Hidden Gems - Stay cool with Virgule

Bringing the best of the Sixties back, Virgule is a hidden gem in Jumeirah Lake Towers. Adorned with trinkets, each more unique than the next, walking into the boutique feels like experiencing an explosion of art.

The collection is eclectic and exclusive, and Virgule takes prides in displaying articles that aren't available anywhere else in the region. The pieces are shipped directly from the homes of their creators in Iran, Paris and Casablanca, and offer an interesting combination of vintage and vibrance. The result is products that are always trending.

Virgule was founded by Fati Rannou and Mona Balsini last year. ''We were introduced by mutual friends and found that we had the same taste in design and a passion for the emerging arts scene'', says Rannou.

Both bring varying perspectives to the table. While Balsini has a background in fine arts and was a private art curator, Rannou's passion for design stems from her Parisian upbringing, strong Iranian heritage and a passion for travel.

Virgule is a unabashed presentation of the potential of budding artists, and how they shine given place under the spotlight. People have walked away with creations by artists from Africa to Afghanistan, and this kind of diversity brightens the store with cultural references from the world over.

Another speciality of the boutique is that it strives to ensure everything sold under its roof is entirely handcrafted. Hence, every article comes with a story.

''Virgule, by definition, indicates an alternative. It is our way of reminding shoppers that there is an alternative to traditional shopping''.

From statement cushions and home decor pieces to jewellery and accessories, the boutique features products by upcoming designers as well as occasional pieces by celebrated artists. For instance, Iranian artist Keyvar Fehri, known for his Anar ceramics (see below), showcases some of his work here. Anar means pomegranate in Farsi, and Fehri uses ancient firing methods to create masterpieces in vivid hues.

Samira Vaziri's work also grabs eyeballs at Virgule. An emerging designer, she derives inspiration from nature and Islamic scriptures to create everything from platters and cushions to jewellery and ashtrays.

Other artists whose products are on display at Virgule include Camilla Brindfors of Barcelona-based Mono & Me and Iranian fashion icon Naghmeh Kiumarsi.

Limited-edition pieces featuring Arabian calligraphy and references to regional pop culture, along with products such as ornate mirrors and unique ceramic creations are only some of Virgule's finest things.

Moreover, if you can't go to Virgule, it brings the boutique to you through Virguleshop.com. A versatile selection of products are available in the online store, and shipping is available worldwide.

Virgule is located in One Lake Plaza in Cluster T at Jumeirah Lake Towers.

Source: Nichole Nikoliovich, Special to Property Weekly

This section features lesser-known places and events that are delightfully distinct in their own way. It could be a quaint little café or simply a charming lake. If it's got character and brings a smile to your face, it's a hidden gem that will find a place on this page. If you know of a hidden gem, email the Editor at: enag@gulfnews.com

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