Chic Report

Crystals And Curiosities! With Maniamania's Melanie Kamsler

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What do you get when a pair of Australian magazine vets team up to expand their lust-worthy jewelry collection, ManiaMania, to include home goods? Designs that are far from homey! Check out the Curiosities collection, by designers Melanie Kamsler and Tamila Purvis. Kamsler dishes on the array of accoutrements including crystal-laden charms, brooding candles, and handmade soaps.

How did the whole ManiaMania brand begin?
Tamila and I have always worked in fashion magazines, which is where we met. We started working together at Russh Magazine in Australia when it launched; she was the fashion director and I was the art director. We worked together for a couple of years and realized we had a very similar, compatible aesthetic. We developed a plan pretty early on for a project we wanted to work on and that’s how the line came about.

So are you the art director of the line, and is Tamila the fashion director?
Creatively, we both do everything. It’s very much a combined effort, but our different skills come into play as well. We design the collection; we each design different concepts and then we combine ideas. It’s the same with campaigns: we style and creatively direct them together.

How does your magazine background help you scheme up brand concepts?
Our previous work has given us an idea of what people like to wear and how they like to wear it. With our magazine background, we kind of plan our shoots more like an editorial; we like to make them more elaborate and moody, not like your average lookbook. We like to tell stories about the girls that wear the pieces. It’s not just about the jewelry, but also about the mood it conveys.

How did the Curiosities collection come to be?
We’ve had a lot of ideas for this collection, because we both collect a lot of crystals, minerals and other ornamental pieces for our houses. Everything is kind of a showcase of all of our favorite elements. We’re quite obsessed with decorating our homes in a unique way, the same way you might adorn your body with jewelry.

What was the first item you designed in the collection?
The candle, which we did in collaboration with D.L. & Company. They call themselves modern alchemists, so it makes sense why we chose to work with them. The candle is very reminiscent of our jewelry design, and we actually based it off of our Immortals ring, which is one of our signature styles. It’s a carved metal cage ring with a crystal inside. The candle is in the same frame with a black wax inside.

What else is in the collection?
We’ve made crystal soaps which are cast from our own crystal collection. They’re very realistic.

Is the curiosities a onetime collection?
The candle is a onetime collaboration, but we certainly plan to expand the Curiosities collection in the future. 

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