Interview
Sculptural Visions

Amanda Assad Mounser

We chat to the MOUNSER founder about her artful approach to jewellery design

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Amanda Assad Mounser, founder and creative force of the new jewellery label that carries her name, has carved a niche with her own brand of abstract minimalism. Exclusive to Liberty London, the New York-based designer’s artful MOUNSER line comprises of amorphous earring and necklace silhouettes that toy with ideas of asymmetry, composition and proportion. Working as a collage artist might, Assad Mounser brings together minimal 14-carat gold and rhodium plated brass elements, moving the pieces around until they work in sculptural harmony. We sat down with the Texas native to get the lowdown on her go-to spots in New York and London, the artists who inspire her work, and discover how her unique eye for design translates into her wardrobe and home studio.

How would you describe the aesthetic of your brand?The MOUNSER collection focuses on a sculptural approach to jewellery design. Asymmetric, exaggerated silhouettes experiment with the ideas of balance, proportion and movement. Minimal elements are thoughtfully joined offering an artful yet wearable composition.

Does that sit back to your personal aesthetic?I would say it identifies almost exactly. When I dress I gravitate towards elongated asymmetrical clothing silhouettes that play with proportion. I also love layering monochrome minimal elements like a beautiful silk slip dress over a long fluid pant making it a more maximal look in its final composition.

Can you tell us more about your sculptural approach to jewellery?I love modernist sculpture and it is a major design influence for me. I utilise that inspiration in many stages of the design process from the shape of individual components to the combination of elements to create the final design. I seek inspiration from sculptors such as Isamu Noguchi, Barbara Hepworth, Jean Arp, Naum Gabo and Alexander Calder to name a few. My designs take reference from their idea of seeing objects that exist in nature and creating abstractions through sculptural amorphous form.

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Does this love of art and sculpture extend to your home? It does. I have a home studio and I love to surround my space with artwork and sculpture that inspires me constantly. I love incorporating elements of marble, concrete, lucite, wood, ceramic and metal into my space for a multisensory experience in a clean pure way. I also surround myself with plants and lush greenery for that inspiration of nature from inside.

Which pieces are currently on your interiors shopping list?I am obsessed with all things Alvar Aalto.

I love accents for the home that are both sculptural and clean.
The contrast between the matte marble and the high shine brass in Tom Dixon’s Spice Grinder is so great.

I love Le Labo candles they are a great treat for yourself or the perfect gift. The concrete vessel for this one is really special.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?I love to visit museums, installations and galleries to see sculptures up close and get an idea of gravity, scale and both the positive and negative space the pieces embody. Some of my favourite places in the New York area to visit are the Noguchi Museum, Dia Beacon, Storm King Art Center and the Gugenheim. My home (where I am from – Houston, Texas) also has an amazing art scene. When I visit, I have to go to the Menil Collection, which includes a large scale Dan Flavin exhibition, satellite Cy Twombly Gallery and the Rothko Chapel. James Turrell’s Skyspace Epihany at Rice University is also a must at sunset. I always put art and architecture tours on the agenda whenever I travel. In April I was in Mexico City and toured the Luis Barragan’s Home/Studio as well as Currado San Cristabol – I found being immersed in his work and the detail of his design ideals and inspirations so interesting.

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What’s your creative process?I take my inspiration and either create or source shapes and components I find interesting to me. From there, I gather all of the materials and experiment with asymmetry, composition and proportion. I rework the architecture of the piece until it feels right. It’s kind of like working with collage in metal, moving pieces around until all of the components are working together in perfect harmony.

Can you tell us about the set up of your studio?It’s a home studio, with a big glass work table. There are lots of plants around, and lots of different things to be inspired by; sculpture and objects, coffee table books, things picked up while traveling. It’s sunlit and bright.

Do you have a particular woman in mind when thinking up your designs?I don’t have a particular woman in mind necessarily. I want anyone to feel like they can wear my jewellery and feel special; to feel like when they buy something of mine they are taking a little piece of art home with them.

What made you decide to launch the collection exclusively at Liberty London?My strategy is to really keep the brand special and exclusive by only opening only one go-to point of distribution within each region where Mounser can be found. I have always loved Liberty London - it’s a British institution to me. I love things with a tried and true history, especially one as magical as Liberty London’s. To me it was where I needed to be.

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You live in New York, what are your favourite things to do in the city?As I mentioned before I love to go see art – the Chelsea galleries are another favourite spot. The store Future Perfect is also a go-to as it carries the dreamiest offerings for the home. I love road trips up state and out east to the beach. My husband has a motorcycle, so when the weather is nice we ride around together. Being from Texas, I love Mexican food and am obsessed with Cosme, and Bario Chino. I live in Brooklyn, and Alma is our neighborhood Mexican spot - it has the most amazing rooftop that overlooks the water with full Manhattan skyline views.

And where do you spend your time when you’re in London?With every city I travel to, I love to spend the day walking around the city for hours. You can really get a feel for a place and maximize what you see by hitting the streets. I love the walk along the Thames, and of course the Tate Modern is a must. I also really enjoy walking through Kensington Gardens to Serpentine Gallery, and I always visit the Gagosian galleries when I come.

Do you have a Liberty London memory?My mum used to make us the most beautiful smocked dresses growing up, and I remember her buying an amazing Liberty London floral print for our Christmas dresses one year. We all felt so special in them.

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What are your go-to beauty products?Hydréa London Walnut Wood Skin Dry Brush: I am really into dry brushing right now. It’s so good from a detoxifying standpoint.

Nars Sheer Lipstick: A classic essential for me - the most perfect shade of red

Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum: I am a big believer in Vitamin C Serum to boost collagen production and brighten skin.

Do you explore other forms of design?Yes, in the bigger picture, I plan to expand my line to include art object, home furnishing and eventually furniture to sit alongside the jewellery.

Which Liberty London fabrics would you like to get your hands on?I love love love the Carline Print Belgravia Silk Satin. I actually want to make slip dresses out of all three colors – blue, red and pink!

I also think the Mortimer Tana Lawn Cotton in blue would make the most amazing menswear style pajamas, as well as the Nina Tana Lawn Cotton in blue.

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