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Ana de Costa - Unfettered Spirit Rising High
Speeding around London and Hatton Garden on her bike, rucksack planted on her back, she could easily be mistaken for just another teenager. But, tucked into that backpack, she has thousands of pounds worth of jewellery.
By: Diamond World News Service
Oct 28 2011 1:28PM
Reference: 6422  

Ana de Costa always had a fascination for “shiny things and surface decorations”. It was not until much later when a tutor, who was also a jeweller, suggested she try designing jewellery that Ana started taking her interest seriously. A chance employment with costume jeweller Erickson Beamon took her further into the world of jewellery design. While there, she got the opportunity to work closely on exclusive catwalk pieces for Ungaro, Cavali, and Elspeth Gibson.

That was in 2002. By 2005, Ana had completed a graduation course in jewellery design from the prestigious Central St. Martins School in London, and as a testimony to her talent, accolades quickly came her way, with her graduation collection Cusp receiving critical acclaim. She featured in British Vogue’s ‘The List’ in 2005, which is a list of the 100 hottest people to watch out for. Carol Woolton, jewellery editor at British Vogue also nominated her in 2006 for a booth at the International Jewellery London show called “Bright Young Gems”. Ana won the UK Award, Young Designer of the Year in 2008; and the following year winning the ‘Coutts New Jeweller’ award meant she was invited to exhibit throughout Coutts London Jewellery Week in June 2009. Later that year, she also exhibited at the esteemed Goldsmiths’ Hall.

Her international moment of fame, however, came with celebrity patronage from Angelina Jolie and Lindsay Lohan in 2010. Ana also counts Brad Pitt buying a piece of her jewellery for Jolie as one of the best compliments she ever received.

A week-long exhibition ‘The Story So Far’ at the luxurious Kabiri store in Covent Garden chronicled Ana’s success story. This displayed everything from sketchbooks, prototypes and inspirational images to the very first piece of jewellery Ana had created, and also featured pieces from her pivotal ‘Mystical Tarot’ collection. Ana also got deeply involved with charity along with nine other jewellers known as the Rising Gems in collaboration with The World Land Trust and Liberty. For this, Ana designed a stunning, quirky pair of asymmetrical dragonfly earrings, the proceeds from which were donated to the World Land Trust.

More recently, she was shortlisted for Jewellery Designer of the Year at the 2011 UK Awards. Ana was also one of only five jewellery designers selected by renowned brand PureJewels to create a special piece for the Platinum Heritage Collection 2011.

Her international moment of fame, however, came with celebrity patronage from Angelina Jolie and Lindsay Lohan in 2010. Ana also counts Brad Pitt buying a piece of her jewellery for Jolie as one of the best compliments she ever received. “That was nice!” she reminisces, even as she credits a large part of her success to mentor Shaun Leane, a designer who is himself well-known for his Alexander McQueen jewellery pieces and distinctive, eccentric style. “I owe nearly all of my achievements to my various internships and particularly to my association with Shaun Leane. Also, learning on my feet within the business helped me a lot.” Ana explains. One look at her jewellery pieces and it is immediately obvious why Ana is considered one of the most influential new designers on the jewellery firmament. Her latest collection, evocatively named Alchemy encompasses ancient magic and alchemy- the art of turning base metal into gold. “Alchemy features a combination of aesthetics and symbols, a subtle nod to alchemical references. My favourite pieces from the collection are the Sirius star studs referring to the brightest star in the night sky. Sirius also means scorcher in Latin and I used the intrinsic luminosity to highlight this connotation” says an animated Ana.

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