Metal & Smith: uncovering trends, talent and must-have items
Jewelry trade shows are a goldmine for uncovering trends and new talent. Although the Metal & Smith Show is targeted at retailers and press, it’s not considered a trade show by co-founders Lee Wright and Nicole Barclay. The difference, they say, is the intimate setting, providing for more individualized connections and discussions with stores and online and print magazines. While this may be true so is the fact that it is definitely a destination for the discovery of directions and emerging designers.
My visit to the first edition of show introduced me to some fine jewelry artists who I had never met before and this 2nd edition was no exception—I had the pleasure of meeting uber creative up & comers that we are sure to see more of in 2017. I also visited with the more established independent designers who I had not seen since the big shows in Las Vegas in June.
Here is what I found for all of you who are as jewelry obsessed as I am:
Trends to watch
-Lively boldly colored gemstones alone or mixed together.
-Talisman carved out of gemstones
-Blackened metals with pops of shimmery diamonds
-Organic shapes for classic such as hoops and bangles
-A new version of pieces with a historical past
Names to Know
If you haven’t heard of Eden Presley, Gwen Meyer’s collection named after her two daughters, you are missing out. The magical kaleidoscope of color—an exuberant and vibrant palette that pairs and mixes rare gemstones in unexpected, uplifting combinations are impossible to resist. Personally, I would have loved to snap up all, yes all of her mix and match earrings and figure out all of the combinations in which to wear them. Her statement pieces give a nod to antique and vintage designs with convertible day to night earrings in carved floral gemstones or elongated linear and angular styles.
One ring style slides onto one finger and wraps around another to accent vivid eternity bands and small color stone stackers.
The Eden Collective designed and curated by Eden Daniels is a mix of authentic antiques, re-imagined pieces such as bar pins that have become bracelets and brooches refashioned into pendants. The most compelling part of the collection is Eden’s original designs—which revolve around one-of-a-kind gemstones of opals, emeralds, old cut diamonds and dematoid garnet accents. Many of her rings can double as stackables or alternative bridal rings—and for those who prefer something old mixed with something new—Eden pairs Victorian and Edwardian engagement rings with her own organically carved wedding bands which lend a soulful, natural and delicate yet powerful femininity to the collection.
I have seen various collections by mother and daughter team Suneera Swarup and her daughter Ana before, but their newest group in blackened silver sparked by tiny diamonds, particularly in multiple variations of thin cuff bracelets that can be mixed and matched and piled up one or both wrists is one of their most comprehensive groups to date. There is a playful and nostalgic nod to herringbone, houndstooth and other menswear patterns and textures in this classical chic and ultimately wearable collection. The price points are also on target so that you can buy a bunch—they look best when combining many of the different motifs.
Although Roule & Company’s entire collection is steeped in the beauty and structure of architecture and industrial design, I immediately fell for the stud earrings that combine the signature wirework with precious gemstones such as these intricate yet highly versatile ruby pair. The collection is designed by husband and wife team, New York City based Christopher Roule and Laurin Lucaire.
Sarah McGuire Studio is a study in organic, freeform designs. Each piece is crafted by hand from recycled high karat gold and silver and responsibly sourced diamonds. Sarah is not a newcomer to the jewelry scene but tends to keep a low profile, allowing her jewelry speak volumes “without clamoring for attention” she explains. She sells in many of the best retail shops across the U.S. Although Sarah has always included the simplicity of hoops in her collection, these elongated ovals with their rough-hewn texture and naturalistic lines are on trend this season and are sure to be part of many women’s hoop dreams.
For over a decade Loriann Friedman has been designing under her label Loriann Jewelry. He collection echoes the ocean, from hot sands to high tide with gemstones cut to look like sea glass in the gentle and calming colors of marine life. She also fashions gems into talisman such as horns for good luck and has an affinity for stones that come out of the ground with a story of their own to tell—whether they be dentritic agates with their tree like motifs or other varieties which feature nature’s creations of woodsy scenes.
From authentic period jewelry to old-cuts of diamonds fashioned into antique inspired styles, Jewel By Grace features all one-of-a-kind pieces based on Grace’s philosophy that “ each jewel should be as unique as the woman who wears it.” Her passion for jewelry with history inspires her to create, find and convert pieces and stones from the past into practical, wearable jewelry for women of today. Styles such single and double drop earrings and a diverse range engagement rings in predominately old-mine and European cut diamonds of all sizes are the mainstay of her collection, whether genuine period pieces or influenced by Victorian through Edwardian/Belle Époque and Art Deco time periods. Grace realizes that some brides-to-be are looking for rings hat have never been worn by anyone else but have the character and presence of the past, while others want the charm and soulfulness of rings with history and therefore offers both in her collection.
Mollie Good the designer behind the Walter Faith collection creates some of the best chain links I’ve seen in a while. She also offers mixed metals with diamond accents and a chic, on-trend staples in two sizes and styles—chain link hoops and chain link stack rings. The collection provides the basics with a highly stylized twist, which everyone women needs in her jewelry wardrobes –those items that look great to just throw on and go.
Items To Buy
IO Collective by Jenifer Thai’s delicate and pretty play on Victorian padlocks in ultra feminine pave styles are easy to wear an layer with everything—available in diamond for enduring love and rubies for passion.
Camille Carnevale’s hoop earrings crafted from gold and set with turquoise is one of the best pair hoops with gemstones I’ve seen in 2017.
Julez Bryant’s diamond studded bangles in geometric shapes and mixed metals are meant to be piled-on. Buy one and put some of your other favorites on your wish list or purchase as many as you can. Our favorites are those with the baguette cuts.
Kataoka’s new small center diamond rings set on adjustable ball chain are the most comfortable flexible rings I have ever tried on. I have dubbed them the diva rings –for the 70’s disco ball vibe and the fact that just one is striking enough but you could don one on every finger or wear them stacked.
There is more than one item to choose from Alexis Kletjian–from her lotus pendants to her stack bangles but her hexagon shaped gemstone rings in different sizes had me at “hello!” this time around