Roamin' Holiday: In Paris, Bulgari Debuts Its Ode to Italian Passion

Jean_Christophe_BABIN_Mischa_BARTON - Publicity - P 2016
David Atlan/Courtesy of Bulgari

Jean_Christophe_BABIN_Mischa_BARTON - Publicity - P 2016

Mischa Barton talks summer plans while celebrating the brand's latest high-jewelry collection.

Gazing at diamonds and gemstones on a velvet tray or under glass is one thing, but Bulgari likes to see its high jewelry in motion. After all, if haute couture is sent down a runway, why not haute joaillerie?

Earlier in the day editors were able to view the Rome-based house’s 2016 high-jewelry collection, dubbed "Magnificent Inspirations," up close and personal at Bulgari’s boutique on Paris’s Avenue George V. But the drama was saved for Tuesday night at the Italian Embassy, where Mischa Barton, model Lottie Moss (sister of Kate Moss), and fashion’s favorite architect, Peter Marino, joined Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin and others for a runway show featuring highlights of the 80-piece collection.

Sixteen models wore sleek, deep-V gowns in purple, white or celadon, each meant to frame the gems, bold in both color and design. Necklaces were the true stars here (sorry, ladies), with the house focusing on an exploration of Bulgari’s Italian heritage and savoir-faire. The "Gemme Principesche" necklace showcases seven perfectly matched emeralds that took three years to gather, while the "Extravaganza" necklace, as its name implies, is a flurry of 11 cabochon amethysts, emerald and rubellite beads, and seven exceptional pearls, all set on rose gold and accented with diamonds.

Other pieces highlighted iconic Bulgari themes, from updates on the classic Serpenti to the Divas' Dream grouping, featuring fan-like designs, inspired by Italian mosaics and peacock tails, that were embellished with diamonds, sapphires and emeralds.

HIGH JEWELRY: The "Divas Dream" necklace, left, and the "Extravaganza" necklace. (Photo: Courtesy)

Following the show, guests trickled out into the garden for an afterparty, where Barton mentioned that her summer is Europe-centric (before she was slammed by the Internet for her insensitive Instagram tribute to Alton Sterling, which she has since deleted) .

"I was in Berlin for Fashion Week and wanted to stop in Paris for a few days to see friends; from here I’m thinking Italy and Greece for vacation, and also London to see family," explained the actress, wearing a boldly striped Blumarine dress that matched her Bulgari jewels.

"L.A. is so far from everything; once you get here you might as well take advantage of it." Asked about upcoming projects, Barton seems most excited about developing a TV series Who Town, based on Susan Kirschbaum’s 2012 book of the same name. "Susan is a friend, and it’s an amazing book," Barton added. "The plan is to add a lot more comedy to the story, and it’s going really well."

Nearby, a photographer was wrangling the models for a group shot while Barton discussed being a Bulgari fan. "I’ve gotten to know [the house] pretty well," she said. "They’re classic jewels, and there’s something about the way they match colors that’s always perfect. Plus you know Bulgari pieces are going to be really strong, and I like that." And with that, Barton floated into the crowd, headed off on her own La Dolce Vita adventures.

BEJEWELED: Models in Bulgari jewelry on the runway. (Photo: Courtesy)