A brand that is very much pushing the boundaries and creating rings that are different to any other brand is Sydney based Black De Ville. The brand prides itself on its brutalistic style and creates pieces that are as obscure as possible, whilst still being wearable. Contemporary is a word that describes a lot of the products produced by Black De Ville as these rings are like no other brand and very much of their own style.
These rings are for those who want to move away from the traditional boundaries that mens jewellery hold and wear a unique piece of androgynous fashion.
To check out their website click here.
Black De Ville Jewellery is a local, Sydney designed and made by hand by designer Harley Woolven. Since its inception in 2011 Black De Ville has grown as a unique and unusual brand with a strong or self and individual style, attributes that we convert here at Annex.
With a minimalist mantra as a foundation, Woolven creates a deconstructed and unconventional aesthetic mixing inspiration from nature to develop organic silhouettes with an edge. A unique vision mixed with innovation and premium materials produces one of a kind piece. The hand finishing process means each piece develops its own character and is unique and exclusive to the wearer. We are offering a collection of Black De Ville designs selected to work with our style and aesthetic.
Styles such as the Coel and Harrow Wire rings offer a point of difference, with a fluid and natural feel. Made from the highest quality Australian 925 Sterling Silver each design has a lasting authenticity and premium fabrication. Visit in store to find your perfect fit or check out the range online now.
Harley Woolven, the Australian Sydney-based contemporary jewelry designer handcrafts his contemporary pieces from start to finish with the highest quality grade of Australian sterling silver, each piece is unique, bespoke, and epitomizes the ultra-cool aesthetic that represents his contemporary jewelry design line Black De Ville.
Tell us how you came about to design jewelry and what it was that inspired you to start up your own company? I have always had a strong love for fashion, construction, and the romance that can actually be translated through creation. I was naturally drawn to jewelry from a very young age however found it quite difficult to find exactly what I was looking for.
I think the inspiration to start up was through the idea of design recognition while also adding best I could to the androgynous fashion in Australia which is growing.
Your medium is prominently silver what are the pros and cons of working with such a raw metal? The pros of working with silver are probably endless, from accessibility to durability and also polishing or finishing ability. It is a metal that can easily be worn in a more rough or dirty finish or contrastingly be polished to virtually mirror. It’s a great metal to manipulate and is also perfect to fit that middle color tone to be cohesive with the wearers other clothing.
Cons can include spending hours on a design or a concept and it turns out looking like nothing at all. It’s often harder than anticipated to translate a design whether it be in your head, on paper or even a wax mould into silver… this can cause pretty tedious headaches.
You have an effortless cool aesthetic tell us what defines and sets your designer line apart from others? I think coming in with a point of difference is pretty fundamental when considering collection development. It’s very easy to step on toes of other artists even if its subconsciously. I really wanted to firstly create a strong foundation with a simple core range, but then progress into the direction I’m heading now.
I am a strong believer in brutalism and androgynous fashion. I will do my best to get a piece as obscure as possible while also maintaining wearability. It’s really important to me to stick to the identity of BLK DV and let it move into its own path while adding bits and pieces as I go along.
What or who inspires you and your designs? Initially, the core collection is totally inspired by structured existing pieces currently found in jewelry.
The collections after that, SHALLOW & BROKEN VALLEY were created totally through environmental emersion. I draw strong inspiration from my surroundings at the time. SHALLOW was designed by the water, it draws unconventional lines through transient flow patterns. It has some of my favourite pieces I’ve ever worked on and it really started to project the direction I was wanting to progress BLK DV into.
How many of us out there ask ourselves, ‘gee, how much do I really know about the people behind this design I’m wearing?’. No one? Well, you bloody well should.
Here at BYO we decided to venture into the realm of interviews, unedited of course, so we could get to know a little more of the people that we share this lovely planet of ours with. No, this is not a Humans-of-New-York-inspirational-shit type-a-thing. This is just us sitting down and having conversations with some awesome people. The inspirational part is optional.
Our first victim candidate is Harley Woolven.
Harley is a jewellery designer and the man behind Black De Ville. When he was 11 years old he spotted a ring and thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Ever since then he’s been feeding his curiosity and creativity in the jewellery design game and has not looked back.
BYO sat down with the Northern Beaches local to discuss what makes him laugh, his take on getting older and overall the creative mind behind the designs.
Have a listen.http://www.backyardopera.com/who-is-harley/
Inspired by brutalism and androgyny, contemporary jewelry designer, Harley Woolven is challenging conventional design offering sophisticated consumers hand crafted minimalist pieces resembling the organic and sharp forms of his surroundings. Based in Manly Beach Sydney, Woolven’s pieces are made of Australian sterling silver, with his latest collection Broken Valley featuring sharp, jiggered lines and textures reflecting the Broken Valley Region within the Australian landscape.
What made you decide to become a jewelry designer and launch Black De Ville?
I have always loved designing. Having the ability to put your own twist on an existing style or develop an entirely new concept is something really exciting to me. From a very young age I was drawn to creation and development. The ability to create your own story or concept is almost romantic to me.
Launching Black De Ville was very much to try fill a void in fashion. Fashion is predominantly defined by sex, Homme vs femme. I wanted to create something that would add and contribute to the androgynous fashion progression.
Tell us about your latest collection
BROKEN VALLEY 16 is the latest collection. It is a collection that was developed through environmental emersion and brutalism concepts. Drawing inspiration from the Australian mountains, BROKEN VALLEY is a sharp, jagged and contrasting collection that is a lot darker than anything I've developed before. It is definitely treading the thin line between wearable versus unwearable but that is really something I want to do, I want each piece to be independent to any other ring and really stand out making a raw statement.
How would you describe your personal style?
Dark and drapery. I only really ever work in Blacks and sometimes white. I love the timeless mystery and romance connected to the tone black. I really like to push the boundaries on the androgynous front as well. This particular style isn't so familiar within Australia so sometimes needs to be toned down a bit…
Who are you currently inspired by?
So many great individuals and so many things. Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander Wang, Michele Lamy just to name a few. These people are the ones who/have for a long time lead the pack in the worlds avant-garde fashion tailoring. They really push so many boundaries and it would be almost impossible to not be inspired by such figures!
Leading up to the holiday season we are compiling the ultimate gift guide, what would be your ultimate gift?
A good pair of linen drop crotch pants and a delicate cotton high neck tank. All black.
What are your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions?
Continue growing the BLK DV label. We have a few new ideas and concepts coming into the 2017 new year which will be very exciting however cannot be spoken about! We are also hoping to get to Paris for fashion week and work with some great new clients.
Create great new content and keep having fun while pushing the boundaries.