Meghan Farrell of MF Jewelry truly does it all. Since launching her jewelry line in 2010, Farrell has somehow managed to also pursue her other passions, styling, theatre, and music. Incorporating anatomy and psychology with a sense of lost romance, MF Jewelry is full of stand-out, instantly essential pieces like her popular Skip Beat EKG Rings and Flight Earrings. We’re not alone in our admiration of MF Jewelry; music icons such as Rihanna, Michael Stipe, Binki Shapiro, and Alana Haim regularly wear pieces. On a recent sunny afternoon at her showroom in the East Village, we became better acquainted with Farrell (and her impressive vinyl and vintage book collections). -The Stone Set
The MF collection is a fusion of the medical sciences and love stories—and for a reason. Blame it on my parents: both professionals in medicine, they also highly valued my interest in the creative arts. So while I naturally excelled in math and science, I also became a hopeless romantic. The idea of the epic romance in literature and history always left a huge impression on me: the story of Cupid and Psyche, Daphne and Apollo, Romeo and Juliet, Heathcliff and Catherine, Elizabeth and Darcy, Daisy and Gatsby. Epic love. Romance. And then, the study of medicine was always around. So it is no wonder my jewelry started to take on this form.
My tagline “Romance Never Dies” fuses the idea of love and the lifeline. Romance is about the unexpected—those moments in love when someone or something catches you by surprise. I think the heartbeat is the only solid proof that love exists. In an age when there is no more letter writing and people rely on things like social media and texting, I think this idea of true romance is indeed being lost. Since jewelry is naturally a very romantic thing, I like to use it as a reminder that we should not forget, and to bring romance back.
Prior to jewelry design, I always thought theatre was my calling. I studied it at Sarah Lawrence College. During college, however, I found a listing for an internship at Teen Vogue in the accessories department with Aya Kanai. What began as an internship turned into an incredible two-year experience that forever changed me. Rebecca Resnick and Jessica de Ruiter were the accessories editors and became my mentors. They encouraged me to take classes in design, since I seemed to think creatively about jewelry. After graduation, I ended up as an assistant manager at Opening Ceremony, then as accessories buyer. Being exposed to such an incredible array of designers and employees with distinct ways of thinking was flat-out inspiring. The experience drove me to take jewelry classes at FIT. I found a mentor and took his 101 class, focusing on the projects and skills I wanted to learn: piercing and sawing, wax carving, and soldering. I was able to create a series of rings and the neurology pendants, showed them to Opening Ceremony, and the rest is history!
More than half the battle in any creative field is taking a big vision and truly believing that you can create it, without the attitude that you’re bound to fail. It was this that made me discover CAD. I wanted to make more detailed pieces, the EKG ring in particular, but was limited with my bench skills. It just wouldn’t work in wax. My mentors told me my vision was impossible, but I was set on creating it. I did research, found out about Rhino 3D, and worked with someone to create what became the Skip Beat Ring with the stone—and just as I envisioned it. It was a success, and now I never take it off.
About a year after, I took it upon myself to learn Rhino 3D, which was a pivotal point for the line. Now, instead of experimenting with wax, I do mainly everything on the computer. I created the most recent Locked Lips collection just by creating a shape and practicing commands. Within two hours, I had a fully merchandised collection. That was an enormously exciting thing for me; to realize that my limits of being creative as a jewelry designer had expanded. Nothing is more exciting than to see a piece at each of its stages, and then finally in full form. Watching a vision evolve into an actual object is the coolest feeling.
Seeing my pieces on people I admire is also always an exciting shock. My favorite was when Binki Shapiro wore my Cross Kiss Ring in a shoot for Oyster Magazine, wearing all looks from that season’s Rodarte collection. Then recently, Alana Haim (AKA “Baby Haim”) of Haim wore the Flight Necklace when the girls played Saturday Night Live. That was pretty epic, too!
Music has always been a huge part of my life and creative process. At the dinner table, we’d listen to Elton John, Meatloaf, Queen, Carole King, Natalie Cole, and Frank Sinatra—quite a diverse crowd! It was probably this that led me to DJ for a year, spinning 50’s and 60’s music. My top favorites have to be Tom Petty (number 1!), Patti Smith, The Beatles, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Sufjan Stevens, and Regina Spektor. As for the old obscure things, I love Inez and Charlie Foxx, Ike and Tina Turner, The Creation, The Troggs—a mixture of old R&B and garage rock. Lately, Lorde, Haim, and the Black Keys have been on repeat.
I’ve learned that the most brilliant designs are the simplest. So many of my designs come from happy accidents as I am designing on Rhino or playing with wax. The more you think about a concept, the less likely it will turn out well. I think the simpler, bold pieces with a solid thought last longer. And that’s the goal in design, right? To create something bold and new, but also timeless.
Photography by Stefania Yarhi.