The work of Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana provokes debate. Their signature functional sculptures (think chairs fashioned from hundreds of soft toys in the shape of Disney characters) fuelled the ‘Is it art?’ design discussion that continues to divide the art world. And their recent entry into high jewelry (think pieces that feature as much grass as they do gold) poses the difficult question: what is luxury? For us at Luxuryculture.com, there is no question – combining simplicity with creativity, this is the ultimate in luxury.

Clearly recognizing that they are rewriting the rules of jewelry, their new collection of eight unique pieces is titled Dangerous Luxury. Made in collaboration with the Rome-based jeweler Fabio Salini for Galleria O, the danger is found in the fission between humble and precious materials: bamboo fused with brown diamonds and rose gold with Campim Dourado, a protected Brazilian grass close to extinction. The only tradition that could be said to be found in the two necklaces, two bracelets, three pairs of earrings and a headpiece is the golden palette that radiates from both the straw and the stones.

An alumnus of Cartier and Bulgari, Fabio Salini is well known for his jewelry that fuses diamonds with leather, wood, rocks, silk, crocodile skin and metals like copper, titanium and carbon fibre. “The Campanas were impressed by my work using unusual materials. We shared the same vision,” he says of his partnership with the Brazilian artists.

For Salini, melding gold with straw (a feat of engineering on the part of his atelier) was easy compared to balancing art with jewelry. “The greatest difficulty was not technical but was to save the spirit of the Campanas which is quite wild,” he explains. “Usually their works of art are huge so the proportions are very important in order to give a sensation to the observer. Just bringing their work into very small dimensions and into a feminine world was the greatest challenge.”

www.fabiosalini.net

What is your definition of luxury?
Time. Time to realise something, time for yourself, enough time to work on a project and make it the best it can possibly be.

If luxury were a moment, when would it be?
A moment during a massage because I consider that a moment of concentration to look inside ourselves.

If luxury were an object, what would it be?
Even if I work on big stones, I do not consider these to be luxury. Expensive and exclusive is not necessarily luxury. We must not forget what is common and also beautiful.

If luxury were a person, who would it be?
Ghandi.

If luxury were a place, where would it be?
Our grandmothers’ kitchens. Traditions are luxuries that we should return to consider.