Jan 09, 2014 5:57PM

Ella Maximillion 'Moon Species' Lookbook & Interview

Talking rock Gods and Egyptian Queens.

Sydney jewellery label Ella Maximillion may be young, but their ethereal silver chokers, earrings, bracelets and ankle armour can be seen on crystal-loving girls all over town. The dream of Sydney designer Ella Haines, the label's new collection is called 'Moon Species' and it's an ode to the raw freedom, power and sex of Goddesses and ancient Queens, gifted to rock Gods like Hendrix and Morrison, and now here, for any girls taking. Shot by Gavriel Maynard and featuring the elfin Lydia S, the Moon Species lookbook is worth discussing with Ella.

Jerico Mandybur: How long have you been designing jewellery?
Ella Haines: I'm pretty fresh!
Why is this collection called 'Moon Species?'
I like weirdos. Have you ever felt like you might be from another planet? The 'Moon Species' are people who know they are different and like that they're weird. 
What is your work space like and how do you like to work? 
I'm kind of like a bowerbird; obsessed with blue and shiny things. There is a giant Quartz Crystal and a mirrored pyramid, a kids galaxy light that disperses stars on the walls that have posters of clouds and sky. I have no concept of time so to get in the zone, I put a vinyl on repeat. The Smiths or Kurt Vile in the mornings. In the evenings, psychedelic vibes like Babe Rainbow, Moon Halls, Sunbeam Sound Machine, The Los Tones, and The Otchkies.
Can you talk us through the collection's concept?
The aspiration is for girls to feel 'cool-equality' — the kind of cool that is so desirable in all the heart throbs; James Dean, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Johnny Depp, River Phoenix. Their confidence and carelessness is what we worship. Girls once had these dreamboats as wall paper on their bedrooms. Dreaming of being pretty enough to be in their arms. But the 90s have resurged and this time girls have the cool.
Do you have a muse or a collection of inspiring people in your life?
I love designers like Simon Porte Jacquemus and photographers like Gavriel Maynard who are capturing that raw 'cool' in girls and empowering them by exposing them without makeup, looking comfortable in sneakers or comfortably naked. Gav can make any girl look cooler and sexier than James Dean. 
What's the best and worst thing about designing in this medium?
When I first learned to make jewellery, it blew my mind that you could make anything you could imagine with three pliers, your two hands and one rock.
If you could live on the moon and could take anyone with you, who would you take?
Noel Fielding who plays The Moon in The Mighty Boosh. With his face covered in shaving foam he would sing songs about himself and borderline incoherent things and keep us cheerful as we try to lick the sun's back.
Do you believe in the healing power of crystals or do you just like the way they look?
When I began making custom crystal jewellery, girls chose their crystal and I would make it into jewellery for them. Only once it was finished and hanging around their neck did we read about the property of the crystals they had chosen. So far, everyone has been pleasantly surprised by the relevance of their meaning. Some even found amazing coincidences!
Why does everyone look good in a choker?
Without jewellery, a Pharaoh or Queen is just a regular person. Adorned with a Choker they became Gods. The Rock Gods in history knew this; Jimmy Hendrix and Jim Morrison covered their bare chests in necklaces and chokers manifesting freedom, sex and greatness. Crystals are hundreds of thousands of years old and you are reconnected with that ancientness.
What's your favourite piece from the 'Moon Species' collection?
The Original and catalyst of Moon Species is the Sphinx Small Moon Choker.
The Swarovski moon reflects rainbow light on your neck or everywhere if you dance around in the sun. I love the empowering thick masculine chain, like the kind that rappers layer or fat, shirtless Italian men wear on their chests. I wanted to combine this masculine confidence with the essence of an ancient Goddess or Egyptian queen. I'm stoked to see that girls wearing the crystal chokers embody that confidence.
Photos: Gavriel Maynard