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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Artistic assault: a necklace shaped like the bullet of an AK-47 

The Eva necklace by Geneva's Maison Jeff & Jeka is part of The Fight for Love collection

The Eva pendant by Maison Jeff & Jeka.
The Eva pendant by Maison Jeff & Jeka.

High 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, old-school business.

Nonetheless, with its new Eva necklace, Geneva-based 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 piece is sculpted from high-tech black ceramic, in a gloss or matte finish
The piece is sculpted from high-tech black ceramic, in a gloss or matte finish

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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