Art & Jewels: Unlikely partnerships
Young designers and designer brands are the new blood that is bringing jewellery in Portugal back to life and, therefore, young designers were a major focus at the 29th edition of Portojóia, the main showcase of the Iberian sector. One of the major highlights was the 'Art & Jewels’ space, which united promising young jewellers on the national scene with designers from different areas linked to fashion and art, giving rise to exclusive collections. Joana Santos has developed a necklace and a bracelet that match the laces of a pair of Nobrand trainers, a brand that is celebrating its 30th anniversary, while the contemporary minimalism of Lia Gonçalves merged with Gonçalo Peixoto's clothing, complementing it and making it more exclusive. The minimalism of Ana Pina's jewellery joined the magical creative world of Oupas, through the versatility of paper and cardboard, while Mesh by Mafalda Vidal Pinheiro created a ribbon in gilded silver to accompany a pair of handmade craft glasses by Very Bushwick.
Joana Santos, who has a degree in architecture, transports her minimal and geometric vision of the world to her articles. She essentially works in silver, although she sometimes likes to associate it with other materials, such as rubber or acrylic. In the partnership with Nobrand, she sought to "create something that might reinforce the brand’s 30th anniversary" and developed two exclusive decorative lace guards for trainers by the Felgueiras company that, using the trainer’s own laces, transform into a necklace or a bracelet. Joana Santos’ collections are on sale at selected premium stores, such as the Scar-id Store, Casa da Arquitetura and the Fitting Room stores in Lisbon and Porto. The young designer is beginning to take her first steps in internationalisation, exhibiting at fairs abroad. She already sells to Canada, but the goal is to reach the Dutch, Italian and US markets, among others.
Lia Gonçalves and Gonçalo Peixoto present a proposal in which the jewellery is integrated into everyday clothing, complementing it and providing exclusivity to those wearing it. Lia created a necklace that is applied to the collar of a blouse by Gonçalo Peixoto, and this piece then expanded into a complete collection with bracelet, earrings, brooch and cufflinks. With a master’s degree in jewellery from ESAD, Lia Gonçalves is one of the founders of Collectiva, an independent platform and gallery store in Porto, which seeks to promote Portuguese designer jewellery for women. Her silver articles have minimalist aesthetics and, at the same time, a deep concern for functionality. with a major focus on textures and volume. They are on sale in select stores in Portugal, Spain, France and Canada.
Ana Pina, an architect by training and jeweller by passion, found the "perfect fit" with Oupas for a partnership at Portojóia. Her work, inspired by her architectural roots and the traditional techniques of Portuguese jewellery, has combined with the versatility of paper and cardboard used by the three young graphic designers of Oupas to give rise to a kind of display, in carousel format and with references to the solar system, to show off the Orbital jewellery collection, inspired by the movements of the planets. Ana Pina has devoted herself to jewellery since 2012. She has had a workshop with a retail space in the centre of Porto since 2015. Her work is also available online and in some galleries in Portugal, Brazil and Russia.
Mafalda Vidal Pinheiro, with a degree in management, is proof positive that a manager can also be creative. Mafalda, who has always loved accessories, and her husband, Tiago Barbosa, created Mesh in 2015. They already have two of the brand’s own stores open to the public in Porto’s Baixa area, with a constant turnover of articles with new products are being made every week. Mesh also makes personalized articles that are to the individual customer’s taste. Very Bushwick’s partnership with Portojóia gives life to a childhood dream: two friends who share a passion for design have teamed up to develop articles that stand out for their lightness, smoothness and attention to detail.
Words: Ilídia Pinto for Portuguese Soul December 2018