Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, today I bring you an interesting guest post for your delectation - Divya is a jewellery designer, maker and educator in Chennai, India. Those of you who know Chennai know that it is an extremely conservative city, and takers for contemporary jewellery are few and far between. Divya walks the fine line between conservative and contemporary and ends up with a charming bohemian look that would not be out of place in any world capital among those of us who strive to be different.
As Caprilicious too strives to be different, the two of us struck up a friendship and I asked Divya to write a guest post, introducing Jewels of Sayuri to my readers. This is what she had to say.....
" Growing up in a conservative household that placed education and knowledge above everything else, it was only natural that I became interested in cultural studies, and by extension, design. What is called traditional today is a practice that was started by someone, somewhere, because it made sense to them at that particular point in time.
My erudite family inspired me to read and learn about my roots, which in turn made me curious to discover more about the culture and practices of people from around the world. I became more flexible, open, broad-minded and attuned to accepting multiple points of view, which I believe have made me a better teacher and designer.
Just as jewellery from precious metals is often used to mark the status of the wearer in financial terms, costume jewellery is used as the marker of intellectual standards.
Interesting and well thought out jewellery emphasises who you are, where you are from, and above all else, what makes you unique.
Blending tradition and modernity to create something new from an old concept comes more easily to me from the strong foundations of knowing who I am and where I come from.
Jewellery has always been an intrinsic part of every culture. How a person of a particular religion, status, or sect is recognised has always been governed by how they look, and jewellery plays an unmistakable role in defining that “look”. Subcultures from around the world have long relied on accessories to create inclusion.
In 2012, when I created my collection Chithiram (for a showcase on the Travel and Living Channel on TV) I had no idea that it would spark off a strong trend of inspiring the wearer to use jewellery as a tool for storytelling in India.
In 2014, my collections titled Chitra Katha (inspired by the visual narrative of storytelling in India) and Ragamala (a collection of jewellery personifying the visualisation of Hindustani music) were created specifically to be not just pieces of jewellery, but tell stories from Indian folklore that I hold close to my heart.
People make the assumption that wearing traditional attire would make one feel out of place amidst a modern crowd. However, that is so far from the truth. While meeting new people is exciting, the experience can at times be overwhelming and make you feel as though you are lost in a sea of faces.
At most events these days everyone looks the same, for in the name of modernity we have conformed to a uniform mundane identity. Wearing something that is culturally relevant to you can immediately make you unique, feel at home and the cynosure of all eyes.
The world is moving at a frantic pace and as a result, we haven't a clue about our backgrounds and what makes each of us unique. Consequently depression, frustration and feelings of inferiority spread through us creating a void.
Today's fashion and jewellery designers from around the world are increasingly turning to ancient motifs, techniques and materials to inspire contemporary designs to fill this void. A stylised modern piece can just as easily retain its original cultural premise.
With the plethora of designs now available, there are a few things to be mindful of while picking up culturally relevant costume jewellery.
Although it may make sense to start your collection with pieces from your own country or tradition, you do not have to restrict yourself to this. Pick a piece that speaks to you, tells a story and makes you feel opulent and interesting. Make sure that it complements your skin tone and use it to highlight your best features, choosing jewellery that is appropriate for the occasion. Pick up handmade pieces directly from the artist-designer rather than buying machine made mass produced items. After all, you are buying the emotion and story behind the piece, and who better to buy it from than the artists themselves. Finally mix and match, have fun and give yourself a new look every day".
Thank you Divya. I hope you have enjoyed this guest post, readers. I shall catch up with you on Friday as usual,
Divya is the soul behind the jewellery brand Sayuri that specializes in one of a kind mixed media pieces. She is a passionate design educator by day and an enthusiastic blogger by night. Visit her blog Jewelsofsayuri to find out more about her inspirations and collections.
I'm Neena Shilvock, and I'm crazily addicted to jewellery. I've been designing and making quirky and interesting statement necklaces for the last five years and my passion hasn't cooled off one little bit - in fact it has got worse, such that I'm even dreaming jewellery.
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I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
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