Jewelry Designer Misha Gill Has An Eye For Detail, Cock Rings, And Great Vintage
Stumbling into the apartment of L.A.-based, up-and-coming jewelry designer Misha Gill, I was overwhelmed by my surroundings; an enormous collection of vintage clothing, old records, flashy furniture, mirrored decor and a VHS collection that even Iris would envy (if she could work a VHS). The cozy space also houses her in-home design studio where she turns hardware into every-day wear, but only for those that share her delicately twisted aesthetic. Everything from her rebellious designs, to the “tipsy” glasses she serves water in demand a second glance. Misha has an eye for details that are easy to miss but hard to forget.
“I was really interested in shapes that reminded me of septum rings, they’re a little bit sexual, a little bit weird,” Misha explained in reference to a custom belt made entirely of silver circular hoops strung together.”This does remind me of a sort of cock ring situation,” I agreed.
“Exactly, thats kind of what I like to play with, a blend of hard and soft. My clothes are definitely a little bit more masculine.”
Erika Flynn: What came first, the clothes or the jewelry?
Misha Gill: Definitely the clothes, I went to school for fashion design and that’s what I’m trained in. I went to UC Davis actually, I have a degree in science because I originally thought I was going to be a doctor and then I studied textiles and clothing science, because I ‘d always been sewing and making stuff. Jewelry is kind of more recent, I always loved incorporating hardware into my clothing and as I was designing, I kind of just started pulling pieces out and finding new things as I went.
Can you tell me about your background?
MG: I’m from India originally. I was born and raised there, and then I moved to Northern California. I lived there for a while and then moved to Stockholm for four years and now here. I’m not from LA but I feel like this is where I really found what I want to do and what I want to make.
Did anyone in your family influence you, or does anyone design or make jewelry as well?
MG: My mom always made us clothing. I have an older sister, and I was the kind of person that if she had something, I had to have it too. So my mom would make us all these matching sets so neither of us would get jealous. She taught me how to sew. I loved everything to do with making patterns. Then I started making jewelry. I’ve been teaching myself new things in that world as well, I’ve been doing a lot of soldering and molding, and even making casts for some of these pieces.
You know, I had seen friend wearing a pair of your signature arch earrings and just had to know where the hell she got them. That’s how I discovered you. I love those.
MG: Thank you! When you’re wearing them, they make this really dope vibrating noise when they move—it’s really melodic. I made them originally as one, just wearing one giant earring and a lot of guys bought them too. I wouldn’t say I’m super masculine or minimal either, but I definitely don’t wear anything really girly. The earrings can really go either way.
How did you gain recognition for your work?
MG: I dressed someone for the Saint Laurent show in Paris, the girlfriend of Wyatt Shears—he’s a musician and Heidi Silmane is obsessed with him. I dressed her for the show in my jewelry and a lot of people got to see the pieces. I may even make Wyatt some as well. He wears a lot of cool earrings and such.”
What jewelry designers do you look at, do you like Zayna Bayne and other more industrial women’s designers?
MG: I do like Zayna Bayne, we actually had a few mutual friends in San Francisco when I lived there, but I’m also really into Brazilian designers right now, some of the jewelry coming out of there is amazing.
Your apartment is like a mecca for vintage lovers, I seriously don’t know how you already have so many pieces and you’re so young. It looks like years of collecting in here.
MG: My apartment is basically furnished from my job when I was shopping for a vintage company. I basically thrifted 8 hours a day every day so it’s definitely a result of that. I don’t think anything in here cost more than forty bucks. I’m obviously obsessed with anything mirrored or resembling marble.
What’s some of your favorite vintage stores in Los Angeles?
MG: There’s this guy in Sun Valley, I think it’s called Zack’s place, he has this really dusty old shop, I mean you’re basically coughing the whole time but his jewelry is amazing. I also usually go to some of the charity shops, they’re called Value Thrift in the valley. And Squaresville is one of my favorites too, it’s not an actual thrift store so it’s really well curated.
So you’re actually hardcore thrifting?
MG: Yeah, but since I used to do it for a living, I’m used to it. We used to go to like four thrift stores a day and go through every single women’s rack, we couldn’t miss one piece. But that’s how I’ve found some of my favorite pieces, brand new Clegerie shoes, my favorite vintage Moschino mini wrap skirt with an amazing scalloped edge that I wear almost every day. I just started buying things that weren’t even in my size because I’m a collector. I see things and I’m just like, ‘I can’t not buy this.’
All photos by Erika Flynn.