Growing up in a ‘new-age’ household, Aussie art director Melanie Kamsler was exposed to mystical elements, like crystals, early on. After working at Vogue Australia, Oyster Magazine and Russh Magazine, she teamed up with stylist Tamila Purvis to form the Maniamania jewelry line in 2009. Described as ‘Mystical adornment for modern times’, the pieces combine a cosmic vision with fashion-forward, minimalist design, making Maniamania one of most talked about accessories labels.
In anticipation of Melanie Kamsler’s appearance at Bergdorfs for a pop-up event this Thursday through Saturday (June 4-6), we spoke with her about inspiration, go-to style, and the importance of staying present.
Where do you draw inspiration for your collections?
Magic, mysticism, occult symbology, astrology, astronomy (specifically the moon), crystal minerals and their associated energies, art nouveau, surrealism, Georgian and Victorian era jewelry. We also both connect deeply to the ’60s and ’70s in aesthetics and culturally, and of course to the music!
What’s the story behind the famous ‘Immortals’ Ring?
The Immortals ring has really lived up to its name. It’s a quite gigantic bold crystal statement ring from our very first collection, that we loved but we’re pretty sure no one else would ever wear, to be honest. However it became our signature style and carried on to this day. It was also the favorite ring of our friend Abbey Lee who we’ve worked with several times in our look books, as well as dressing for events and on a limited edition “Abbey” ring with amethyst.
Is there one Maniamania piece that you consider an all-time favorite?
I guess ‘the Immortals’ ring would have to be it. It’s had many incarnations with different stones set in it, which are all so beautiful and to different effect that it’s hard to choose, and you somehow need them all.
What famous figures would you love to see wearing your designs?
As icons to us, I’d love to see Anita Pallenburg or Patti Smith in our pieces. We gifted Patti a ring once that was named after her. It would be great to see our fine jewelry on the red carpet also.
What is your most memorable career moment, so far?
Probably when we first got an article in the New York Times. That was surreal. Shooting Lizzy Jagger on our recent fine jewelry campaign was also wonderful, she was the perfect embodiment of the collection and brand.
What’s your go-to look that makes you feel the most powerful?
My vintage ’50s leather jacket over most things usually does the trick. My Chloé studded boots also are something I’ve worn for several years and I guess they also have the same affect. They were so good, they brought them back as an ongoing style!
Must have for SS15?
The gold ‘Equinox’ moon ring, set with opal and white diamonds. It’s dainty enough to wear everyday but enough of a statement to encapsulate the Maniamania spirit.
If you weren’t a jewelry designer, what would you be?
I’d quite like to get into vintage/antiques or homewares somehow, as I love collecting and looking at beautiful old objects. I also have a dream to make a documentary some day, about an artist that really inspires me.
Words you live by?
Be Here Now. – Ram Das
What can we expect at your pop-up at Bergdorf Goodman this Thursday through Saturday?
Bergdorfs curated a selection from our fine jewelry collection, which includes 14k yellow gold rings and necklaces set with opals and white diamonds. There is also an edit of our main line collection for Spring, called ‘Luminary’ – which is silver, gold vermeil and brass pieces set with combinations of natural quartz, dusty purple agate and a chalky mint green stone called chrysoprase, all beautiful summery tones.