Style Melbourne

Julia Deville’s Disce Mori Jewellery

It’s a matter of popular opinion that fur in fashion, is most definitely not in. But what about the use of taxidermy in fashion? Most people would be shocked if not repulsed by the idea of wearing a preserved dead animal as an accessory to an outfit, especially if it still closely resembles what it looked like before death, and I have to admit that my first thoughts were those of disbelief and morbid fascination however my opinions were drastically changed upon looking into Melbourne designer Julia Deville’s amazing collection of creations which is an interesting combination of things that were once alive, e.g. Petrified wood, hair and preserved animals and gold and silver smithing. But before you dismiss Julia as some sort of Jack the Ripper type character, it should be mentioned that she is a vegetarian and an animal rights activist who only uses animals who have died from natural causes in her work.

Deville’s work is heavily influenced by memento mori (which is Latin for remember you must die) jewellery and Victorian mourning jewellery, which was very popular between the 15th and 18th centuries.  As dark as this sounds, a reminder of your own mortality is not necessarily a bad thing, and should more be seen as a catalyst to begin appreciating your own life and living every day as if it may be your last and is instead a celebration of life. And this shows through in Deville’s range of accessories in her “Disce Mori” brand.

Disce Mori encompasses a range of classically beautiful beaded necklaces and bracelets made of smokey quartz, white jade, jet ( petrified wood) and rose carved onyx all complemented with a sterling silver bone attached delicately to the end of the clasp chain. If beads aren’t really your thing, then perhaps the sterling silver chains with either gold or sterling silver cross bone pendants are more your style. There is also a variety of jet fob chains and cuff links, complemented with a sterling silver skull or silver baby mice with natural rubies in place of their eyes. But perhaps the most stunning variety comes in Deville’s brooches. From the simple 18ct gold bird claw to the sterling silver mouse with natural emeralds, each piece has distinctive features and is simply beautiful. Deville’s leather work is in a class of its own. With her long and short runched leather gloves, available in both red and black and black and white with bright coloured laces, zips and buckles to add some spice to what is already an incredibly svelte accessory. Her knee long or ankle high leather spats are also a strangely familiar yet almost otherworldly must have for those who like something that’s just a little bit different. Deville’s exhibition pieces are also worth a mention just for their captivating qualities but are not for the squeamish. They include a sterling silver bird talon ring, a mouse mounted on a jet shield with natural diamonds in 9ct gold and a sterling silver bird skull with cubic zirconia and is something that must be seen to be believed.

Words – Alex Schleibs

Images courtesy designer

5 Thoughts on “Julia Deville’s Disce Mori Jewellery

  1. Memento mori doesnt mean but .
    Next time, let someone else translate latin words!

  2. Memento mori doesnt mean ” remember you must die ” but ” remember you will die “

  3. Hi Andi,

    We didn’t do the translation…

    Both Wikipedia and the designer say it is “Remember you MUST die” and as with many translations it doesn’t have to be literal anyway. “Will” and “must” have the same meaning here.

  4. Pat Low on October 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm said:

    How much is the big ring

  5. Hi Pat,

    The claw ring is around $290

    Julia Deville is stocked at e.g etal http://egetal.com.au/artists/bio/julia-deville and Alice Euphemia http://www.aliceeuphemia.com/collections/julia-deville

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