There’s a shop in Rye which is dangerous. It beckons you in with glittering jewels and you may well emerge back onto the streets of Rye a little bit poorer.
But we have to say that Juel is one of the most wonderful treasure-troves around, selling jewellery that you’d never find anywhere else. Most of what they sell is handmade in Europe and each piece is unique. This is not where you go for a silver neck chain, this is where you go for someting that will make a real statement.
We’ve also just found out Juel are offering a hire service so you can make like Cate Blanchett and head off to a party wearing something seriously special (pearl choker below a case in point) knowing that it’s not cost you very much. Sadly Juel don’t provide a security guard to protect you on the red carpet, but maybe next year.
Given that they specialise in being ahead of the curve, we asked Juel co-owner Judith Herbert about the cultural movements influencing what you’ll see in the shop:
“We don’t follow seasonal trends because we adopt a ‘futurist’ approach – we look at key events – like anniversaries of famous artists and designers – that have a great influence on design in our environment, from clothing to interiors and architecture. These movements become reference points for the jewellery we buy for Juel.
So at the moment in jewellery, you’ll generally be seeing elaborate designs around, which stems from the Victora and Albert museum’s current Baroque Exhibition, also abstract designs which take a cue from all the Picasso revival’s that are going on.
“For next season, we’re anticipating a 1950s and modernist revival, and Juel is also going to be reflecting the Art Deco period with a strong contemporary edge.
“Another movement, linked to the recession, is the revival of ‘Art in Design’. We want to offer products that will stand the test of time, and that offer versatility – people are being more cautious in buying new clothing, so this season we are having great success with vibrant colours that lift and enhance neutral outfits. Sometimes it is more prudent to purchase accessories than to replace items in the wardrobe. Several new looks can be created using accessories, say with a simple black dress. It is a formula used always by stylish French women.”
So there you go: make like the French and don’t bother with a new frock, all you need’s a necklace (though make sure it’s Art Deco!).
Juel have shops in Battle and Rye, and say hello to Judith next time you’re in. She might even show you that pearl choker.