By Cindy Dampier
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Jim Wetzel, co-owner of Space 519, a fashion and lifestyle boutique says, “We’re in this moment where women want to be different. And with costume jewelry, original can be attainable.”
Fake is big, but you know that by now.
Fake news, fake Facebook accounts, fake product reviews, fake love, fake hair, fake body parts …
Fake has built its own little universe out there. So it makes sense that Kenneth Jay Lane is hotter than ever.
Lane, a jewelry designer whose flamboyant pieces have graced the arms, necks and earlobes of famously stylish women from Jackie Kennedy to Rihanna and Gwyneth Paltrow (or from Barbara Bush to Beyonce, if you want to get real) died last year at age 85. He was unabashedly fake to the not-so-bitter end.
The most beloved costume jewelry designer in the world of fashion, Lane, a Rhode Island School of Design-trained designer, imagined his pieces with an artist’s eye, a flair for color and an unapologetic love of flashy, faux stones. The bigger, the better.
“He was emphatic about the fact that he was never using anything that was a real stone,” says Victoria Tudor, a decorative arts specialist at the auction house Christie’s. “It was all fake. It was all supposed to be.”
Next week in New York, Christie’s will auction Lane’s estate, including the contents of his grand Park Avenue apartment and pieces from his jewelry archive, and on Wednesday, the auction house held a preview of select pieces of jewelry at Chicago’s Space 519, a fashion and lifestyle boutique with a growing following.
At the preview, potential buyers ogled elaborate waterfall necklaces and fingered gem-encrusted earrings displayed at arm’s reach. They were jaw-dropping, sure, but meant to be worn, not squirreled away behind glass.