Winner - Vigin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, Fashion Film Series 2014
Australian Cinematographers Society - BRONZE AWARD
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MANIAMANIA excavate fallen empires and lost film to explore ideas of transformation for their new
range Babylon. Undertones of morbid exotica are derived from a central muse, the stage actress and first
sex symbol of the movies, Theda Bara. The regular girl from Cincinnati was nicknamed The Serpent of the
Nile for her controversial appearances in more than 40 silent films. The creation and metamorphosis of
her character shares a likeness to mythical phenomena such as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, an arid
city come luscious rainforest and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
In MANIAMANIA tradition bold statement pieces are seen with a new expansion of the delicate range.
Theda’s costumes for her iconic role in the 1917 film Cleopatra are transfigured into cocktail rings,
headpieces and bracelets of art deco styling for the Ancient Wonder, Empire and Hollywood pieces. The
Theda choker and ring summon her strong, absurd and vampirish personality on and off stage. Double
layered finger rings are adorned with tiny crystals and joined with chains to suggest bondage undertones
for the Epoque and Vixen styles. Deadly sized biker rings feature scarabs, a sacred icon of Theda’s mythical
origin, Egypt. The claws of lust that encase rectangular stones in the Babylon story are inspired by the
scandalous book, Hollywood Babylon by the experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger.
For Babylon Brass, Silver, Smokey and Clear Quartz are purposefully integrated. MANIAMANIA continue their
enquiry into elemental forces with the introduction of Chlorite, a stone available in many shades and with the
appearance of a ghost-like garden. Its vibrations are said to assist with creation and expansion.
The essence of theatre and Theda’s transformation into character are captured in an intimate campaign
starring new model and striking reincarnation Ruby Jean Wilson. Moods of undress offer a behind the
façade look at the real person between costume changes. Inspired by the lushness of Babylon and Theda’s
sets, Wilson acts with macabre companions such as skulls, live snakes and owls. Alongside stills shot by
photographer Darren McDonald MANIAMANIA continue to explore the medium of film and moving image
technology through a collaboration with cinematographer Velinda Wardell.
Collection now available at themaniamania.com