Celebrities wear Maison Alexandrine at awards in the United States
Fernando Jorge’s first day in London ten years ago was also his first day at Central Saint Martins. “I came straight off the flight and went into college,” recalls the charming Brazilian-born jewellery designer.
Jorge had arrived to study for CSM’s prestigious MA in jewellery design and ended up making London his permanent home. In a rise almost as swift as his arrival at college, he is today one of Britain’s hottest jewellers and his award-winning designs are worn by the likes of Beyoncé, Emilia Clarke and Saiorse Ronan.
He now marks his first decade in London with the opening of his first dedicated showroom. Located in the heart of Shoreditch, it combines a design studio and appointment-only space where clients can view his entire collection and discuss bespoke orders.
“Our collection is getting bigger and our business keeps growing so the time was right for me to open somewhere where I could really express my aesthetic,” says Jorge.
Taking up an entire floor of a Victorian industrial building that once housed a wax manufacturer, the light-filled space embues the same casual luxury of his jewellery designs, a combination of Brazil’s effortless sensuality and colour sense with a healthy dose of London cool.
Exposed brick walls and wooden floors are softened with tropical plants that Jorge describes as his “little jungle”. Scandinavian chairs upholstered in deep brown leather compliment a custom-made table topped with the muted sheen of olive green Italian onyx. The latter recalls the delicate hue of the Nephrite jade used in Jorge’s latest collection, Surround, where graduated discs of organic materials including mother of pearl and tagua seed, provide a fresh halo to white diamonds.
The intimate space also tells the story of his decade in London. The concrete planters stacked Brancusi-style as a room divider date back to his first jewellery exhibition in 2011 when he showed with fellow CSM graduate and designer Alice Cicolini. Elegant brass display cabinets and plinths with skirts of Brazilian raffia were made for his first solo show in Paris in 2013 in collaboration with visual artist Fotis Evans, their polished gleam contrasting with the rough brick wall behind.
Surrounded by elements of his past and his present, Jorge says he has found the experience of coming to London enriching to his work. “Being out of your element makes you sensitive to who you are,” he says. “London encourages an inquisitive state of mind. It keeps me sharp so that I look at things in a different way.” As he prepares to jet off to New York, the first leg of an international tour to share his latest collection with clients and stores, we will have to wait and see what inspiration it brings next.