Sabina Savage ScarvesSanta Fe Dry Goods got in touch with Sabina Savage to learn more about her inspiration and process. She got back to us with great stories that illuminate her love for animals and the natural world:

I grew up in very rural Somerset, in south west England. My parents have always had terriers so I have always had a strong attachment to dogs! I was also lucky enough to have ponies and horses all my life. All my childhood weekends were spent at Pony Club and riding around the amazing Quantock Hills where we lived. As it was a very rural area, there were quite a lot of farms nearby. I remember one particularly cold Spring when lots of lambs had just been born in a field near our house. They were so cold, my sister and I cut the sleeves off lots of our jumpers and made little leg holes in them as lamb jumpers! We would also rescue any injured animals we found, and take them home to nurse them back to health. We found a jackdaw (we named him Jake the Jackdaw) with a broken wing once, and my dad helped us make him a nest in an old rabbit hutch. We fed him warm bread and milk for about 2 weeks and kept opening the cage to see if he would fly away. One day his wing was better and he hopped out and took off. He flew in a circle and then came to land on Dad’s shoulder. He didn’t actually leave for abut a month! We even taught him to land on our hands like a bird trainer! We aren’t sure where he nested, but every time we went riding we were aware of a big black bird flying along next to us.

Another time, I was in the garden and I heard a squeaking sound. I followed the sound up the road and found a TINY kitten; she can’t have been more than 2 days old. We have no idea how she got lost from her mother, and she was very weak and skinny. I took her to the vet and they said she may not last the night. She survived, and became very attached to me as I had taken on the mother role! I was due to spend a month that summer interning with Paul Smith, and was a little unsure if I could leave her as she was still very small. She ended up coming to the studio with me every day, and Paul even tried to adopt her as the office cat! She would ride the tube with me in the mornings, tucked inside my sleeve. She still lives with my parents now.

I really love old mythology concerning animals, and the characteristics certain animals represent. This is very evident in the AW14 Savage Kingdom collection, the SS15 Folklore Japonica collection and certainly the SS16 All Creatures Great and Small collection. I think this is because all the animals in my life have always had such strong personalities.

Both my parents grew up in the countryside, and brought me up with what I feel to be a healthy respect for nature. It may seem from the stories above that I am a fluffy, whimsical animal lover, but I also am drawn to the raw, rough side of nature. I am equally fascinated with the ‘savage’ element of the natural world, and the hierarchy within it. I love watching wildlife documentaries about animals habitats and way of life, and I hope this element also shows through in my designs. I was constantly collecting bones and skulls from the forest at the back of our garden (like Frederick Parkinson at Premiere Classe!) and am really interested in the ‘circle of life’ element of the world. I think humans interfere a little too much with the animal kingdom. The world imagined in most of my designs is a world without humans, and perhaps that’s where the empowerment element comes from.

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