties with fringed and tasselled necklaces and chandelier earrings speckled with voluptuous orbs of precious stones.
The magical hour of dusk inspires the second part, with the richness of sunset reflected in garnets, tourmalines, opals and topaz for more traditionally classic gems. This romanticism is edged with a delicate femininity for the third chapter depicting the blooming of a rose garden, the flora’s velvety folds of a rose becoming delicate Padparadscha sapphires.
The fourth part looks to the animal kingdom; in one stand-out necklace, a 16-carat opal is worshipped by 22 lions, who in other pieces clasp tanzanites in their mouths. The vividity is carried through to striking pieces which put emerald-cut coloured gemstones at their heart, making a vibrant foil for a plethora of tourmalines, rosy pink rubellite, violet tanzanites, pale orange sapphires, pink topaz and mandarin garnet.
High jewellery watches complete the dazzling line-up, with Michele carrying the familiar lion head symbol through to the timepieces. Lion heads, spun to the side, reveal deep blue opal dials, whether set on bracelets studded with precious stones or as brooches that conceal their mesmerising dials. Not everything is as it first appears: diamond-set flowers form clasps and a watch doubles up as a bangle, cast with Art Deco-inspired baguette diamonds framing a secret turquoise dial.