Just pastel tones and gold. An exclusive feature showcasing Margaux Mahnes’ latest jewels collection and Nastya’s pure beauty, photographed by Marco Giuliano and styled by Anca Macavei.
Tell us more about your personal background, and how did the brand Margaux Mahnes came about, and what’s the story behind his name.
Since my childhood I have always had a strong interest in fashion and craft. Later I was also very attracted by architecture and I decided to studied it first.Then I realised this discipline wasn’t the passion I was looking for, and that jewellery design could be exactly what I have always wanted. A wonderful and precious craftwork linked to fashion. After two years of studies and internships in Belgium, I started to develop my own jewels during 1 year and a half. And little by little naturally my envy to start my own brand grew, and I launched it in November 2016. Margaux Mahnes is about authentic and strength. For me, a jewel is precious, intimate and unique. As my mother is, and this is why I took her last name for my brand.
Where is your minimal research taking you today and what about your attraction towards femininity, purity and elegance?
This approach which is reflected in my creations came because I love when things are simple but so well done and pure that the result is powerful. I’m completely for the «less is more». It’s a kind of honesty for me. My leitmotiv when I work is doing jewels that follow at its best the women and the shapes of the body. I want to sublimate the beauty of women as much as I can throughout my creations. I’m glad to hear that you see femininity, purity and elegance into the brand, this is exactly what I want to highlight because that is, for me, what women are.
You are currently based in Bruxelles, Belgium, is there something that keeps you grounded to this place or have you ever thought to move your brand elsewhere?
I’m very attached to Brussels, it’s the city where I was born and grew up, so, naturally I wanted to based my first studio here. I’m very lucky to be here also for being close to Antwerp, a real mine of gold for fashion and jewellery design.
However I’ve already thought about moving my brand somewhere else, and for the moment I really want to move it to Paris for its unique energy and qualities. But without giving up my studio in Brussels and the city.
Which is the drive behind your work? Why do you do what you do?
In life so much things can be ephemeral, the strength in jewels is that it’s an intimate object that we keep with us for ever.
It’s a moment, a memory of our life that we keep in mind and which we shall never separate. When we choose a jewel it’s not for necessity, it’s for something else, something stronger, and it’s these things that allow my work to go forward.
With what materials and techniques are you currently experimenting?
For the moment I’m experimenting the «vermeil». I make it «visible». Usually a jewel in «vermeil» is in silver and completely covered by gold plated. I started to work on this because I wanted to find a way to highlighted all the metals. My work is focused on materials rather than symbols.
Do you have any major influences in relation to your jewellery practice?
My major influences are in fact in a lot of different practices, but for the time being I would say the artists Kandinsky and Frantisek Kupka. I also have a huge crush for the actress Chloe Sevigny and the universe of the photographer Juergen Teller.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years now?
In 5 years, I would dream to see myself between Antwerp, Brussels, Paris, Milan and London. Involve my studio and my work in some of these cities, and I wish I have discovered Asia and the US.
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Make-up/hair: Giuly Valent / @giulyvalent
Photography assistant: Lian Jonkman / @lianilara
Model: Nastya at Wonderwall Management