Holiday Trunk Show Madness

Wow, Saturday. You were intense. I am way into the holiday spirit thing this year and as such, I spent Saturday with close friends packing in as much Christmas shit as is humanly possible in a 24 hour period of time. Chilly weather? Check. Coffee? Check. A roving group of gift-hungry comrades? Check. Little cash to spend, but a lot of love to communicate through purchased goods? Check. Searing pain from a wisdom tooth extraction that I tried not to let dictate my weekend? Uh-huh.

The day began with freshly-baked turnovers and coffee with friends (tres old timey, no?) around the small, but very present tree in my living room, then moved to the CCA(C) holiday craft fair where I downed still more coffee and found some pretty amazing prints to hand out as gifts (if you’ve never been to the CCA(C) craft fair, you really should– it’s really fun and the student artists make some amazing things), on to the tree lighting ceremony on Piedmont Ave and the holiday party with mulled wine at Issues— possibly the best magazine store ever.

The highlight of the whole day, though, may have been the amazing trunk show at Mercy Vintage, featuring local jewelry designers, Jess Feury and Hannah Weiss.  First of all, have you ever accidentally walked in on a jewelry trunk show? It’s like a magical experience wherein some unseen person has found and emptied a secret treasure trove. Huzzah!

Since I wasn’t expecting to cover anything for IBC while I was out and about, I didn’t have a camera, so all the pictures you see in this post are courtesy of Jess Feury’s camera and Kareem Worrell’s photographic know-how, which greatly surpasses my own. My amazing friend Amal Joury graciously let me use her neck as an impromptu jewelry display.

Jess and Hannah create very different work, but their table proved how complimentary their designs were to one another. Lovingly draped over chunks of driftwood and and fabrics that bore the noble marks of time, all of the pieces exhibited an attention to tactility and history– Many of Hannah’s pieces incorporated family heirloom antique keys.

I love that she removed the “key” part and used only the handle. There’s a lot of skeleton key action going on on necks all across the country, but none handle the form as gracefully as the above design does.

Hannah’s pieces also featured a lot of stone work. I rarely like jewelry designs that use stones– an arbitrary dislike, really– but the gentle airy quality with which Hannah treated them was refreshing. And elegant.

The varying lengths of the strands feels like layering without the heaviness of layering. Fun!

I’m not sure why, but this necklace somehow reminds me of Scarlett O’Hara, but without the racism and class issues. At any rate, I watched nearly everyone who came into the store try on this necklace and every single one of them looked incredible in it. A miraculous design feat, if ever there was one.

Jess Feury’s work was 100% enchanting. Utilizing organic shapes and antique lace, her designs made you want to hold them in your hands forever and wonder about what their previous lives had been. But you can’t do that. You have to put one on and feel the awesomeness of being the only person in the world (apart from Jess) to have a necklace like this.

Look! Asymmetry at its best! I would wear that necklace everyday and I would only ever wear black so as to show off the detailing of the lace work.

The other thing that I really enjoyed about Jess’ work is the inclusion of contradictory textures and materials. It created a feeling of weight and movement that was really nice.

Delicate white lace and beading under looped chains is a pleasant surprise! It’s contemporary and vintage at the same time. It spans time.

Though not lace and brocade (please note, I may not fully understand what brocade is), this was one of my favorite pieces on the table.

The fact that half of the necklace happens on your collar bone is so great! I didn’t get a chance to ask her if the metal flower pendant is antique, but it certainly feels that way. The fact that it’s paired with a tusk and a stone of unknown (to me) identity is somehow deeply pleasing.

And so concluded my Saturday of coffee, pain relievers, Christmas cheer mania, and local artisanship. Thanks to Jess and Hannah for making incredible jewelry and for letting me bogart the pieces for my photographic needs. You can own all of these lovely pieces and more by checking out Hannah’s Etsy page and by emailing Jess directly at

Don we now our gay apparel.


About Michael von Braithwaite

Does it look like I'd wear it on a boat, at an eccentric person's estate or accompanied by a peacock on a chain? Yeah, I'll probably buy that.

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