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Inspired by the ever-changing natural environment, Bjørg jewelry “is a visual scenario of colors and materials merging and melting.” Below we introduce you to the designer, the meaning of her 2013 Odyssey Collection and the pieces that brilliantly captures the brand’s unique loveliness.  

Bjørg Nordli-Mathisen is body conscious, and not in a Hervé Léger “is this sexy or slutty?” type of way. The Norwegian-born jewelry designer, with a background in art, is a nomad at heart. As she easily floats to various corners of the Earth absorbing information, Nordli-Mathisen carries along not much more than her own personal oasis. By translating her experiences into a conceptual approach to design — alongside her appreciation for

Darwinism — the final creations tend to linger on the body, always nicely coinciding with the fragility of the human’s inner-skeleton. This Spring/Summer 2013 series, properly named The Odyssey Collection, continues merging the themes of exploration and nature with wearability. Nordli-Mathisen sums up the overall structure as being composed of “dark metals, wooden shapes and textures, luminous substances, liquids and psychedelic colors.” Below, we speak with the designer about jewelry’s ability to travel through time, brunch with Diana Vreeland and Dracula. — Inny Taylor

SHK: WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED CREATING YOUR JEWELRY COLLECTION, WHAT DEFINED THE “Bjørg GIRL” AND HAS IT CHANGED SINCE?

Bjørg Nordli-Mathisen: I don’t think I ever had one specific type of person in mind. I believe in intuition. If something resonates with me and my own references and preferences, I trust that there is someone out there who will feel the same way.  But of course I have noticed that people who wear my jewelry share traits as being aesthetes; bold and often creative.

WHAT WAS THE FATEFUL MOMENT THAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO VENTURE INTO THE LAND OF JEWELRY DESIGN?

It was very much a process and very much by chance actually. Classical jewelry, such as pearls and neat-cut diamonds, weren’t that interesting to me, but whilst living in India, I discovered a new world with exposure to antique jewelry with a more crafted and raw finish, as well as precious stones in their original state. Like most projects I do, it felt very organic, very right and step-by-step, it sort of took over for everything else I liked to do.

SEEING THAT YOUR LINE IS QUITE CONTEMPORARY AND INNOVATIVE, DO YOU EVER FIND IT HARD TO KEEP THE CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING?

I try not to concern myself with things having to be “on trend,” but I’m always looking to do something different and new from what we’ve done before. I would say that for most of the collections, it has been much harder to scale them down a strip them to their essenceThe hardest part for me is realizing that even though I really love a certain piece, it doesn’t serve the collection as a whole and we have to let it go.

WHO ARE YOU LISTENING TO WHEN YOU ARE DESIGNING?

Often times the cat, whining outside my window… But lately Grimes has been playing a lot in our office. She has a very distinct sound that I really love.

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DESIGNERS CAN PULL THEIR IDEAS FROM MANY DIFFERENT PLACES. WHERE DO YOU LOOK TO GET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING?

I often think about how jewelry has the ability to travel through time and across generations. Even though it may sound morbid, it is very inspiring for me to think that after this generation has passed away, some of my jewelry will live on and be inherited and serve as reminders for those who once wore them. This is also what sets jewelry apart from clothing. Clothing has such a small window of time in which to exist. Jewelry has staying power.

IF YOU COULD HAVE BRUNCH WITH ANYONE FROM THE FASHION INDUSTRY DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

I actually saw a documentary on the late Diana Vreeland the other night. Brunch with her would have been amazing. I love how she would highlight what others considered flaws and turn them into assets. She had an amazing eye. Plus, she wore great earrings. Big and bold.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST PIECE OF JEWELRY YOU EVER FELL IN LOVE WITH?

My mother’s brooches. I remember almost feeling embarrassed because her style was so different compared to the other mothers in school and she would never hesitate to raise her voice and stand out. She was very passionate about modernist jewelry.

WHAT’S THE MOST AMAZING PERK YOU GET BEING A JEWELRY DESIGNER?

I am always very flattered when I see someone, a passerby on the street or at an airport, wearing the jewelry. I would have to say that is still really exciting…

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For more on Bjorg download the SPRING ISSUE.

 

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