(Left: Source Right: Source)
As I am sure you know, I have recently become much more interested in jewellery than I ever have been before. I have always known how big a role it plays in fashion, but only now have I started to realise just how important the right accessories can be to making an outfit feel 'finished.' Since starting to work some Saturdays in my favourite Hirst Antiques I have really begun to notice how much small details like earrings or a brooch can make to an outfit, and how they can really contribute to making a look as realistically vintage as possible.
Jewellery is of course still just as big in modern fashion as it is in vintage, but I have a feeling that with the start of a 60s resurgence becoming increasingly more apparent (cough Gucci A/W14, Prada A/W14, Miu Miu A/W14 amongst others) classic shapes and styles will start to pop back up on the market again. This is of course fabulous for us vintage fans, as it means the beautiful one off pieces we like to find in costume jewellery stores and antique markets will actually be coveted in the high fashion world too, and hopefully make us all the epitome of on-trend (we can only dream). With that in mind, it seemed perfectly coincidental that I was able to do an interview for the lovely Susan Caplan, who sells her wonderfully selected vintage and antique costume jewellery in places such as Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason, and of course in similar stores around the world.
Susan Caplan website is full of amazing vintage finds, but also organised into seperate sections so you can easily search by designer or by era, making finding the perfect piece a lot less of a hunt.
At the moment, I think the 60's pieces (pictured above) and pearls are the ones to watch, as both have been seen everywhere during last fashion week (and I'm sure will make an appearance at the next one too). Chanel even combined the two, adding bulky pearls to a very 1960's esque skirt suit at their latest show (pictured left: source). They are actually surprisingly versatile to wear too, as their neutral colour means they go with pretty much anything. The colour itself is definitely a good enough substitute too, so if you aren't up for wearing a typical string of pearls you could easily opt for jewellery made from mother-of-pearl, which has the same shimmer and shine but comes in a wider variety of shapes and is often easy to find in antique and vintage jewellery stores.
Below: Pearl drop necklace, Susan Caplan
"My sister and I were brought up to appreciate art and design. My father made a lot of the furniture in our house by hand (some of which I still have today) and my mother encouraged my passion for collecting. A year travelling the world on the QEII as a beauty therapist made it possible for me to nurture my hobby and I started to pick up trinkets and treasures from wherever the ship was sailing to that day. I read every book on antiques and vintage jewellery that I could and started an antiques business (when I didn't have room anymore at home for my purchases.) I realised that there was a real gap in the market for a quality edit of vintage jewellery and the brand, Susan Caplan, was born out of that."
2. Do you feel that Vintage is making a resurgence recently? Or is is always going to be something that is fairly in demand?
"The popularity of vintage has absolutely increased recently and I think it is something that will be part of the fashion arena permanently. Originally the demand for vintage was most notable among collectors but I believe that the understanding behind the quality of vintage pieces has allowed its popularity to transcend the collector market and move towards a more mainstream audience."
3. What is your favourite Vintage era, and what is it in particular that makes you like it?
"I'm asked this a lot and I wish I could give you a specific era but I really have an appreciation for all periods. With what I do I would find it hard to single out one era because I have seen spectacular pieces from each decade. I will say that my favourite pair of earrings are from the 1970s though."
4. How do you source your pieces? Do you pay attention to fashion forecasts, or do you just sell what you like?
"When I buy for our collections I think about our customers - from the fashion forward to the vintage enthusiast. So yes, I'm buying some of my pieces with catwalk trends in mind but I think it's very important that our ranges are always very diverse. I'm a firm believer that we should always have something for everyone because I want to make buying vintage as accessible as possible so more people can enjoy it."
5. With London fashion week coming up, do you have any plans? Are you going to be attending any shows, or hoping to have your jewellery worn by people that are?
"I actually won't be in London during Fashion Week, so I will catch the shows from my laptop this year but there will be people wearing our brand there - see if you can spot them!"
6. On your website, you say you 'grew up in a world of style.' What would you say your style is like now?
"I would say that my style is very comfort based. I wear a lot of Cos and Zara pieces and I'm rarely seen without a pair of silver statement drop earrings (the ones I have on today are 5 inches long)"
7. What would you say is your 'pearl of wisdom?' (The one piece of advice you have learnt that you now live by and would pass on to others)
"Follow your heart and be true to yourself."
I am sorry I have had a little blogging break recently - I got back from France and had only a few days to get my GCSE results (which I am very happy with!) and then go off to Reading Festival with my friends to celebrate. I of course had the best time in the world (what could possibly go wrong when you get to wear glitter and flower crowns 24/7?!) but am pleased to finally be home...especially as I have returned with the worst cold ever. And I'm starting college next week (eep) which I really do not feel prepared for. I'm sure I'll survive though, as I've been put into a form with people who are all also taking Art so I'm sure we will have fun and all be like the art freaks in Mean Girls (which has been my ambition for years).
I hope you are all having a good week...and here is a little Reading realness for you (sorry to the people in these pictures hehe)