Wasting no time, she secured a project with bold designer Shaun Leane and prepared an array of eye-catching catwalk pieces for Alexander McQueen, taking a place at the zenith of high-end luxury jewellery. That same year Ana was nominated by Carol Woolton, jewellery editor of British Vogue, to be included in a definitive list of key designers to watch.
Hurtling into 2006, Ana showcased her graduation collection at Childwickbury Art Fair, which was run by Christiane Kubrick, the wife of Stanley Kubrick, a genius avant-garde director perhaps best known for ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. A year later Ana had arranged her first fine jewellery collection since she graduated. It was called ‘Mystical Tarot’, developed in association with Tanzanite Foundation, and it was a selection of five cultured haute couture pieces. Ana De Costa had arrived under the spotlight with a signature style predicated upon spiritual and esoteric themes. What also came across was Ana De Costa’s love of Tsavorite and classic white Diamond, accentuated with fluid and organic stylings inspired by 1920’s Art Nouveau.
When asked about her own fashion preferences – contrary to her catwalk and costume jewellery background – Ana came across as a lover of chic and understated pieces. She told the interviewer that she never takes off her gold wrist bangles. This perhaps evinces the thinking behind her next luxurious and much subtler collection launched from Mayfair, London, sponsored by Godiva, Kiehls and Perrier Jouet. Then the next breakthrough for Ana came in 2008 when she famously collaborated with Swarovski for the extravagant ‘Runway Rocks’ show. On display on the walkway was an array of large scale body pieces from international jewellers. The success of the event resulted in Ana being celebrated the same year as the ‘Young Designer of the Year’ on the UK Jewellery Awards. In 2009 Ana also collaborated with The World Land Trust and created a delicate pair of dragonfly earrings, which were sold at Liberty of London to raise money for a wildlife campaign.
One of the most interesting collections that Ana produced as a professional designer was inspired by French Polynesia. First Ana travelled to French Polynesia, where she sourced the pearls and selected an array of eye-catching black Tahitian pearls. Then she brought these ‘jewels of the ocean’ to the foreground, characterised with excerpts from Polynesian mythology. These elegant supplements recounted how, for millennia, pearls were passed between gods and royalty as superlative gifts. When you look closely at these pieces you can see how the magical play of colour and iridescence would inspire such fascination and poetry. Ana saw how the light refracted through them and reflected the beauty of the warm South Seas. She also recognised the fact that South Pacific oysters produced the largest pearls with the best nacre growth. This South Sea distinction is manifest when it comes to the luxurious Perle Noire collection, which was inspired by exotic voyages to Polynesia and the Art Deco Movement. It became an expression of luxury, as well as a celebration of ocean treasures, channelling Ana de Costa’s love of gemstones.
When you look closely at these pieces you can see how the magical play of colour and iridescence would inspire such fascination and poetry.
Ana has continued to shake the jewellery industry with her bold British flair and avant-garde designs. In 2011 she collaborated with the ethical mining company Gemfields and crafted her biggest and most valuable pieces to date. It was a pair of handcrafted 20ct emerald earrings in 18ct yellow gold, set with stunning cognac diamonds. Finally Ana soared to a hitherto unreached height when a pair of earrings were chosen from her ‘Spiritual Henna’ collection and worn at the 2013 Oscars by wife of music producer Paul Epworth , when he won an Oscar with Adele for their Skyfall track. Today her creations are often featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar.