You don’t have to be hitting Ascot to sport a luxe seaside look
There is beauty in simplicity. There is beauty in the rocky British coastline stretching out ahead, white waves crashing as it fades in to the horizon. There is beauty in the nature discovered by tiny hands as they explore rock pools; beauty in the colours, in the textures, in the shapes. For Alex Yule, the memories of space, freedom, calm and happiness that these organic forms evoke are memories that should live on, and forever inspire tranquillity in the lives of others. And so Alex Yule jewellery was born: flora and fauna inspired rings, necklaces and earrings that quite literally breathe fresh air in to your jewellery box and act as an escape from polluted city life. Alex’s collections are your own little share of the British countryside and the salty seaside breeze.
Yes, ‘those who stop and take the time to look seem to find beauty in their simplicity’, says Alex of her designs. Her collections are distinctive yet understated, delicately handcrafted to produce breathtakingly elegant pieces. Growing up in the countryside surrounded by woodland and spending childhood holidays outside come rain or shine has evidently had a profound impact on the jeweller as her designs exquisitely express organic proximity.
Alex has always been particularly entranced by sea urchin shells. A number that she collected as a teenager whilst snorkelling in Greece have sat, lined up in size order like Russian dolls, on a mantelpiece for almost 20 years. It was the smallest of these shells that inspired the delicate sterling silver ring that evolved in to a whole collection of urchin jewellery.
Alex is enamoured with the symmetry and intricate details of urchin shells: ‘they have such an aesthetically pleasing form’. This sincere appreciation for their definitive contours has meant that inspiration is taken from them not only in the design process, but in the crafting process too. A mould is formed from a real urchin shell before casting it in solid silver to capture its memory forever. Each organic bump is perfectly preserved. Alex tells us that as a perfectionist she would have been troubled if her sea urchins were poor representations of their once living counterparts.
The rose gold colour was an obvious choice for some of the urchin pieces, Alex explains, as real urchin shells are often a lovely peach shade. Showing an awareness of current trends, she reveals that noticing that rose gold was becoming fashionable at the time also played a part in the decision. The rings, necklaces and earrings come in other colours too; we particularly love the turquoise enamel ring. Stacking it together with some of the more earthy tones immediately evokes the British seaside, from sparkling sea to golden sand.
The Alex Yule mussel collection, inspired by miniature mussel shells found whilst exploring a rocky Cornish beach, complements perfectly its urchin predecessor. Alex wonders if again it was the delicacy of the shape and textures that she found so appealing; she loved the idea that if the tiny hinged shells could be replicated in solid silver they could be given durability. The memory of that Cornish beach, the toes in the sand, the salt on the air is reawakened.
Like the urchin collection, the mussel jewellery is stunningly true to life, blending seamlessly into the habitat that inspired their creation. 18ct gold plates the insides, radiating warmth akin to that of the summer sun setting over the English sea.
There are, it seems, pieces for all personalities. Alex herself muses that perhaps her jewellery is similar to her character – that is, despite exuding luxury, ‘it’s not really saying ‘look at me!’’ On the other hand there are bolder pieces too, those that are bigger or with slightly brighter colours, which allow their wearers to express an inner confidence.
‘I suppose I want my jewellery to be a joy to wear’, Alex ponders. And it is. It is a joy to wear because of how it feels. Whilst yes, solid silver against the skin is always going to make you feel special, it’s the ensuing serenity of mind and soul that are most important.
Wearing Alex Yule’s urchins and mussels in the big city will immediately transport you to the edge of a grassy sand dune, gazing out over an idyllic landscape for that sophisticated and elegant look to be spotted at Ascot or a Cornish garden party. To get your precious share of the British countryside visit www.alexyulejewellery.co.uk
Photo courtesy of: Matt Shepherd and House of Jewellers