With less than a month to go to the Suffolk Fashion Show, we meet the retailers showcasing their collections on the runway. Here we speak to Caterina Wills Jewellery about her inspirations behind her statement pieces.
When did you start making handmade jewellery and what inspired you to begin?
I often found that I had trouble finding the perfect piece of jewellery to complete my outfit, so I taught myself how to make a few pieces for personal use. After a while, mums at the school gate were asking me to make jewellery for them, and it just took off from there.
What materials do you use and how do you source them?
For my designs I like to mix up textures and use a range of materials. For example, I’ll use ribbon, leather and lace together, then add some crystals or gemstones, followed by some spikes to give the design a risqué, edgy feel. I source them mostly online in numerous countries and try to use independent bead suppliers where I can. Finding stock usually involves hours of searching for something that will suit my ideas.
What is your inspiration behind your designs?
This is a question I get asked so often, and it’s always the most difficult one to answer. For starters, I never have a plan or draw designs. The design stage for me is sourcing unusual beads and components, which then in turn inspire the design. Sometimes it’ll be the purchase of a new outfit that will inspire a design, but other times they just kind of ‘happen.’ The finished outfit, however (often a clean cut or block colour outfit), is usually in mind when I design. I love just picking up strings of beads, some leather, lace, ribbon and components and then creating layers until a new design is born.
Why did you decide to focus on statement pieces in particular?
I see my jewellery as a central element of an outfit, and will often plan an outfit around a piece. I find that making jewellery is not only really relaxing for me but a real outlet for creativity and emotion.
Focusing on statement pieces allows me to really let my imagination take over and create a piece of wearable art, or at least that’s what I hope they’ll turn out to be. Making these pieces inspires and excites me. Watching the design grow from one strand to multiple layers, adding a gemstone here, a gecko there, then a chunky leather chain or maybe some crystals for sparkle. The possibilities are endless.
What do you plan on showing on the catwalk at the Suffolk Fashion Show?
I launched my website, which is currently showcasing my Autumn/Winter collection, earlier this year, so I plan on showing a few pieces from that collection, but I’m also very excited to be creating a couple of one-off catwalk pieces exclusively for the show. I won’t give away too much, though. You’ll have to come to the show to see the creations!
Why did you decide to get involved with the Suffolk Fashion show?
The Suffolk Fashion Show popped up on my news feed on Facebook earlier this year, and I was enthusiastic to get involved. I feel the Suffolk Fashion Show will be the perfect platform to show my creations and advertise the brand. I can’t wait to work with a team of likeminded creatives and see my creations on the catwalk.