September 08 2010
Carolina Bucci’s woven gold and silk Lucky bracelets have become slinky little objects of desire, casually knotted around the smartest wrists, including the tiny ones of Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman.
Born into a Florentine family of goldsmiths, with a generations-old heritage of artisanship, designer-goldsmith Bucci has given 18ct gold her own contemporary slant, with a playful ease that comes from confidence in her craft and her innate, effortless, Italian style.
Now based in her own London boutique, this year she has launched a special bespoke service (separate from her bespoke fine jewellery service) for her famous friendship or Lucky bracelets (from £550 to £1,500, available only in the boutique), to coincide with the launch of two new “Luckies”. It was a response, she says, to more and more clients wanting to customise their jewels, or have input into the design process, the choice of colours, the little charm that dangles alongside the tiny gold tassels.
A long-time fan of Bucci’s jewels and her philosophy, I was lucky enough to try out the service. Since many clients don’t know where to start with bespoke, she explains, she has devised a simple and fun questionnaire to get you going. I had to give snap answers about my favourite this and that: colour (easy, gold); tone of gold – white, yellow, pink or black; matte or shiny (definitely matte); classic or contemporary; mix or match; beach or city (easy too, a confirmed city girl); vintage designer (mad for Schiaparelli); and so on. Superstitions, beliefs, favourite lucky charms, emblems and loved ones’ initials play an important role in the profiling process. The client sits with Bucci to work on some rough ideas and sketches, which are then developed into a final design.
Bucci can also work on any fine jewellery commission (from £5,000) and on shawls, even a bedspread in silk and cashmere, with gold-plated silver. The Luckies can be single-strand or in multiple rows, and hung with charms or initials. Mine turned out to be several strands wide, no charms, held by a super-matte yellow gold wide bar-shaped clasp, strung with the subtlest, warmest silks of bronze, turquoise, cream, all plaited with Bucci’s distinctive glinting gold. It’s ravishing and couldn’t be more perfectly pitched for me, in style and colour. And it obviously works, as I feel unbelievably lucky whenever I wear it.
First and second pictures: a selection of bespoke Lucky bracelets, from £550.