When Fernando Jorge launched his first collection back in 2010, it was an instant sensation. The Brazilian-born designer, who honed his trade at Central St Martin’s in London and continues to live and work in the capital, had created a new style of jewellery inspired by his homeland that women were immediately drawn to.
Subtly sexy and set with gemstones from his native Brazil, the sensual curves of his debut Fluid collection quickly became his signature, and it’s an aesthetic he returns to once again with the Parallel collection.
Stripped bare of any excess flourishes, it is a distillation of Fernando’s sensual style. Mixing the warmth of yellow gold with earthy-toned gemstones, this androgynous new look sees the designer heading in a bold new direction where jewellery has no gender.
Stacked loops of gold create a glamorous, indisputably feminine look for the Multi Chain earrings, but the Cushioned ring, with a low-key brown diamond set into serpentine, will appeal to both sexes.
The Bar pendants can be worn in two ways, on a gold chain or a more masculine leather cord, and the plump Cushioned necklaces are truly unisex. I can imagine them becoming firm favourites with women who balk at the thought of wearing pretty jewels, as well as stylish gents like Fernando, who created the collection because he wanted to be able to wear jewels of his own design and is pictured wearing two of his pendants, below.
The designer’s signature slinky snake chain, a recurring theme throughout his collections, features prominently in the most feminine Parallel jewels, but it is the gemstone pendants that I predict will do best. Set with warm nephrite jade, blue-green tourmalines and brown diamonds, the colour palette is intentionally low-key, playing down the fact that these are precious gemstones.
Where gems are faceted, they peep out from gold rubover settings rather than standing to attention in claws. Less valuable but more interesting semi-precious stones feature in some of my favourite pieces - serpentine and rutilated quartz, above - and the most masculine jewels, the Tag bracelet and ring, are set with smooth brown horn.
By not assigning a gender to the collection, and launching a campaign with models of both sexes wearing the same jewels, Fernando has cleverly opened up his universe to the select but growing number of men who wear jewellery. But like Hannah Martin, who designs masculine jewellery that has a strong female fanbase, there is a refreshing lack of rules with Fernando’s new Parallel collection.