The radical liberation of Sam Smith
Sam Smith lets out a gasp. In a calm, undecorated third-floor studio near the British Museum, the jewellery designer Andrew Bunney has revealed the cast of a large rose-shaped ring. The plan is for a finished version to adorn Smith’s microphone-holding hand on the next tour (and for the mic – as well as a grand piano – to be made out of black leather). “My God it’s heavy,” Smith says. The petals are perforated with nearly 500 tiny holes, each of which will be filled with a diamond, a process likely to take a week. The ring, based on the one Samantha vies for at auction in the Sex and the City movie, will be inscribed with the digits 969 – Samantha’s bidding card number. “I like jewellery that has secret meanings,” Smith explains. “It feels so romantic, but it’s also confidence building.”
Smith is in the midst of a renaissance, a new public image propelled by private sensations: the weight of a ring, the scent of a leather microphone and how it’ll wear with age. To Smith, this attentiveness is in dialogue with recent sessions in the studio. “I’ve really made sure that inside the music there’s a reason for everything,” they explain. “I’ve been intricate with the way I’ve made it. I want it to be the same with jewellery and all my clothes, so that when you look deeply, there’s a message behind every single part.”
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