Creative director Alessandro Michele goes on a fantastical Grand Tour for Gucci’s third high jewellery collection, ‘Hortus Deliciarum’. Beginning in the mid-19th century and tracing a route through to the 1970s, the collection begins with Roman landscapes and the brilliance of India’s architecture before travelling through to ancient Eastern and Western traditions, finally arriving in the New World with its nods to the beginning of the modernist movement.

The collection is divided into five themes, each of which takes its cue from a different era. The first part looks to the Grand Tour, the rite of passage for Europeans in the 19th century, whose bid for culture and beauty is reflected in jewels that depict cultural landmarks from Rome in miniature form. The Colosseum, Piazza San Pietro, Pantheon, waterfalls at Tivoli and the Pyramid of Cestius are all drawn in cameos that sit in necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches set off by a rainbow of precious gems, including peridot, yellow beryl, red and pink spinel and fire opal.

Gucci high jewellery ear cuff

Colour also defines the second part of the collection, which is inspired by those who travel to India, their experience of the architecture and verdant gardens married with the bold silks of traditional Mogul garments, creating joyful and vivid high jewellery. Gold threaded with diamonds and enamel make for textured bracelets, while a necklace in a rainbow of coloured stones is a brilliant centrepiece.

The third theme interprets ancient Greek myths in its celebration of the pearl, with white, cream and black pearls a milky foil for vivid topaz in earrings, brooches and pendants. It is an arresting juxtaposition that sets the tone for the fourth theme, nodding to the modernist codes of the 1930s and 1940s in a play with geometry and sharp architectural forms. Pop culture is the defining reference of the final theme, with pieces bringing the hedonism of the 1970s to life in a psychedelic explosion of emerald, green tourmalines and aquamarine. §

Gucci high jewellery necklace
Gucci high jewellery diamond necklace
diamond ring