08 A La Mode

IT’S BEEN A FEW YEARS since we’ve heard “tweed jack­ets” and “Bos­ton” men­tioned in the same sen­tence, and to this we re­spond, “Fi­nally!” It’s about time this city moves be­yond its rep­u­ta­tion for stuffy fash­ion. Not only have lo­cal de­sign­ers shaped Bos­ton’s


Three lo­cal de­sign­ers set trends in this town.

Whether it’s a rough-hewn cuff or a dainty lar­iat, jew­elry de­signer So­phie

Hughes Stokes crafts pieces that de­mand at­ten­tion. She skill­fully wields an old­school ham­mer and torch un­til the rough edges and unique tex­tures fall be­tween rugged and re­fined, fem­i­nine and mas­cu­line. Metal bends to her will, and gems are care­fully placed.

Stokes’ stun­ning work has been fea­tured in InStyle, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. But it’s also the man­ner in which she fields her ma­te­ri­als that’s just as beau­ti­ful as the items they cre­ate.

As a mem­ber of Eth­i­cal Me­tal­smiths, she val­ues so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity. Trans­la­tion: Stokes takes pride in cre­at­ing pieces with­out un­nec­es­sary harm to min­ers or the en­vi­ron­ment.

She learned her tech­nique at her high school in Maine, and then stud­ied at Mass Art for a BFA in Me­tal­smithing. To­day, her South End ate­lier Ore is where she does her dirty work.

“I love work­ing with 18k royal yel­low gold. It’s al­loyed to make this re­ally rich, unique color, with cooler un­der­tones than peachy-col­ored stan­dard yel­low, but a bit warmer than green gold,” she says. “It moves like but­ter un­der my ham­mer, yet is in­cred­i­bly durable over time. I imag­ine it’s what Cleopa­tra’s jew­elry would have looked like.”

For Stokes, sus­tain­able means mak­ing jew­elry us­ing re­cy­cled me­tals and re­claimed stones when­ever pos­si­ble. “It’s lit­tle known that 20 tons of Earth have to be moved to mine the gold for a sin­gle wed­ding band,” she says. Stokes her­self re­cently got mar­ried. “My then-fi­ancé came to the stu­dio with me, and we forged our bands to­gether.” Avail­able: Ore Jew­elry, 80 Dar­mouth St., 617.247.7426

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