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First Look at Bulgari's Baubles

Ever since the announcement of "The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond 1950 - 1990" the city's been abuzz with anticipation. And for good reason. The show, which officially opens on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the de Young is one of the most exquisite exhibitions to hit town. Each of the 150 shimmering specimens is perched in a black lacquered case or pedestal, all of which was painstakingly designed by the Bulgari team. The rooms in the show are divided by decade, and the countless jewels on display are interspersed with the most innovative, interactive elements—digital flipbooks with pages that come alive with text and images as you turn the pages, a projection wall that first reveals floating necklaces and then the wearer of the bauble slowly appears, and a case of projected falling coins that disappear to reveal a piece from Bulgari's coin-inspired collection. The jewels themselves are eye candy enough, but it's these extra details that take this show to the next level. Go once to ogle the diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. And then go again to relive the history of this iconic brand. It's a show that's definitely worth seeing on repeat.

"The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond 1950 - 1990" runs Sept. 21–Feb. 17, 2014; de Young Museum, deyoungmuseum.org