MILAN — Milan has seen its share of precious bags, but the Rubeus Milano “Mydas Tutti Frutti” clutch is hard to beat. Rendered in crocodile, it features an internal chain shoulder strap and is embellished with 156 6.32-carat white diamonds; 79 32,50-carat cabochon rubies, sapphires and emeralds and 153 404,50-carat rubies, sapphires and emeralds hand-cut in the shape of leaves. There are also 38 6-carat natural pearls all set in 750/1000 yellow gold. It is definitely a standout. The retail price? $438,000.
If that weren’t dazzling enough, the brand presented in Milan the Rubeus Imperial Alexandrite Collection, said to be the first and only collection of high jewelry exclusively dedicated to the precious alexandrite gem from Russia. Five central gems of different sizes for a total of 137.57 carats make up the Imperial collection. In addition, there are 13 on the bracelet, five on the earrings and three on the ring. The collection includes rock crystal, diamond, steel gray or red spinel, ice-blue or green sapphire, tanzanite and polished black titanium with a mirror effect. The Rubeus collection was created by jeweler Frédéric Mané, who formerly worked with Compagnie Financière Richemont SA and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
The alexandrite gemstones, discovered in the Ural Mountians in 1830, are among the 10 rarest in the world. A variety of chrysoberyl, its blueish-green color in daylight turns into a reddish-purple or even violet in stronger light, with different shades in between. The Imperial necklace is mesmerizing with the largest alexandrite gem unveiled to date: 69.37 carats — and a price tag of 70 million euros.
Founded in Milan by Russian designer Nataliya Bondarenko and her husband Viktor in 2013, the brand Rubeus, which means ruby in Latin, has launched its first ready-to-wear collection flanking a new line of fragrances and silk scarves, footwear and accessories. The clothes employ fabrics handcrafted on a 16th-century loom from the Luigi Bevilacqua textile factory paying tribute to the Venetian tradition.
Nataliya Bondarenko said she “fell in love” with the fabrics on a trip to Venice two years ago, and that she was inspired by the brocades and velvets in Venice’s storied hotels and at the Fortuny Museum. At the Bevilacqua laboratory, she was surprised to find out that the wooden looms employed are the same used hundreds of years ago and that “15,000 threads are used for each piece of fabric, among them gold and silver.” The collection’s clean silhouettes include silk or suede dresses, roomy corduroy coats and flared trousers. Patterns of Baroque peonies and lilies embellish pajama dresses.