Photo: Zaphs Zhang


For making fake – or costume – jewellery fashionable and respectable, we have two designers to thank: Coco Chanel, who introduced the idea of faux with fine, and Kenneth Jay Lane, who took the idea further by making it accessible.


Photo: Tory Burch

Kenneth Jay Lane and Tory Burch


Lane, who passed away in July at 85, launched his first costume-jewellery collection in 1963, after shoe-designing stints at Delman and with Roger Vivier at Dior. He quickly found success with his couture-like pieces, which featured dramatic designs, bold hues, and imaginative colour combinations. Adorned with “jewels” made of glass or plastic, they were often said to be almost indistinguishable from the real thing.


Photo: Zaphs Zhang


His designs found a place among both the well-heeled and the masses. The late Audrey Hepburn wore his five-strand pearl necklace in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and other famous women on whom his jewellery was frequently seen included the late Jackie O, Liz Taylor, and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Some of his designs are now coveted collectibles exhibited at museums and sold at auctions – a faux pearl necklace with a crystal clasp owned by Jackie O went for US$211,500 at a 1996 Sotheby’s auction of the former US First Lady’s jewellery.


Photo: Zaphs Zhang


Before his passing, Lane worked with long-time friend Tory Burch for his second and final capsule collection (his first with her was 13 years ago). The collection of eight designs (seven are available in Singapore) includes a gunmetal link cuff hand-picked from his archives, leaf-shaped earrings, and embellished dragonfly brooches. From $280-$530.


Photography: Zaphs Zhang

Styling: Bryan Goh

Hair: Christvian Wu/Trimmings Salon & Spa, using Kevin Murphy

Makeup: Sha Shamsi, using Burberry Beauty

Model: Boglarka/Looque

This story was first published in the November 2017 issue of Her World magazine.