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After a particularly well-received launch last year, the Melbourne Metal Collective has decided to join forces once again for LMFF 2012.

Organised by jewelers, for jewelers, the MMC was launched in 2011 in order to create a support platform that would allow local talents to approach buyers and media as a force rather than solo.

Four designers from the original line up have remained: Henson, Young Hunting, Estelle Dévé and Hamish Munro. Added to this line up in 2012 are three new upcoming talents: O.T.T by Lia T, Alexandra Blak & Maripossa.

All seven designers have developed their very own strong identities, and are carried by leading boutiques in Australia and abroad. While their aesthetics are very different (some work with neon latex, others with Perspex, others with silver and gold) there is somehow a harmony of their personal aesthetics when observing their work as a collective.

The Melbourne Metal Collective is an alliance between five of the strongest emerging jewellers in Melbourne. It features two For-Tomorrow jewellers Henson and Young Hunting.

The collective have come together to showcase their work in a supportive, group-run environment during L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival. Current collections will be displayed alongside one-off pieces created specifically for the event. This physical installation will be supported digitally through an online hub that will include film, collection galleries, designer profiles and an e-commerce platform that allows for interstate and international sales of the work on display.

For their debut event, The Melbourne Metal Collective have chosen to create pieces, and accompanying media works, around a central theme of alchemy. This week sees the online premiere of a film by the same title, by acclaimed South African director Michael Matthews, which presents key pieces from each of the featured designers.

This film will also be shown as part of the exhibition’s opening night celebrations. The art of alchemy, which originated in Ancient Greece, is the mystical manipulation and transmogrification of metals and other elements.

This choice of theme is particularly timely, given the renewed interest in utilising natural materials like raw crystals and human hair in jewellery design. Alchemy was selected not just for its on-trend status, but also because the concept reflects the deeply personal, almost spiritual connection both makers and wearers have to their jewellery.

Young Hunting is a unisex jewellery label by Melbourne designer Candice Agius. Each collection is a philosophical exploration that questions and transcends realms influenced by a thematic thought. Each jewellery piece is limited and formed in Australia from high quality materials. Young Hunting is for the rare, the intellectual and the unsharing.

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