Manic for MANIAMANIA
ManiaMania might be one of the most-talked about accessories labels right now–for good reason. The moody, beautiful and captivating designs (typically of silver, bronze and crystals) are extension of their winsome creators, Australian art director and stylist duo Melanie Kamsler and Tamila Purvis. Joining forces in 2009, the pair launched ManiaMania to instant attention from press and international retailers—help in part to influential fans like Devendra Banhart, Alison Mosshart and Erin Wasson. “We like the way a piece of jewelry can become a part of your identity. It’s a great outlet for us to combine different creative components, and our skills in new ways,” explain the self-confessed jewelery addicts, who previously worked together at Russh magazine as fashion editor and art director before becoming art director for Australian mega-labels Sass&Bide (Kamsler) and stylist for Zimmerman (Purvis).
“We particularly love the end process of shooting the campaigns – that’s where it all comes together; the vision fully realised.” Their latest collection, entitled Reve, inspired by the late, flame-haired enigmatic artist Vali Myers, was shot by renowned photographer Barnaby Roper and modeled by Australian model-of-the-moment, Abbey Lee Kershaw. “Shooting with Barnaby was very inspiring. We’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredibly talented photographers and directors previously, but Barnaby’s techniques and processes are really exciting to be a part of,” says Kamsler. “Abbey Lee is Australian, and she was our dream girl for this project. Her personal style resonates with our brand, the bohemian 90s love child thing is great – no one can wear crushed velvet like her!” (The designers also had Roper create a short film of their collection which will premiere exclusively at Wmag.com in the next few weeks.)
Embodying the wild, vagabond spirit of Vali Myers, whose eccentric personal philosophy and creativity drew countless fans from Patti Smith and Marianne Faithfull, to Donovan, Salvidor Dali and Andy Warhol, ‘Reve’, functions as a concrete retelling of the artists life. Vali’s war-paint–intricate facial tattoos of her own creation inspired a young Patti Smith to have the artist imprint a small lightning bolt on her knee in New York’s infamous Chelsea Hotel (hence ManiaMania’s ‘Patti’ ring). The ‘Il Porto’ rings allude to Vali’s dreamlike residence in Positano, Italy, where she set up a wildlife sanctuary. The ‘Vagabond’ necklace and cuff draw on Vali’s gypsy-like nature, and the ‘Love on the Left Bank’ rings, pendant and bangle reference Ed van der Elsken’s cult photo-book of 1956, filled with romantic images of a young Vali while she lived, in all her penniless grandeur, on the streets of post-war Paris.
Stocked internationally at Maryam Nassir Zedah in New York and TenoverSix in Los Angeles, Bonadrag, Shopbop, Anica and many boutiques nationally in Australia. (Also available through themaniamania.com).
Photos Barnaby Roper