Accessories are a key component of any outfit, especially in today’s world of fast fashion where almost everyone is seen wearing something similar. When one talks about accessories, the first thing that comes to mind is statement jewellery – may it be chandelier earrings, ear cuffs, chunky rings, or dramatic neck-pieces.
As I have always been a big fan of trinkets and baubles, you can imagine my excitement when I came across Caprilicious Jewellery, a contemporary jewellery brand with versatile pieces – each one with a story of its own.
And guess what? The founder, Neena Shilvock, shared the inspiration behind her brand and her love for all things bijouterie with us!
Read on to learn more and scroll till the end for a slideshow of some of my favourite Caprilicious pieces.
Q. How much of a role do you think jewellery plays to complete an ensemble?
Neena – I think an outfit/ensemble is incomplete without a piece of jewellery – like a sentence without punctuation marks.
Q. How did you get into this profession and what inspired you to come up with the idea of your own brand?
N – I have had a long love affair with jewellery, very much encouraged by my mom when I was younger. One of my friends went on a wire work course and gifted me a bracelet she had made and I was wowed; I went on a jewellery making course myself, and there was no looking back. My early pieces were gifted away to friends and family and at Christmas, to people at work, until I began to get comfortable with what I was doing. A family bereavement meant that I needed something to focus my mind on, and Caprilicious was born. I wanted to call it Capricious, but on Googling the name, found that someone else had it, so settled for Caprilicious Jewellery, with the strap line: Delicious Jewellery for the Capricious Woman.
Q. What makes your brand stand out from other jewellery brands?
N – I like my pieces to be as colourful as possible; I also like to make a lot of the components myself, be it polymer clay beads, wire pendants and clasps or pieces from precious metal clay. The pieces I make are impossible to reproduce, sometimes even by me!
Q. What is the price range for the merchandise offered?
N – I start off with earrings at £57, and my most expensive piece currently is £85. I don’t want to be prohibitively expensive, so tend not to work in silver a lot, although I do have a “Luxe” line which is rather beautiful, though I say so myself.
Q. How does the buying and production procedure work? Where do you source your materials from?
N – I buy online, from India, China, Indonesia, Australia, UK, USA, and in Europe when on holiday. The internet is my greatest source of material as I do not have the time to go hunting for the gemstones and beads personally.
Q. How do you go about the design process?
N – I have all my materials stacked in drawers and have a lot of ideas in my head running chaotically at the same time. I have no idea why one idea comes to the surface and crystallizes into a design at the time that it does; I don’t know what I am going to make next week, for instance, I am led by the nose by my muse and leave it entirely in her hands. I might have a crude drawing of a piece of wirework, but eventually, most of my pieces are free flow – they evolve as I weave, adding or removing bits as I go along, as the mood takes me.
Q. How often are new collections added to the website?
N – For the reasons explained above, I do not make collections; I go where my muse takes me. As I am excited about each new piece I make and cannot wait to share it with people who love jewellery as much as I do, I photograph it immediately and put it on the website. On average, I add at least two pieces to the website each week, and they are usually so different from one another that I cannot put them into a collection. They are loosely gathered into sections on my website.
I couldn’t possibly make jewellery in the same genre all week long, for instance, wire work, although a great love of mine; once I have a piece made to my satisfaction, I change over to necklace making, or bead making with polymer clay. With all that weaving, my fingers need a rest and probably heave a sigh of relief when I move on to something less arduous.
Q. Which is the one type of stone/gem that truly stands out as a classic and keeps making a comeback every fashion season?
N – In my opinion it is the pearl that has remained a constant in every season’s collections. Pearls are so versatile, and today, they are so different from the “grandma’s string of pearls” look – they are available in so many different and interesting shapes and settings. I have a pearl and leather necklace on my website that I have called “Biker Pearls” – I remade this necklace using different colours of dyed pearls and leather and each necklace has flown off my shelves.
Q. What is the current jewellery trend taking the world by storm?
N – Statement jewellery, by which one generally means big, bold and brash has been in the spotlight for quite a while now. However by the ethos of Caprilicious Jewellery, every piece of jewellery makes a statement – some shout aloud and some whisper, but both types have something to say about the wearer.
Q. Which other jewellery designers do you look up to? Any particular brand that you really like?
N – I love the wire work of Mary Tucker and Ruth Jensen; polymer clay pieces with loads of colour from Loretta Lam and Lynda Moseley of Diva Designs; and tribal pieces by the French designer, Amalthee. I love all their jewellery and have learned a lot from them.
Q. Chunky jewellery or subtle classics? Which one is your personal favourite and how do you accessorize with it?
N – I am the original Caprilicious woman – my jewellery is picked according to the mood of the day. I pick the jewellery I want to wear first and then pick clothes to match. I generally wear the larger pieces in my personal collection, keeping my clothes simple and unfussy, so that my jewellery does the talking.
Just now my personal favourite is a piece I made myself called Autumn Concerto at a class taught by Loretta Lam – the beads are big and bold, though ultralight. The necklace is in shades of red and gold, with a bright yellow pop of colour linking the beads – and even better, the beads are reversible and one of a kind – what’s not to love?