Artist Spotlight ~ Nina Savill

{ Nina is wearing the Lena Jumpsuit in Arches Black }

I will never forget the first time I met Nina. I had to do a photoshoot for a new collection & needed chunky bohemian inspired jewelry to style the shoot with. My friend Katie had just started a Mom group called MxB & I posted on there hoping someone knew where to get this style of jewelry right away since I barely had time to prepare. Nina replied saying she had some, to come over & grab it, though she had no idea who I was & had never met me before. I pulled up to her house & she handed me this cloth bag full of her beautiful jewelry. I was in awe of her work right away & could tell how expensive these pieces were as they were all hand-made & each one a unique work of art. I asked her if she wanted some money or something to hold just in case & she said "not at all" in her soft voice. Fast forward from that moment to now & I am one of those lucky people who get to call her a close friend. Nina exudes a peaceful energy & an infectious smile that makes you want to just hug her. I am honored to feature my beautiful friend in this months Artist Spotlight.  

- Belinda 

{ Nina is wearing the Emery Dress in Ocean }

What led you to finding your passion?

When I was little, I'd scavenge for feathers, seeds and leaves, glue them to rocks and try to sell them to neighbors as plant and garden accessories for 5 cents each. I think my grandmother bought them all! But I've created functional art objects for as long as I can remember. It wasn't until college though, when I took my first metalsmithing class, that I discovered a true love for the mysterious plasticity of metal. I spent a lot of time welding, making crazy furniture and large kinetic sculpture, as well as smaller more organic jewelry pieces. I liked combining clean modern shapes with the raw materials and textures in nature. After college, I couldn’t keep a mig welder in my NYC apartment. So I set up a small jewelry workbench, combined the two practices and have been making sculptural jewelry ever since.

I’m now the mother of 6-year-old twin girls, and I love to scavenge for seeds and rocks and feathers with them.

How do you feel when you’re making jewelry?

Over the past 25 years, I’ve kept a jewelry studio in my apartment, the office of a punk rock newspaper, an old recording studio, in the back of my own fine art gallery that I owned in NYC’s Lower East Side and now in the sunny hills of East Los Angeles. It feels like it's part of my true nature since childhood, and it’s something that I will always do. So when I make jewelry, I just feel "normal".

{ Nina is wearing the Zuri Jumpsuit in Sunflower } 

What inspires you? 

I've always been inspired by the desert, the ocean, outer space - expansive places that hold great mysteries and super powers. But my specific jewelry ideas come mostly from hallucinations, where I tend to misjudge spatial relationships and overlapping objects, and in the process, I visually architect new structures that I'm inclined to build, and (for some weird reason) wear. So, I’ve turned everything from some roasted beets to the Brooklyn Bridge into a necklace. I love kinetics and illusions, and elegance with an emphatic edge. But I’m more into seeing these ideas and experiments through, then I am in creating a consistent line or being on trend. So, my process is weird and slow and kind of irreverent, but I try to stay authentic to my curiosities.

Do you have a mantra?

"Don't give up" ...but in a thick French accent, so it sounds like "dun geeve ahp". I used to work for a French chef who would yell this all the time, and it stuck in my head.

{ Nina is wearing the Isla Top and Koi Pant in Arches Creme }

What songs have you had on repeat recently?

At home I always play the 80's Underground and Post Punk stations, and for me it never gets old!! And when we're in the car, we listen to my kids' favorite songs over and over (omg and over and over!) and those are currently: Rebel Girl (Bikini Kill), Dancing in the Dark (The Boss), Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode), Like a Prayer (Madonna), Indestructible (Robyn), and anything by Hot Chip or The Chromatics

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to?

One of the most fun trips I've ever taken was driving from Rome, all down the Amalfi Coast and then to Sicily, spending nights everywhere along the way - Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello and Taormina. That coastal drive is crazy harrowing! But I remember a (brave) elderly lady who had a meat & cheese cart on the side of the road, in the nook of this hairpin turn, on a cliff miles above the nearest village. We almost ran her over with our little smart car, so we stopped and bought tomatoes from her and they were the best tomatoes I've ever eaten in my life! Who'd think a tomato could be so memorable and embody a whole way of life.

{ Nina is wearing the Harlow Dress in Indigo }

How do you practice self love?

This is a good question as I'm still exploring what this means for me and how I might do better, as an example for my daughters. I guess I interpret it as being aware and true to myself, knowing how to set boundaries and nurture what I love. So I fall asleep on the beach whenever I can. I travel. I speak my mind. I do "pony sweat" aerobics, I go on road trip adventures with my husband and kids. I eat chocolate every day. I spend quality time with girlfriends. Things like that. And for all these things, I'm very deliberately grateful.

What is one thing you’d like to change about the world?

I'd love to see all the ways the world would transform, if we eradicated selfishness.

What do you wear when you want to feel confident?

Black! Black is my uniform. My most confident "me" style would be an all black dress and leggings in a crisp odd-shaped silhouette with a super big bold necklace. Sometimes I love choosing the jewelry first, and then the clothes that go with it.

{ Nina is wearing the Odine Jumpsuit in Black Arches }

Why do you wear Bel Kazan?

I love that Belinda doesn't conform to a particular style, and her pieces are always different and changing with her inspirations. I really relate to that! I can have several Bel Kazan pieces and everything feels unique. Bel Kazan is all so comfortable and can be dressed up or worn casually- I love that too. I also adore my beautiful friend behind the brand, and I appreciate her dedication to her craft and sustainability. Everything is so thoughtfully handmade!

What’s the piece you reach for most?

I've been living in my berry tie dye Taylor Sweatshirt and black Soho Pants! The Oda Top is a fave too! And now that it's getting hot, I'm loving my new Piper Tunic Dress.

{ Nina is wearing the Piper Tunic in Blue Batik }

Take a look at Nina's creations: 

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