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“I’ve been traveling to San Francisco to show jewelry for 50 years, and I love it,” said Nicola Bulgari, expressing excitement over the jeweler’s first-ever retrospective, “The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950-1990,” at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. The show, which includes emerald necklaces and tremblant pins from the Elizabeth Taylor collection, along with Bulgari heritage pieces, will be on display until Feb. 17. Pieces from the private collections of Jennifer Tilly, Dede Wilsey and Denise Hale are also on show.
The party marking the opening on Wednesday was hosted by Wilsey, president of the board of trustees of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which includes the de Young. Guests like Maria Manetti Farrow and Yurie Pascarella wore their most dramatic Bulgari jewels, including sparkling necklaces, earrings and diamond bracelets. Vanessa Getty’s artfully articulated snake necklace, part of the classic Bulgari Serpenti collection, shimmered in gold and diamonds.
Billy Getty had just arrived back from a few days playing golf at the St. Andrews Links in Scotland. “I love the history and the culture of the game at St. Andrews,” said Getty. “It’s a great experience.”
During cocktails, many guests headed up to the galleries to view the exhibit, and Wilsey had to cajole them to be seated for dinner.
“I know the jewels are mouth-watering, like candy, but I promise you dinner will be delicious, too,” said Wilsey.
Ben Bourgeois decorated the dinner tent with fiber optics, tiny little starry lights that looked like a star-filled midnight sky.
Also scoping out the jewels were Veronica Bulgari, Alberto Festa, museum director Colin Bailey, Juliet de Baubigny, Suzy Kellems Dominik, Trevor and Alexis Traina, Jacqui Getty, Hilary Swank, Kate Bosworth, China Chow, Tatiana Sorokko and Sabrina Buell.