Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Last night I went to see Devendra Banhart play and even though he's cut all his hair off, he was still dreamy and funny and fabulous. I saw Mania Mania designer Mel Kamlser there in a long wine-coloured velvet 1930s dress. She showed me her new ring. "The stone belonged to Vali," she said. She was talking about Vali Myers, the subject of a feature I wrote in the new issue of Harper's Bazaar Australia. What you think mostly when you hear about expatriate Australian artist Vali Myers is: what a character! And then you think: Where have all the characters gone?

It is tricky to categorise this painter, diarist, dancer, eccentric, animal magnet and vagabond muse, although she was all these things and more. Myers was one in a million back when that meant something, before everyone got so busy referencing hipster this and bohemian that without really meaning it. You want boho? Myers will give you boho! She spent three decades living in an Italian ravine with 30 dogs and a donkey. Her best friend of 14 years was a fox – a real one, which she carried over her shoulder like a living, breathing stole.

Vali is the inspiration behind Mania Mania's Reve collection. It's divine. Oh, and Devendra loves it too - Mel gave him a Mania Mania Lightening Bolt ring. I think Vali would approved.

Pics, above: Mania Mania's Tamila Purvis and (on the right) Mel Kamsler; Mel & Devendra, Devendra pre-chop. Pics, below: Vali and jewellery from the Reve collection.