You obviously know who Vanessa Mooney is at this point…right? She’s the designer behind our latest editorial, recently teamed up with a certain Live FAST favorite to create her latest lookbook, and is constantly fusing different eras, continents, and styles into her jewelry to create unique pieces. If perhaps you’ve been neglectful of your fashion upkeep lately, now is a great time to familiarize yourself with Vanessa Mooney Jewelry.
I recently went to The Farmhouse, her home/studio property out in Eagle Rock to interview Vanessa and tour her digs. A country-style desert influenced sanctuary nestled away from the bustling LA streets, Farmhouse douses its visitors with creative motivation upon entrance. Dark hardwood floors, lush rugs, a wraparound porch, plus a kiddie pool for her two pups. It’s simply picturesque, enough to make any creative type envious.
Live FAST Mag teamed up with Vanessa Mooney to present the “Illuminations” collection lookbook release party this past weekend. Set at the Farmhouse, it was a warm evening of fresh sangria, dancing and exchanges of inspiration. Of course we had some dear friends, Kimberly Genevieve, capture the event. Check out the photographic highlights from the shindig below and get to know Vanessa Mooney – this is just the beginning of a beautiful thing.
LF: Can you describe for me how your creative eye developed?
VM: I remember traveling with my mother when I was young – she was very much a worldly lover. She always introduced me to the people she was around – from musicians and artists to hippies. She took me to the Louvre in Paris when I was really young. When we came home, she gave me watercolors and paper and I began painting what I had seen..that really influenced me when I was young. Movies also had a lot to do with my concept of fashion.
LF: What were you doing before you began creating jewelry full-time?
VM: I represented fashion, car, and music photographers as well as really great stylists who worked with names like Jennifer Lopez and Lily Allen. I traveled with Jennifer Lopez for about six months, working in styling.
LF: I know you’re self-taught – how do you feel that impacts your creative process?
VM: I think that I have been unaffected by the industry…when I first started designing jewelry and really went for it, I was living downtown (Los Angeles) in a loft. I didn’t know anything other than the brands I knew because I appreciated fashion. I think it has made me learn really fast and has made me look at the industry in more of a creative way. Every day is new in terms of how I can expand – there was no preconceived plan for this.
LF: Who/what are your top all time influences?
VM: Music, painters, revolutions.
LF: How do you feel living in Los Angeles influences your creativity at this point?
VM: When I design, I think of day to night. In Los Angeles, we are all over the place. We have all sorts of people, we do all kinds of things, we love to travel, we have the mountains and the ocean but we also love to be out at night with our friends. So I like to design pieces that move from day to night.
LF: What inspired the “Illuminations” collection?
VM: I feel as if some of these pieces have an Indian feel, I started designing some of these pieces while I was in Bali last year. But also, New York had a lot to do with this collection…I wanted this collection to show a bit more sophistication, a bit more simplicity with a sexy edge. I wanted it to feel a bit more universal, like a girl in New York could look at that and say “That’s so great” instead of looking at the styling and automatically saying “Oh, that girl goes to Coachella”.
LF: What’s the last adventure you went on?
VM: Guatemala was probably the last big adventure I went on, which happened last August. I was in Antigua, it was spectacular. I was with some friends, the girls from For Love and Lemons, we had done a collaboration of jewelry together so we went to Guatemala. They were shooting their lookbook, so I came and we named the collection with the jewelry, we sat in little cafes and thought about the names for the pieces and what they meant for us, as well as the story of our collaboration together. While they were shooting, I roamed the marketplaces and found the most beautiful things…I brought back lots of textiles, all kinds of cool things.
LF: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
VM: When I was younger and facing questions of who I am, my family gave me the advice of really just be true to yourself, care for yourself, don’t care about what others think of you. That was some really good advice I have held on to.
LF: What’s one piece of advice you’ve had to learn the hard way?
VM: You have to let others be themselves as well. You cannot try to change people into someone they are not.
LF: What are your top songs/albums you have on repeat right now?
VM: I find this question so hard because I’m really eclectic. Right now, I am really into blues rock and Elvis. But, it changes every day. I love rock & roll from the 60’s and 70’s, big band music, jazz, even top 40 stuff.
LF: How fast do you live?
VM: I would like to live faster. I feel like I live pretty fast for the normal human being, but I am always pushing myself and would always love to live faster. I would like to experience more in one minute than I think a lot of people would like to experience. I love new experiences. I love challenges, excitement, barriers to overcome because I believe that the faster you live and the more barriers you overcome, the happier you are.