Figures of Speech
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Figures of Speech

We know a girl, who knew this guy. This guy wore jewellery. Piles of it. There were probably lots of thing not to like about said guy, but the jewellery was what really got to her. The gold necklaces, the skull necklaces, and, oh god, all the matching bracelets. Her friends joked that he wouldn’t need to talk dirty on the phone. He just needed to say, “I’m taking… my bracelets off,” and that was it. That would do it for her.
And that little joke is an all-too-truism about guys and jewellery. Most men either refuse to put it on (and of course, these are usually the ones who could actually pull it off, in an incongruous sort of way), and the ones who do put it on, put it on all wrong. They wear gino bling with shirts unbuttoned to the fourth or puka shells with Hollister tees. In a word: ugh. Jewellery on a man (or sure, for that matter, a woman) should be simple and personal, more signature than statement.
Which is why, when we were sent the website for seemingly the umpteenth local handmade jewellery line, and saw its moniker—Speech—scrawled nervily across the screen, our yawn turned to a little gasp of delight. And we were even more pleased and surprised to discover the kind of cool, original pieces we wouldn’t make a guy take off before bed.

When it comes to jewellery for dudes, Speech (named, adorably, in reference to founder-creator Michael Mercanti’s lifelong stutter) is talking our language. There are assorted anchors, perfect for drunken pirates, and heavy metal crucifixes for glam-rock revivalists. Lighter necklaces—like our favourite, a jet-black feather dangling from a silver sinew—have a tribal, talisman-like quality. Every piece is cool enough to wear with plaid flannels and Levi’s, which is the highest compliment our grungy hearts can give. Better still, for the girls, it’s all rather borrowable. (We don’t believe in buying anything for a guy that we wouldn’t want to steal back when he screws us over.)
To order, visit Prefer to try before you buy? Don’t miss the designer’s Fashion Week launch at 10 p.m. Thursday, October 23, at Strangelove (587 College Street). Bonus: the first 150 guests will be treated to a little free Speech—in the form of a silver pendant.
Photos courtesy of Michael Mercanti.