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Eva neck­lace from Mai­son Jeff & Jeka; and lim­ited-edi­tion Bul­gari Ser­penti hand­bags by Nicholas Kirk­wood

H igh jew­ellery is not known for its sub­ver­sive­ness. With tech­niques honed over hun­dreds of years, pieces cre­ated over count­less hours, and stones sourced from all over the world, this is a slow, so­phis­ti­cated, old­school busi­ness.

None­the­less, with its new Eva neck­lace, Genev­abased jew­ellery brand Mai­son Jeff & Jeka is mak­ing quite the state­ment. Three years ago, two young de­sign­ers, Jeff Alexander and Jeka Ana­tole­vich, of­fi­cially founded their bou­tique jew­ellery line, and started work on a col­lec­tion they called The Fight for Love. Their aim was to of­fer a rad­i­cal rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of ob­jects and iconog­ra­phy more com­monly as­so­ci­ated with the world of com­bat.

“We don’t care about tra­di­tional jew­ellery,” says Ana­tole­vich. “We don’t want to fol­low their rules. We con­sider our­selves more as artists, and jew­ellery is our medium. Fur­ther­more, we are pretty young in this game and we want to speak to our gen­er­a­tion.”

The duo met in Geneva and were united by a shared pas­sion for hip-hop, avant-garde fash­ion, pre­cious met­als, street art and tat­toos – all of which shape their unique aes­thetic. They re­cently de­buted the first piece from the col­lec­tion, Eva, which is an un­ex­pect­edly del­i­cate pen­dant, shaped like the bul­let of a Kalash­nikov as­sault ri­fle. The piece is sculpted from high-tech black ce­ramic, in a gloss or matte fin­ish. The ma­te­rial was se­lected not only for its smooth­ness, but also be­cause its colour re­mains un­changed over time and its strength ri­vals that of a diamond.

The orig­i­nal glossy Eva is priced at €17,000 (Dh73, 697); the matte ver­sion is priced at €17,900; while the Al­li­ga­tor ver­sion is cov­ered in 18K gold, in a mo­tif that mim­ics al­li­ga­tor skin, and is priced at €19,000.

Del­i­cately mak­ing its way up the side of the bul­let is a tat­too made from rose gold – a fea­ture that is the re­sult of two years’ re­search and bor­rows know-how from the watch­mak­ing in­dus­try. The piece is topped with a sin­gle, unas­sum­ing 0.34-carat black diamond. Only 30 of the lim­ited-edi­tion pen­dants will be made, a num­ber that ref­er­ences the car­tridge case ca­pac­ity of a Kalash­nikov.

The idea of tak­ing some­thing ugly and mak­ing it beau­ti­ful is not new, of course, and nei­ther is the idea of tak­ing some­thing deadly and turn­ing it into some­thing purely dec­o­ra­tive. But there is an un­ex­pected beauty to the way that this par­tic­u­lar bul­let has been re­framed as a work of art.

“This piece rep­re­sents our phi­los­o­phy best: ‘We do not fol­low the same codes. We are not fight­ing with the same weapons.’ Eva in­car­nates the para­dox of The Fight for Love col­lec­tion,” Ana­tole­vich says.

For some, it will no doubt be seen as the ul­ti­mate in bad taste; for oth­ers, it may be a lit­tle piece of coun­ter­cul­ture to be worn around the neck. We’ll leave you to de­cide which.

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