Brazilian designer Vanda Jacintho began her career in fashion aged 17, as a stylist’s assistant for Vogue Brazil. She moved to London to study at the London College of Fashion, and spent 12 years working as a fashion editor and stylist in the capital. In 2005 she returned to Brazil and launched a beachwear brand, Beach Couture, later shifting her focus to printed silk shawls that can be styled in many ways.
The ‘beach to bar’ shawl idea led her to create her eponymous brand. Launched in 2014, it offers resort wear and costume jewellery, with a focus on bold prints and silhouettes. Pieces are handmade by artisans in Brazil, using tactile materials including wood and resin.
With a love of 1970s jewellery - and an unfortunate habit of losing pieces - here the designer shares her favourite pieces from her personal collection.
Wooden ball necklace
"This was one of the first pieces I created in my first jewellery collection, and it’s a design I keep coming back to. Every season I try to do something new but somehow I keep coming back to balls!
I remember my mother and aunts in the 1960s wearing ball necklaces and earrings so big that they had to take them off to talk on the phone. Those memories have stayed with me and those pieces are my biggest inspirations.
This necklace is made from mahogany wood from the Philippines. I love working with wood - it’s a natural material and it goes with everything. Some of the jewellery designers I admire, such as Silvia Furmanovich, use wood too. It’s a fantastic material to work with, but you have to choose the right variety for the design: it can’t be too heavy, and some are easier to dye than others.
I wear this necklace almost every day - it’s a timeless piece, and one of the best-sellers in my range.
My father gave these earrings to my mother when they got engaged, and she passed them on to me when I turned 15. They look very vintage - very Seventies. He had them made by a Brazilian jeweller called Mauricio Monteiro, a close family friend who made a lot of pieces for my parents and my grandparents.
I had always loved these earrings - they were my favourite from my mother’s collection. But I am quite clumsy and have a history of losing things so I wasn’t sure if she was going to give them to me. I was super happy when she did.
I always wear these to black-tie parties, they look very cool. Even though they are diamond earrings, they are not like traditional chandeliers, so you never look overdressed.
Vintage Piaget watch
As I mentioned, I am quite clumsy and I keep losing things. I’m always travelling - I’ll spend three months in Brazil, then three months in London, moving around different places, so things go missing easily. I had an amazing gold Rolex with a green dial but I lost it somehow, so I’m borrowing this watch from my mother instead. She said to me, ‘OK, you can wear it but please give it back to me’ - that was a year ago and I’m still wearing it!
It’s a vintage Piaget from the 1970s - again, I love the fact that it very much looks like it comes from that era. I’m always changing my accessories, and this watch happens to go with a lot of the outfits I’ve been wearing recently. It’s very sleek.
I remember my mum wearing it all the time when I was a child. I have memories of her wearing all these incredible 1970s clothes, but she got rid of them all, so the only things left over from that time are her jewellery and watches. She doesn’t wear much of her collection any more so I get to wear them; lucky me!
Gold and turquoise bracelet
I bought this bracelet last year at a vintage market in Paris. I first saw it more than five years ago and fell in love with it, but I could never afford it. I kept going back to admire it, thinking should I, shouldn’t I… and every time I went back it still hadn’t sold.
It’s not the type of jewellery that everyone loves - it’s big, bold and it was quite expensive considering that it’s fashion jewellery, not fine. But when I finally had the money to buy it I was so happy; it’s an incredible statement piece. I’ve never seen another one similar.
I don’t know who designed it but it was made in the 1960s. The mesh of the bracelet is super intricate - it would be very difficult to reproduce nowadays, and would cost a fortune. I wear it all the time, with denim, dresses, anything. It’s quite heavy and it’s impossible to wear a coat over it, but every time I wear it I get lots of compliments. It was worth the wait!
Gold flower ring
This ring was designed by a Brazilian jeweller whose name nobody in my family can remember - we think he shut down his own brand to go and work for a big jewellery house, but whatever happened, we can’t find him.
It was originally designed for my grandmother, and I always loved it. It’s very organic, and I love the contrast between the textured and polished gold. I asked if I could borrow it and as soon as I started wearing it all of the rest of the family fell in love with it as well.
My grandmother tried to find the designer to order more, but couldn’t, so asked for the original back so that she could have it copied for all of us. She had 16 made in total, one for each of her goddaughters. It’s a lovely connection, the fact that we all have the same ring. I wear mine every day."
Vanda Jacintho is available at matchesfashion.com
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