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.