Look for the rebellious dreamers at any of the best music festivals — Coachella, Outside Lands, F Yeah Fest, take your pick — and they’re undoubtedly adorned with the jaw-dropping eclectic draping necklaces, stacked cuffs and statement rings by Vanessa Mooney. The imaginative jewelry designer is probably right there too, the epitome of a rock muse wearing vintage cut-offs, tough ankle boots and shaking her blonde curly hair that’s the spitting image of a real life Penny Lane.
Growing up in an artistic family, creativity was cultivated in the Hollywood and Santa Barbara-bred designer from an early age. While other kids were learning about art from books, Vanessa was seeing it with her own eyes at the Louvre in Paris with her mother. Listening to music on the radio? Teenage Vanessa was frequenting live music concerts at the Whisky A Go Go, The Roxy and the Derby in Hollywood. After sharpening her natural fashion talents as a celebrity stylist (and a whole lot of vintage treasure hunting) Vanessa launched her eponymous line of intricate hand crafted creations that brilliantly melds all her never ending inspirations of art, vintage fashion and music… jewelry for lovers.
Before creating your own jewelry line, you were a stylist. Tell us about that. What made you want to start your own brand?
I had some great experiences styling some really beautiful, inspiring women and men. It opened my world and eyes up to such a creative and gorgeous industry of artists! It made me realize how easy it is to do what you love, make it your own, work hard for yourself and magical things will come from it!
We had the pleasure of shooting a collaborative lookbook at your home in Eagle Rock, aka “The Farmhouse.” We’re sure you’ve heard this before, but your home décor is truly picturesque and so unique. Where did you find some of the art and other gems found in your home? We want in on your secret!
Oh man, my ladies! My favorite thing in the whole wide world is treasure hunting, flee markets, coming across unique things from times past in my travels that I just feel a connection too! Whether it’s a painting of a woman I have never met, but all I want to do is look at her. Or an old leather chair from France made in the 1920’s, or rugs I know have seen their time in the sun. I love being surrounded by things that have a history and a story to them! It makes me feel at home and I love how it makes other people feel when they walk into my home!
While on the topic of your swoon-worthy home, your vintage closet is that of a dream. Tell us about your favorite piece of vintage clothing.
My vintage collection never ends...I’ve saved pieces from when I was just 14 years old telling my dad all I needed after school was $10 for that thrift store trolling! He loved me for it! I have to say at the moment all my velvet 90’s crop tops and high waisted Levi's cutoffs...oh and this 1950’s straight up cherry red tulle prom dress with a red satin belt that I can’t wait to wear again. Somewhere some how!
You have such a creative, beautiful mind. What or who do you turn to for inspiration when designing your next collection?
The people I cross paths with, the people I see on the street, in a bar, when I travel. Music, feelings, art and other humans inspire me so much! Sometimes I don’t know where my ideas flow from. It just opens up and I think all the moments and seconds in my life start to show themselves in the ideas I have.
We know you are an avid music festival attendee. What has been your favorite festival or performance to-date?
Wow baby babes! I have to say seeing Sam Smith perform at Outside Lands in one of my most favorite cities in all of the world with this boy, who has become one of my most incredible friends of a lifetime! It had to be the most beautiful experience I have ever had listening to music. I will never forget it. Watching him sing the most beautiful words as we both felt them so much... as our own! Looking into each others eyes feeling so many people do the same!
What is your go to look for day? For night?
A long super sweet but sexy dress!
What are you listening to now?
Who is your ultimate fashion muse?
There are so many I could never answer that question properly! Growing up I was obsessed with actresses from the 1940’s and then Drew Barrymore hahah! Oh man now it is ALL women! I stare all the time at the pretty ladies passing by with their unique style or personalities! I love more than anything seeing a woman feel good about themselves and love that they can show the world something different or inspiring just with what they wear!
What does it mean to you to belong to Amuse Society?
It means I belong and will always be friends with, and support rad ladies who know what it really means to do this fashion game right! Friendship, support, inspiration, lifting each other up to do what we all love! True love!