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Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Maria Kaprili's guide to summer jewellery

Renowned Greek jewellery designer Maria Kaprili talks about the latest fashion trends as well as her inspiration from Greek tradition

Eman Youssef, Monday 3 Aug 2020
Jewelry
Maria Kaprili, the distinguished Greek jewellery designer and antique jewellery valuer
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“In the jewellery world, especially in summer, the fashion trends are influenced globally by the colours of the sea and sunset,” said Maria Kaprili, the distinguished Greek jewellery designer and antique jewellery valuer.

Kaprili emphasises that the Greek summer, Cycladic or tropical Islands with characteristic turquoise sea and corals, are at the top of the preference list for accessory designs. The boho chic style, long necklaces and big bracelets are strongly in fashion this summer.

Coronavirus and the industry

Analysing the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the jewellery industry, Kaprili assures that body decoration is a very old story; prehistoric, in fact. People have a very special relationship with jewellery, and it has been observed that the jewellery industry and accessories have not been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Even though many fashion shows have been cancelled, the high impact of social media and e-commerce has played a role in minimising the damage caused by the coronavirus.

“Online shopping is a new consumer tool. Due to the rapid evolution of social media, the consumer has been trained to very quickly trust the image. He no longer relies on all his senses to buy the desired product,” Maria said.

Trends and styles

“My jewellery profile is characterised by both comfort and style. My jewels are for all occasions. The customers today choose to feel fresh and fashionable without losing their elegance or personal style,” Kaprili says.

As for the dominant colours this summer, Kaprili highlighted that orange and ochre with blue and green shades are the main trends for the summer in 2020.

“In my collections, I use colour with enamelled or colourful gemstones,” Kaprili added.

Regarding the main materials used, we can find gold, organic materials like corals, turquoise, malachite, and bone.

There are also some styles and trends that will still exist and continue in summer 2020, such as the boho chic style, the colourful prints, and denim.

“My style is contemporary and fashionable, but due to my studies in antique jewellery, my inspiration always comes from vintage jewels, especially since I am influenced by the Art-Deco period, which is the most elegant period in fashion, especially in jewellery, in my opinion,” said Kaprili.

“My muse is always an elegant and cosmopolitan woman with a holistic approach to life,” Kaprili says.

Kaprili stressed that Louis-Francois Cartier and Coco Chanel have introduced to the fashion world, with their unsurpassed style and elegance, the prerequisite love and respect for the human body in combination with comfort and style.

To be fashionable is a way to express your contemporary self with your personal style. Sometimes fashion works like a guideline for people who are not sure about their personal preference. Fashion gives you new ideas, new perspective.

“For me, to be authentic and to use the fashion trend as an inspiration is the best combination,” said Kaprili.

“When I design my collections, I wish that women feel special while wearing them,” she added.

“My advice to women is first to have a heart beating while they are choosing a piece of jewel; second, is to keep it clean and in good condition; and last, to give something from her personality in the way that she is wearing it,” she says.

Dos and Don’ts

Concerning the Dos and Don’ts in jewellery fashion and choosing items, Kaprili suggested that everyday women can choose from trends that are closer to their personalities. When a woman feels authentic with her choices, then fashion becomes her best friend. Kaprili said that if your choice is jewellery, you must feel happy when you buy it, and you have to clean it often and keep it in a box.

“You have to ask details about the making process, the materials and the quality of the gemstones. Imagine yourself wearing it for years,” Kaprili advised.

She advises not to buy an item just because it is a fashion trend, but rather you must love it. Beloved jewels will become vintage after years. Moreover, do not buy when others force you to buy, simply choose with your heart and do not buy copies. She also added that among the mistakes that we should avoid while wearing jewellery is trying to set up colour and style, and looking for perfection.

Kaprili stressed that the best fashion trend is always the earrings because they show up the face, while the worst in her opinion is body chains.

In the beach, it is acceptable to wear jewellery such as gold chains, vintage jewellery, and in general thin and small Jewels.

As for the basic pieces of jewellery that a woman should have, she lists a wedding band if she is married, a diamond ring, an antique family jewel, a pair of pearl earrings, jewels from artisans, authentic designs and a lucky charm.

As for summer holidays, we can choose hoops, gold bangles, big necklaces and coins.

Kaprili said that her favourite piece from her collection is an eye-bracelet in rose gold and old cut diamonds completely handmade by her.

“My favourite designers are Cartier, David Webb, the famous American jeweller, Wallace Chan, the pioneer Chinese artisan jeweller, Illias Lalaounis, the iconic Greek jeweller and Minas, the renowned Greek jewellery designer,” she said, adding that the most fashionable and elegant female figures in her opinion are Coco Channel and Melina Mercouri, the talented Greek actress and singer.

Kaprili emphasised that many celebrities from Greece and abroad are wearing her jewels, but she would love to see the American fashion icon and interior designer Iris Apfel wearing from her collection.

Influences

“My design universe is influenced mainly by Greek tradition and the Mediterranean. Usually some flashes interrupt my thoughts with ideas that come and leave. Some of these ideas persist and keep coming again and again, then I have to take notes in my sketch book and I start working with them,” Kaprili said.

“Greek culture is very rich, and ancient Greece is my design world. My latest collection AspiS, which represents shields from 8th century BC, was inspired by ancient Greek culture,” she added.

“My childhood passion for creating jewellery led me to begin my journey by studying at the Mokume Silversmith and Jewellery Design School in my hometown, Thessaloniki. I later expanded my studies in Gemology and Diamontology at Gem-A, the Gemological Association of Great Britain, and was trained in Antique Jewellery in Sotheby’s in London. After finishing my studies, I returned to teaching for four years at the Mokume school as a start to my career,” she said.

“The most important piece of jewellery in my closet is an Art-Deco platinum diamond broach,” she said, adding that women were very fashionable in the 1920s and 30s during the Art-Deco period.

Speaking about the idea behind the Money-Money collection, she said that it was created after she inherited a vast coin collection from a beloved uncle who spent years traveling around the world colleting coins, and then the idea to rejuvenate life for these coins in a modern and special way was born. Kaprili also made a very special necklace design with an old Egyptian coin.

According to Kaprili, the innovative technique using electrostatic colour to coat the coins gave an impactful and artistic way of providing individuality to each and every piece created. The result was unique and fresh, and each coin case was carefully hand-crafted in silver with various sizes characterising the details of each of the coins.

Stones and dreams

Referring to some kinds of stones allegedly giving you luck or energy, “As a gemmologist, I could never say that gemstones have magical properties. As a jewellery creator and artist, I definitely believe that some gemstones could influence the owner,” Kaprili says.

“There are a lot of beliefs and histories around the gem world. My personal opinion is better to choose gemstones because of your taste and not as a talisman, otherwise you could fall victim to a fake buy.”

Jewellery design is considered one of the oldest professions. The goldsmith and silversmith in Greece is a very old profession, dating back some 8,000 years.

“My dream is for fashion to become a spiritual revolution. As for those who want to be designers, I advise them to study and to be trained before exposing themselves. A designer can be special when there is sincere intention and passion for design, art and fashion,” Kaprili said.

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