Brazilian resortwear with reach beyond the beach

Vanda Jacintho creates bold silk clothing and sculptural jewellery inspired by art and the Amazon rainforest

Vanda Jacintho silk Daniella maxi dress, from £480
Vanda Jacintho silk Daniella maxi dress, from £480

Within minutes of meeting fashion designer Vanda Jacintho, she is casually slipping into bright beach garb in her London studio.

Silk waist shirt, £469. Silk kimono skirt, £465
Silk waist shirt, £469. Silk kimono skirt, £465

“I’m Brazilian, what do you expect?” she asks, demonstrating the various ways to wear the multitasking panneau that recurs in myriad colourful guises across the eponymous label she launched in 2014. “It’s beachwear, designed for a modern jet-setting woman, but my customers also wear my clothes to weddings and parties,” says the former Brazilian Vogue fashion editor, who studied at the London College of Fashion while working for the late Tatler fashion director Isabella Blow. 

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Cross-cultural references abound in her vibrant textile designs, inspired by both European art and the Amazon rainforest. “I grew up in Pantanal surrounded by birds and animals,” she says, “but somehow Bauhaus seems to make its way into every collection.” The perennially bestselling geometric-print kaftan dress (£350), for example, is a tribute to Sonia Delaunay in silk crepe de Chine, while those large silk square panneaux (from £290) come in eye-catching Mountain and Organic Strokes prints – and can be worn as a skirt, paired with a slouchy silk waist shirt (£469). 

Silk Mountain petal dress, £690
Silk Mountain petal dress, £690

This high-summer season sees the introduction of a more fully formed fashion range. “As a stylist, I know how to build a glamorous image, and creating a collection is very similar,” explains Jacintho, adding that her ethereal Daniella silk maxi dresses (from £480) and kimono skirts (£465) should not be worn with high heels. Accessories come in the form of big and bold sculptural jewellery inspired by the textures found in nature. There’s a definite air of Loulou de la Falaise’s maximalist accessorising for Yves Saint Laurent amid the supersized baubles (green and blue four-ball earrings, £425) and bangles (Wave wooden stacking bangles, £485 for three from matchesfashion.com) made by hand in Italy.

Wooden Wave stacking bangles, £485 for three, from Matchesfashion.com
Wooden Wave stacking bangles, £485 for three, from Matchesfashion.com

Jacintho’s new São Paulo boutique is accompanied by an online store, which she is relaunching in November with the arrival of her beautiful 2020 resort collection. Toile de jouy prints inspired by the drawings of Jean Cocteau feature on dresses (from £400) and wraparound skirts (£472), alongside versatile silk shirts (£200) and scallop-edge tunics (£275), segueing insouciantly between exotic holiday glamour and creative urban living.

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Alyson Walsh is the author of Know Your Style, published by Hardie Grant, £12.99. She blogs as That’s Not My Age. To read more of her How To Spend It columns, click here.

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