This week, Tiffany & Co. opens its enormous “Vision and Virtuosity” exhibit in Shanghai, putting historic pieces — including never-before-seen items — on display in an immersive, multi-floor showcase. With over 350 pieces, it’s the biggest show of its kind, and the brand is going all-in to court the luxury consumer in China. Last week’s opening party featured Brie Larson, iconic Chinese actress Gong Li, Taiwanese actor Mark Chao, Korean actress Kim Tae Ri, and Japanese model Kiko Mizuhara, plus influencers like Vanessa Hong, Sami Miro, and DJ twins Simi Haze.
The exhibit takes place at the Fosun Foundation, an art space located at the Bund. The sensory experience begins from afar — after sunset the building is lit up in the brand’s signature shade of blue, which blends seamlessly into the neon skyline. Upon entry, visitors find themselves in the “Blue Is the Color of Dreams” room, which is filled with blue gemstones: sapphires, diamonds, and tanzanite (a stone that the brand introduced in 1968). Miniature reproductions of the brand’s Fifth Avenue windows, with designs by the pop artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg from the 1950s, are displayed alongside more contemporary creations.
Also in the room is “The World of Tiffany” wall, which includes pieces dating back to the brand’s first days. From the original 1837 cash ledger to one of the first receipts and engagement-ring boxes, it’s made for history buffs. Another cool detail? You can also see brooches worn by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Onassis.
Visitors then move on to “The Tiffany Blue Book,” which used to refer to the brand’s mail-order catalogue and now is shorthand for their most elaborate jewels. Launched in 1837, the catalogue was the first of its kind in the United States. Every version of the book is presented, alongside a key piece from that year. If you ever wondered what the Spanish and French crown jewels looked like, this is the room where you’ll find the answer.
And speaking of engagement rings, the next room, “Tiffany Love,” is filled with them. Not only can viewers gawk at the massive stones, but they can also try them on. Several stations are set up so visitors can slip on substantive diamond rings. (Naturally, the lighting is optimized for Instagram.)
Next up is a room that pays homage to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which includes Audrey Hepburn’s original script, unseen photos from the set, as well as a modern-day interpretation of Hepburn’s famous little black dress. The brand tapped local artist Li Xiaofeng to create a version made from shattered pieces of black porcelain.
And finally, the last room is an ode to diamonds. From the flapper headband seen in The Great Gatsby to the delicate tiara Elle Fanning wore in the brand’s ads to a Frank Gehry–designed headpiece, it’s by far the sparkliest room. To cap it all off, prior to exiting visitors can get up close to the massive yellow diamond worn by Lady Gaga at the Oscars. Discovered in 1877, the 128-carat stone is a dramatic way to finish a visit.
The show runs through November 10. Given China’s propensity for luxury, it’s a brilliant way to introduce Tiffany’s history to the local consumer. Sadly, there are no plans to bring the exhibit to the United States in the near future, but you can scroll through the gallery below to check it out.