The Man who Faked It to Make It

Kenneth Jay Lane in 1970. Credit Neal Boenzi/The New York Times

I read that costume jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane passed away at his home in Manhattan last week. He was 85. Mr. Lane was regarded as the first American jewelry designer to make it not only acceptable but also chic to wear fake jewelry. “I myself am a fabulous fake,” he once said of his success. Born in Detroit, the son of an automotive parts supplier, the process to create his own persona started as a young boy when he first fell in love with fashion. He left home as a teenager to fulfill his destiny to be a designer – New York City his destination. His entrance into fake jewelry began almost by accident; he had been designing jewelry in his spare time when he was hired to design bejeweled shoes, some with rhinestone toes and heels, for a Scaasi fashion show. He suggested that he create matching earrings and and bracelets and designer Arnold Scaasi agreed. Mr. Lane went to a five and dime store to purchase plastic bangles and asked the shoe company to cover them with the rhinestones. Eventually, Mr. Lane would begin his own jewelry collection in 1962. His creations caught the fancy of high society and within a few years he was selling to most of the Fifth Avenue stores. Quickly, his name was in fashion magazines and society columns – he, himself, lived and jet-setted with his famous customers and friends, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo, Nancy Reagan and princesses Margaret and Diana.

But it was also his 20 year relationship with QVC where his costume jewelry designs would expand to the mainstream. I heard of Mr. Lane through QVC. Chris Sheppard, executive vice president of Kenneth Jay Lane, said a memorial would be held during New York Fashion Week in September.

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Pamela Love Loves Vintage

ELISABET DAVIDSDOTTIR/COURTESY OF PAMELA LOVE

ELISABET DAVIDSDOTTIR/COURTESY OF PAMELA LOVE

Finding a great vintage item is like winning the lottery. It’s completely unique and special and has a life and a story behind it.” ~ Pamela Love

New York City jewelry designer Pamela Love says that she wouldn’t have become a designer if it hadn’t been for her early passion for vintage. It started with her grandmother’s vintage jewelry that was passed down to her, and eventually Love became a collector of vintage pieces herself. It’s the special details and the time and craftsmanship of the clothing that make a difference and allow the jewelry to pop. In this interview with Elle Magazine Love talks about working with the Shinola design team and finding the proper neutral palette to accentuate the jewelry and make the perfect statement.  It is refreshing to see jewelry taking center stage: “for me jewelry is so powerful; it’s not disposable, it’s not seasonal – it really becomes part of women’s lives.”

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Says Colette: “I plan to start with a new pair of shoes!”

Colette

Colette

Colette de Jounge is at a crossroads in her life: she must reclaim her style, and with it, her sense of self. It all starts with finding the right shoes …

Here is Colette
 
For the last nine years I have been living in rural Virginia, in the country. The real country, with cows and horses, vineyards, and large, open spaces. It has been a completely different lifestyle for me. All my life, I have lived an International and sophisticated lifestyle: Mexico City, Mexico, Sao Paolo, Brazil, Caracus, Venezuela, and also worked in New York City as a bonafide commuter. Virginia represented a completely different lifestyle  …
 
At first, whenever I went out, I dressed as I always had. It was not something that I thought about, but was completely natural to me. People noticed that I looked different and would tell me that they could tell that I wasn’t from the area, from the way I dressed. Continue reading

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours