For anybody that’s lucky enough to set a foot over the threshold, they’ll quickly notice that Castle Elvira is nothing short of a work of art. Complete with turrets, spectacular curved windows, and a balcony straight out of Romeo and Juliet, this restored castle, transformed into a hotel is a real-life fairytale. For Sophie Harley, though, Castle Elvira holds something even more special within its walls - one of her best friends. The opening of his grandest project to date presented the perfect opportunity to create a heartfelt, bespoke collection for him and his castle.
The Blossoming of a Beautiful Friendship
The co-owner and renovator of this bijoux building, Harvey B-Brown, first met Sophie as they were both doing masters degrees at The Royal College of Art and instantly fell in love over thirty years ago. As Sophie says, “His flamboyant, unfettered style and unique creativity was mesmerising” and the two quickly began working together.
Graduating from college, the 1990s was a decade of creative collaboration between the two artists, along with a few other friends who created the multi-media design group, The New RenaisCAnce. Their enthusiasm for art led them to merge “fashion, embroidery, photography, film, jewellery, and metalwork in some incredible venues, including The Royal Festival Hall, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Barney’s Japan, and Kensington Palace - to name but a few”.
As Harvey entered the film industry, their collaboration took on a new lease of life. “He started directing pop videos, which was a wonderful way to showcase my jewellery,” Sophie reminisces, listing George Michael, Enya, and Bryan Ferry amongst those who “got the Harvey magic”.
Breathing Life into Castle Elvira
Nestled in the picturesque countryside of Italy’s Puglia is Harvey & his husband Steve’s latest project (where you’ll also uncover a unique Sophie Harley collection). Harvey and Steve spent four years transforming an abandoned castle into an extraordinarily unique and charming hotel that’s brimming with character. Every finish is exquisite, every choice of pattern perfect for the walls they decorate, and together, they’ve created a home that’s full of magic and some incredible artwork.
“When my husband John and I went to visit last April, I surprised them with the collection which is now selling in their beautiful on-site shop.”
Elvira X Sophie Harley
The Elvira X Sophie Harley collection is a reflection of friendship and fairytales. Inspired by Harvey and Steve’s reimagining of Castle Elvira, and their beautiful logo, the pieces have a traditional charm to them that embraces understated elegance and doesn’t shy away from magic. The circular pendants are perfectly imperfect and the metal is gently etched, using ancient techniques these pieces won’t look out of place in an Italian castle.
The first design displays crossed keys, a symbol that dates back centuries and has come to represent a number of different meanings - not least, Castle Elvira. The brand logo for the hotel, it’s a sentimental piece that embodies the regal nature of the castle whilst letting the craftsmanship of the metal shine through.
The second design is a miniature version of Castle Elvira, brought to life on coin-sized pendants. The castle walls are embellished with heart cut-outs, representing the love poured into this true passion project on both sides, and a small flag adorns the castle turret. A reimagining of Elvira in the form of jewellery, it’s a must-have for anyone visiting the hotel.
Each design is available in silver, gold, or mixed metal, either as necklaces, earrings, or keychains.
Uncover the Magic of Elvira X Sophie Harley
The Elvira collection recreates the magic of an old Italian castle brought back to life through love, labour, and an unmatched eye for style! If you’d like to enquire about any of the pieces, do get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to help. Or, better still visit breathtaking Castle Elvira for the trip of a lifetime and view Sophie’s original bespoke pieces.