Remember a few months ago when we talked about Metal and Smith, the ultra-cool new fine jewelry buying event that launched in September? Well, the event just had its second iteration, and it was even more fabulous than the first.
The clean white walls and bright windows filled with streaming sunlight that I loved so much from the September event remained the same, and I was glad of it. Few things make a blogger happier than an event with natural lighting.
Metal and Smith’s January edit featured a selection of returning designers from the first event, as well as quite a few new additions. One of the new designers was Gigi Ferrante, the brand responsible for the colorful masterpiece above. The designer herself is just as lovely as this particular design: she’s endlessly bubbly and warm and I could happy have talked to her for the entire event.
This gorgeous thing is from Gigi Ferrante’s new Regalo collection, which is resplendent with diamonds, pink sapphires, and pink tourmalines in rose gold. It also matched my nails perfectly.
Eden Presley was another Metal and Smith newcomer – it’s her stunning gemstone rings I’m wearing over the cupcake tray in the photo above. I’ve admired Eden Presley’s work for years, but I’d never seen it or met her in person before.
Which reminds me of another improvement I enjoyed at the January event: I think there were more frequent champagne and cupcake trays circulating. Either that, or I accidentally befriended one of the waiters and he took excellent care of me.
The Metal and Smith January edit brought vintage and antique brands into the mix for the first time!
Obviously this delighted me, especially because it meant I was reunited with one of my very favorite jewelry people, Grace of Jewels by Grace. We sipped champagne and talked about things that had to be deleted from the audio of the videos I was taking (due to severe inappropriateness) and I piled on as many of her earrings as I physically could.
The stud at the top is my own, because it’s a newish piercing and I can’t take it out yet. I think this is its blog debut, actually. Surprise!
Here’s another killer piece from Jewels by Grace: an antique diamond ring with an emerald halo.
This ring…it speaks to me. It sings to me. I look forward to dreaming about it.
The biggest improvement between the September Metal and Smith event and the January Metal and Smith is one you won’t be able to see from this blog post: the January event had more space. The previously one-room #notatradeshow expanded into a second space for January, making it even easier for buyers, stylists, editors, and other guests of the show to work their way between the fascinating array of designers’ display tables.
I, personally, enjoyed having ample room in which to swan around with borrowed jewels, endlessly seeking the best pockets of lighting in front of neutral walls.
This cuff comes from a brand with a truly unique story: the Shompole Collection’s manufacturing is based in Kenya, and they go to great lengths to support local charities and artisans.
This particular piece is inspired by the brand’s commitment to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an elephant orphanage in Kenya. It shows the moment of an orphaned baby elephant being adopted into a new herd – the orphanage’s goal for each baby it helps to raise.
Even better: Shompole Collection backs up their words with actions by donating 10% of this collection’s sales to the elephant orphanage.
Jewelyrie is a brand I enjoyed meeting at the previous Metal and Smith. The designer has been hard at work for the past few months, and her new pieces totally blew my mind.
Just look at these little rings – could they be any prettier?!? Tiny gold and diamond beauties, made truly special by the twisted wire effect that is Jewelyrie’s signature.
My one regret about Metal and Smith’s January edit is that I didn’t have time to see more brands: as always when I go to any jewelry event, I spent too much time getting to know individual designers (both their work and their personalities) and so I didn’t get to see everyone who was there. I think that’s how it’s always going to be.
I’d rather have significant interactions with 20 people than overly-brief conversations with 50. I did leave with a strong feeling of FOMO, though. So it’s good that Metal and Smith is coming back in May!
Speaking of people I enjoyed chatting with…here I am with the incredibly wonderful Loriann of Loriann Jewelry!
I’m also wearing about 12 of her necklaces here, because I loved them all so much I couldn’t stop piling them on. Loriann and her jewels are so magnetic that at one point, not only was I there, but Cheryl Kremkow, Beth Bernstein, and Tanya Dukes were all there too. An impromptu press party!
While I was at Loriann’s table, I actually discovered a completely new (well, new-to-me) gemstone: astrophylite. Isn’t it gorgeous??
If you’re a regular reader, you might recognize this bangle: it’s a glorious example of Vitae Ascendere’s metal lace technique.
I’m so glad I finally had a chance to see this great brand’s work in person. The pieces looked how I was expecting them to look in terms of form, but I underestimated how delicate the fretwork of gold was going to be. It sparkles, too; the surface catches the light.
The always-fabulous Wendy Brandes participated in her first Metal and Smith with the January edit as well. This is her deliciously opulent Marie Antoinette ring, with a custom-cut 27.64 ct amethyst and 2 carats of tsavorite in 18k gold.
Wendy was wearing this ring the first time I ever met her, but I’ve never been able to photograph it before. For a fun piece of my personal jewelry history, here’s Wendy’s 2014 blog post about that night.
Another returning Metal and Smith favorite: Anabel Higgins!!
I was freaking out over this huge, antique fob-inspired pendant. Isn’t it magnificent? Bold, to be sure, but so well executed.
Swati Dhanak Jewelry was one of my very favorite new discoveries from the January edit of Metal and Smith. Swati’s collection has several different lines, each of which uses yellow gold, white gold, and diamonds to explore the way that positive and negative space interact in a different way.
These two bangles are from the Shards collection. My favorite thing about them is that they’re both balanced so that the design element sits on the side of the wrist, rather than the top: playing with expectations of form is Swati’s specialty.
These two rings are from Swati Dhanak’s Splatter collection – inspired by the way paint would drip on skin. I was obsessed with this pair of rings together; I spent a good five minute trying on different ways to wear the midi ring and its larger cousin together.
So fantastically unique! And impressively comfortable, especially for a collection that frequently sits on the body in a unexpected ways.
I love, love, love Alexis Kletjian’s initial charms. The rich gold, the vivid gemstones: this is doing personalized jewelry right.
These fantastic bracelets are also by Eden Presley – aren’t they great?
They’re customizable, too: they can say anything you want them to. There’s a lot of jewelry that can show a word or two, but being able to include an actual sentence is rare.
I’m lucky enough to own a pair of Sophie Ratner earrings, but I’d never met the designer or seen her whole line in person before the Metal and Smith January edit. Holy moly, her work is fantastic.
Her designs are even more delicate, even more precisely worked than pictures suggest. I think once Sophie finds the right stores to carry her line, word of her fantastic designs will spread quickly.
This gorgeously graphic antique brooch is from Jewels by Grace too! I just couldn’t resist. Put this on your lapel and I will like you, pretty much no matter who you are.
These skull charms are brand new from Alexis Kletjian and everyone I know is obsessed with them. They’re tiny and perfect and come as a slide or pendant-style.
Buy one now, before your friends have them first and you have to be jealous of them.
This glorious thing is a cuff bracelet from Stella Flame.
I’m working on a full post for you about the fabulous Stella Flame (who is exactly as fabulous as her name suggests), so sit tight and expect to see more of her treasures in the next couple of weeks.
Something truly luscious to finish up with: this stack of tourmaline cabochon rings from Mimi Favre Studio are so juicy that I just want to eat them up.
This designer’s sophisticated, slightly organic aesthetic really appealed to me. She had some fantastic gemstone earring, too – keep an eye on my Instagram for a video of those.
Thank you so much, designers of the Metal and Smith January edit, for being so welcoming to me!! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all, and I can’t wait to see who I get to meet next at the May event.
This sponsored post is brought to you by Metal and Smith.
Please note that I also worked for Metal and Smith on a consulting basis, assisting with brand selection and outreach during the event planning process.