From Mexico to the North Sea, award-winning jeweller Monica Vinader is constantly being inspired and creating the unexpected. If you missed her handbag catch up here and read on to discover more about her life and loves, and the surprising hobby of choice for this fabulous designer.
I’ve had quite an adventurous life. I’ve travelled a lot and lived everywhere from the depths of Patagonia to a biosphere in Mexico. But Mexico is still the place that sets off a little bell inside me. It’s the craft, the history, the vibrancy, the food – and the unabashed use of colour. It’s like India in that respect. Where else would you see houses painted in cerise pink? It’s on clothes, walls, chairs, crockery – those pops of colour are very inspirational to me.
Norfolk is where I live and work now, it’s a good creative space. When I look out of my office window I see the North Sea on one side and fields on the other. I get my London fix a couple of days a week but I don’t think I’d live there again – and Norfolk has quite a scene, it’s creative and stimulating with a great mix of people from farmers to writers and artists. But I wouldn’t have been a designer if I hadn’t left Spain and moved to London when I was 18. I went to art school there and the freedom and creativity was such an eye opener.
Jewellery is incredibly special, people can wear one piece for years without taking it off – that fascinates me. I watch people play with their jewellery and I see how it becomes a part of them and the way they express themselves.
My Fiji friendship bracelets were designed as Talismans. I don’t want to overdo the spirituality but I like the meanings, especially if they’re being given away. Pink for love, navy for courage…. and I’m just selecting colours for a new range of summer limited editions.
Simplicity can be the hardest thing to achieve but always expresses a huge confidence. My designs are bold but simple, and my clothing is simple too. I love tailoring – a good pattern and a good cut, like a Stella McCartney jacket. My home is a little different – fresh and eclectic. I have 1950’s alongside oriental next to French, all mixed in with things I’ve brought back from my travels. And lots and lots of light, for me that’s really important.
I love colour but not on my face. I’ve always been about maintenance and grooming rather than make-up – good skincare, a great haircut and colour. I’m obsessed with Crème De La Mer and Perricone MD, I use Acyl-Glutathione, there’s one for the face and one for eyes, I use both. They’ve transformed my face, there’s no two ways about it.
If I didn’t make my own jewellery I’d wear Pippa Small. I love what Alexis Bittar is doing too, he’s fabulously creative and has that vintage thing going on. And Line Vautrin, who made jewellery in the 1940s – I discovered her work at art school and have loved it ever since. I like 1950s vintage too, Van Cleef and Cartier. I have a lot of my Mother’s but it’s not easy to wear. Layered with other things maybe, every so often.
Playing with my daughter is my stress-control, she’s five and a half. And fly-fishing, that’s what I do to really relax, it’s so meditative.