loading
drag

Meet the Dua Lipa-approved Melbourne jewellery label, Mgn Jewellery

IMAGE VIA @MGN.JWL

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT

“The first coloured lab stones I sourced had me completely hypnotised. They just seemed so otherworldly.”

If reruns of The Office have taught me anything, it’s that the nine-to-five can be a little creatively stifling. Yes, it’s a ridiculous work of fiction, but it’s also a great depiction of the dead-end monotony people can feel in their workplaces. As the pandemic-induced ‘great resignation‘ rippled across the world, creative workers amassed to quit in search of greater fulfilment – like Megan.

Unhappy with her job as an advertising executive, Megan moved to Melbourne in a state of peril. Inspired by her mum’s work as a jeweller while she was growing up, Megan enrolled in silversmithing and “just fell in love”. In April of 2019, she launched the @mgn.jwl account with a delicate, sculptural pair of silver earrings – the start of her acclaimed experiment in sustainable jewellery.


For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section.


Taking on a variety of vivid and contrasting forms, Megan’s creative journey was inspired by a kind of personal transformation. A side effect of the antidepressants she was taking at the time, her eyes became hypersensitive to colour. Transfixed by a rainbow of synthetic gemstones, she created Mgn Jewellery, a collection combining colour and “free-flowing modernist metalwork”.

Tell us about you. What’s your jewellery background?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 𝑴𝑮𝑵 By Megan (@mgn.jwl)


I had a total mental breakdown in 2018. After a series of firings from corporate advertising jobs, I decided to move to Melbourne – the classic move for a Sydney girl in peril. My mum worked as a jeweller when I was a kid, so I thought I’d try silversmithing at TAFE to try to get some neurons firing (and to get the dole, if I’m honest).

From there, I  just fell in love with it. I loved learning about something completely alien to me, it was a new medium with infinite techniques to master and refine.

How did the label get started? Talk us through the process and the challenges.

I guess it started after I shared my work on Instagram. I wanted to build a world around the handful of pieces I’d produced for my exhibition. From there, I started creating jewellery for custom requests. When I made something I found really hard to give away, I’d add it to my permanent collection.

My label has been growing like crazy ever since! I’ve grabbed the attention of local stockists and am slowly moving into some exciting international boutiques. The challenge was keeping up with demand during the pandemic when I wasn’t able to hire an assistant.

What were you trying to achieve from the project at the time? How has this evolved and what are you trying to communicate through the brand now?

I was inadvertently capturing a weird neurochemical influx I was experiencing at the time. I started taking antidepressants in 2018 and they had this weird side effect on me; they made my eyes hypersensitive to colour. The first coloured lab stones I sourced had me completely hypnotised. They just seemed so otherworldly.

Luckily, they’ve seemed to resonate similarly with other people. I think synthetic gemstones had a bit of an image problem in the past; some people considered them ‘fake’ or ‘tacky’. I hope with my work I’ve been able to change some minds.

How would you describe Mgn to someone who’s never seen it before?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 𝑴𝑮𝑵 By Megan (@mgn.jwl)


I like to draw inspiration from more traditional jewellery movements – like classic Victorian silhouettes and naturalistic Art Noveau sculptural pieces – and combine it with free-flowing modernist metalwork.

I think it creates an unusual harmony of opposing styles. Right now, I’m loving Australian sapphires placed in sharp bird claws. I’ve also been thinking a lot about the funny belly rings I used to wear as a teen.

Where did the name come from?

Mgn is just short for Megan. It’s been my screen name and Hotmail email address since I was 12, it’s just an ode to being a little internet introvert.

What are you most proud of in your work on your label?

I couldn’t be more proud of how far I’ve pushed this little label. Getting my collection stocked on Ssense was an achievement beyond my wildest daydreams! Not just because it’s my favourite place to shop, but also because I handmade every single piece for their huge order myself during lockdowns. Also, having Dua Lipa buy and wear one of my earrings was heaven.

What do you wish you knew when you started?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 𝑴𝑮𝑵 By Megan (@mgn.jwl)


Nothing really! I started Mgn alone and have been making my own processes and creating in the way I want. It’s been very intuitive and constant hard work. All of my lessons, mistakes and wins have been unfolding before everyone’s eyes. It’s amazing to have my whole visual timeline available online.

Who do you think is most exciting in Australian design right now?

Anyone who dares to challenge us. We’re seeing an unprecedented fragmentation of the fashion market with new makers emerging from the ether and actually dictating the trends. Australian designers are reaching people all over the world, it’s fabulous to see the shift.

What about the Australian jewellery/fashion industry needs to change?

The Australian fashion industry decision-makers need to do more research into smaller, younger labels. Our local fashion weeks feature the same brands every year; they’re hardly ever showcasing the labels that are making waves internationally and getting people excited. It’s quite bizarre.

Dream Australian collaborators?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 𝑴𝑮𝑵 By Megan (@mgn.jwl)


I’m feeling an intense floral fixation lately. I’d love to have a little exhibition in the beautiful Sydney Botanical Gardens orchid greenhouse.

Go-to dinner party playlist?

Binaural beats, ’cause we all need to chill.

Who is in your wardrobe right now?

Recently, I’ve purchased: gigantic Givenchy platforms, a vintage metallic pink Balenciaga City bag from an unhinged eBay seller, some vintage Pucci tees and a leather jacket from Queen Vic Market. The rest of my clothing is just stretchy Los Angeles Apparel basics.

How can we buy one of your pieces?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 𝑴𝑮𝑵 By Megan (@mgn.jwl)


Usually, my website is easiest for ready-to-ship or custom enquiries (I’m back to work mid-Jan). You can also find my work with my lovely stockists Apoc Store, Nolm, Ssense, Shop Kathleen, Cafe Forgot and Mall Nyc.

Anything else to add?

Hi mum!

Browse the Mgn collection in its entirety here.

Lazy Loading