KOCHI: Neat. Geometric. Simple. Minimal. And beautifully handcrafted. That is Celia Palathinkal for you. No, not the girl, but the brand. Having created her eponymous label a year ago at 23, Celia's jewellery designs are pleasing, to say the least. Clear cut and precise with an intriguing back story, Celia's aesthetics can be seen on celebrities including Poornima Indrajith and Aishwarya Lakshmi.
How did the girl from Toc-H venture into the art of jewellery? "After my schooling, I specialised in accessories at the design course in National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai. Initially, I'd leaned towards furniture but somehow, I steered towards jewellery in the end, and liked it," quips Celia.
Made of brass that is gold plated, the label has six lines with bespoke, classic pieces. Classic. Another Celia trademark. "The designs that I create can be paired with both, traditional, and modern garments; they are edgy and contemporary.
I didn't want the jewellery to be restricted to a certain kind of wear," Celia shares. The Kochi-based designer provides an insight into her creative process. "One of my earlier collections, K Series, was based on kathakali. First, I chose the headgear as the main element.
Then I proceeded to derive the silhouettes that formed the base of the headgear. Kathakali-inspired jewellery usually comprises elaborate elements and colours; I wanted to give it a distinct twist by toning down details and giving it a minimal touch. I researched, sketched out the details, and worked on the form. I also update myself with the forecast and compile the various aspects together," she says.
In an age of social media platforms where creators compete for the right kind of attention, Celia's jewellery has carved a niche amongst others to keep herself in the scene. "Instagram has played an important role in getting my jewellery out there. However, I first showcased my collection at a show called Designers Edit, which is a platform for young and budding designers, organised by a couple of friends and myself. I also make sure I do shows in every city. I work on previous textures and see what variations I can come up with. Patience is the one thing I've learnt in this business," the 24-year-old says.
She does not want to limit herself to jewellery. "I'd like to venture into other products and explore varied metals and mediums like silver, glass, clay, gold and wood. In fact, I've just started my research for a new line - interactive jewellery," the enthusiastic designer says.
But why give her name to the label? "I didn't know what to name it, to be honest," Celia laughs. "Nothing sounded apt enough for the brand. Over time people began referring to it as Celia Palathinkal's jewellery, so the name stuck," she says. "I don't think you should put this down, I don't want to sound like an unfocused person," Celia giggles. She is far from unfocused. And clearly, Celia Palathinkal seems to have worked best.Currently stocked at Mantra, Ernakulam; Anchovy, Fort Kochi; Rahel, Thiruvananthapuram.