Celebrity

Jessica Chastain fronts new Gucci high jewellery unveiled in Rome

Jessica Chastain is the new face of Gucci's latest high jewellery collection, Hortus Deliciarum, which has just launched in Rome

By Kim Parker

Gucci has just unveiled the latest chapter of its High Jewellery collection, Hortus Deliciarium (‘Garden of Delights’), designed by the house’s creative director, Alessandro Michele.

Launched at the historic Villa Albani, amidst its famous statues and frescoes, the extensive collection is made up of over 100 precious pieces, divided into five categories, and represents a spirited romp through time and space – a jewel-encrusted ‘Gucci Grand Tour’ for the 21st century.

Jessica Chastain wears a 172.4 carat Colombian emerald necklace in the new Gucci High Jewellery campaign
Jessica Chastain wears a 172.4 carat Colombian emerald necklace in the new Gucci High Jewellery campaign

And representing the entire collection in Gucci’s latest ad campaign is friend of the house, the Oscar-winning actress Jessica Chastain. ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ star, who wore a sequinned gown and diamond jewels of Michele’s design to the Academy Awards in March this year, can be seen posing languidly in a number of jewel-toned gowns, bedecked in Gucci’s opulent new High Jewellery pieces – including a necklace with an extraordinary hexagonal-cut Colombian emerald pendant weighing 172.4 carats.

Further extraordinary gemstones abound. The first chapter of the new collection, dedicated to the European Grand Tour of the 19th Century, is made up of show-stopping necklaces, rings and cuffs all featuring antique micro-mosaics from auction. Each tiny cameo is made up of minute glass tiles and portrays lush vignettes of famous Roman landmarks, such as the Temple of Vesta, the Pantheon and the Pyramid of Cestius, intended as travel souvenirs for wealthy aristocrats who toured Europe in the mid 1800s. Set in coloured enamel and surrounded by a rainbow of spinels, beryls, peridots, fire opals and morganites, they become a precious symbol of our eternal curiosity for knowledge, as well as an homage to the Eternal City itself.

Elsewhere, many of Gucci’s signature motifs – bees, stars, bows and roaring lions – have been wrought in precious gold, encrusted white diamonds and embellished with deep blue Tanzanites, grassy green emeralds and dazzling Paraiba tourmalines.

Gucci's new Hortus Deliciarum features many dramatic jewels set with antique 19th Century micro-mosaics
Gucci’s new Hortus Deliciarum features many dramatic jewels set with antique 19th Century micro-mosaics

Another chapter is dedicated to the mysteries allure of the pearl and its place as an inspiration for global travel. Creamy white Australian pearls are combined with rare grey Tahitian and golden South Sea pearls and set amongst cognac-coloured imperial topaz and enamel in a precious collier, sautoir, earrings and rings.

The collection takes the imaginary traveller right up to the 20th Century, culminating in chapters dedicated to the architecture of 1940s New York and the modern-day arts of the 1970s, with diamond rings redolent of city skyscrapers, flexible gold chains set with enamel animals, carved gemstones in psychedelic hues and fistfuls of sparkling cocktail rings that would delight any club-hopping Vanderbilt or Astor. With many of these dramatic pieces already sold, we can look forward to seeing more of Hortus Deliciarum appearing at gala events worldwide in the near future…

Gucci's new High Jewellery collection features lion heads
Gucci’s new High Jewellery collection features many shows topping colourful gems set amid its signature house motifs, like these lion heads

Like this? Read about Chanel’s new High Jewellery collection inspired by the 1930s

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