Kenneth Jay Lane: 'Men Always Like to Please Women'

Costume jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane thinks today’s ubiquitous sleek decorating sense—heavy on the long, clean lines—is “a little bit boring.” He was quoted saying this during a recent interview with NYSD House, David Patrick Columbia’s interior design-Q&A column, which some may find a little light on the questions and heavy on the photos. And that’s probably a good thing, too—Mr. Lane comes across as a man of few words and his Murray Hill apartment is fun to look at. (At one point, Mr. Columbia tells his subject that he finds watching QVC soothing; the shopping network has sold Mr. Lane’s baubles-in-drag for some 15 years. “I’m glad you’re soothed,” he responds.)

In any case, Mr. Lane—who said that he’s always lived alone, but “was married for a moment”—does offer an interesting explanation for the “impulse for adornment” and its historical longevity (both of which he seems to have: expensive-looking antique chotchkes abound in chez Lane.) “Well men always like to please women. Women like to please men too—some women. Some are very good at it. A caveman took a shell and maybe it had a hole in it or maybe he put a hole in it and he put it on a piece of a tail of a donkey or a dinosaur or something and gave it to the cavewoman. She put it around her neck—the first jewel,” he explained.