Meet the inspiration and lead designer of House of Virtruve
Donning patterned black and white Zara cigar pants, a sleek white Armani blazer, Gucci loafers, and an assorted stack of gold and black bracelets, Dallas Selsey is the epitome of experimental style. Selsey is the Creative Director and chief jewelry designer for House of Virtruve-Treliss, bringing his ingenuity and artistic flair to the brand’s operations. From his luxury fashion experience, to his love for motorcycles and all things leather, it’s easy to see how his array of passions influence his cutting-edge designs. We sat down with Dallas to ask him a few questions and to give you a glimpse into the enigmatic master-mind behind the disruptive designs of House of Virtruve.
HOV: What is your position at House of Virtruve?
DS: Jewelry Designer and Creative Director
HOV: How did you get into the jewelry business?
DS: I started off working in the fashion industry in Europe, working for various luxury houses and designers. After a few years, I ended up getting into a family jewelry business that brought me back to the States.
HOV: How would you describe your own personal style?
DS: My own personal style varies day to day depending on my mood, but I have a very European sensibility after living in Italy and Paris working with Giorgio Armani and Gianfranco Ferré. It really does depend on what I’m feeling. One day I’ll be dressed up and polished, and the next day I’ll come in with ripped jeans and a T-shirt—it’s different every single day, but I always, always, have at least six or seven bracelets, and a watch.
HOV: What is inspiring you right now?
DS: I am a very visual person, so my inspiration comes from what I see. I walk down the street and see someone and think “I love that, I like that combination, how they styled that jewelry.” Or, the lack of style and jewelry, and I think, “I want to put jewelry on that outfit, embellish that look.” I’m inspired by art, I might see a motif in a painting and feel drawn to incorporate that into my pieces. Visuals are all around me, and I pull from them every single day.
HOV: Where do you go to find inspiration?
DS: Paris, Milan, London, NY always. I love SoHo, you see all different types of people, places. You can walk into a boutique, then stroll 20 feet down and find a top designer store. It’s eclectic, it’s me.
HOV: What is your design process?
DS: Whenever it strikes me, I’m creating every day. I’m constantly designing, thinking, creating.
HOV: Favorite places to go for inspiration when you have “designers block”?
DS: My archives usually. I look back at my old work, see what I can resurrect and make modern or new. I also look at fashion, clothes, and see what would complement the trends.
HOV: How do you combat “designer block?”
HOV: Who is a celebrity whose style you’re admiring lately?
DS: Bella Hadid, I love her style, I like that she wears jewelry and that she knows HOW to wear jewelry, and how to wear it well. I like Oliva Palermo too. They both just have an individuality to them, they can wear any outfit, any style, they really transform.
HOV: Favorite summer getaway?
DS: My home on Martha’s Vineyard. I like that it’s unpretentious. I can wear the same pair of shorts three days in a row, and not give a damn. I just do my own thing.
HOV: How does what’s trending in fashion translate into or affect what jewelry you design?
DS: I look at what’s happening, I take that as inspiration and try to make jewelry that works with it. Honestly, the truth of the matter is that I’m often ahead of the curve, I design to what I think is going to be trending soon. I observe, I travel. I see the runways in Paris and understand what’s going to be happening in the coming seasons, I get inspired and try to translate that into something wearable, versus what works simply on the runway.
HOV: How do you like to style your own personal looks with fashion?
DS: I personally match my jewelry and watch to my outfits every day, it’s quite exhausting, but it’s who I am.
HOV: Favorite jewelry trend right now?
DS: Big hoop earrings. I also love gold jewelry on tanned summer skin, and pearls. I have a new line with funky pearls that I really like.
HOV: Is there a jewelry trend that you see fading out soon or that you don’t love?
DS: I don’t want to upset people ha-ha.
HOV: What type of person do you design for?
DS: We have all different types of clients, so it’s catered to the audience, from mass market to runway. I design for everyday wear, I make the runway accessible by pulling different funky elements from it. It all depends on what I’m doing though, on who I’m collaborating with- whether I’m designing for a client or just for fun. It changes constantly. Sometimes I sit down and just make art. Sometimes, I design with a specific client in mind, like when I’m designing for a specific campaign.
HOV: What trend do you wish would come back or see more of?
DS: The truth is, I would like to see a resurgence of jewelry and younger people falling in love with jewelry. It’s very personal and very individual. I don’t care about a trend, I care about getting young people to love it—I want individuality to be the trend. Jewelry is an amazing way to express yourself, and whether that’s with hoops, minimalist pieces, or vintage looks, I just want people working it.
HOV: What are the three jewelry pieces that every woman should have in her collection?
DS: Diamond studs are a must have, everything else is individual taste. I mean, really. Not every woman “needs” a strand of pearls. Not every woman “needs” big hoops earrings. Not every woman “needs” a tennis bracelet. Diamond studs are a classic staple, but other than that, it’s all unique. Authentic style is much more important than specific pieces.