I first met jewelry designer and all-around fascinating personality Dana Lorenz through Ikram Goldman during the Fall/Winter collections this past March in Paris. Prior to launching the luxury accessory and jewelry collection personality FENTON in 2005, Dana worked for the likes of Donna Karen and Gucci. While taking a break from her posts, she proceeded to spontaneously create jewelry -- eventually joining forces with Cloak to design signature pieces for his show (down the line, Proenza Schouler would also join the impressive ranks of Dana's collaborators). While underway with FENTON for two booming years, Dana founded FALLON in 2007: a younger, bolder, more price-conscious collection established by popular demand from her retailers -- Barneys, Harvey Nichols, Ikram, Lane Crawford, Linda Dresner, among others.
On September 1st, Dana will open a New York FENTON/FALLON flagship located at the end of Freeman Alley (guarded by flamingo-shaped shrubbery near Chrystie Street). Deeply rooted in Dana's design aesthetic, the boutique's "more is more" motif is based on her mythical vision of an '80s-era teenager who inherited a prim Park Avenue townhouse that she soon thrashed and rejiggered into her own punk debutante paradise. Crowned by a Patrick Nagel lithograph, the pink-paneled boutique's interior highlights include a kooky lip-shaped chaise and a zebra ottoman -- but it's Dana's eccentric FENTON and FALLON bijoux that really steal the spotlight.
How did your first collaboration with Alexandre Plohkov (of Cloak) transpire?
Alexandre and I have at ton of mutual friends and we used to go out to the same hangouts, shows, etc. He saw something that I was wearing and asked if I could use it as inspiration for a handful of pieces for his show...
After launching your luxury venture FENTON, what was the driving force in creating the high-spirited line FALLON?
Immediately stores and buyers were requesting additional styles and more of "a rangeâ from me. Small boutiques as well as the Barneys buyer for CO-OP came in asking for the FENTON sensibility but in an easier, broader and less expensive assortment. I wanted to stay tight and exclusive with FENTON... but absolutely had to take advantage of the demand!
What are the fundamental differences between the two lines?
FENTON is thought to have a more advanced, more
sophisticated feeling; although I think the main differences lie in the
development and assembly techniques. The materials are in fact a bit
more expensive for FENTON, but the time it takes to make one piece far
exceeds that of one from FALLON. We have a signature bondage technique
where we wrap a profusion of short pieces composed of chain and crystals
so tightly that it turns into a hard collar structure rather than a
necklace of loose hanging chains.
And what do the two collections have in common?
FENTON and FALLON share the same inspirations... the same mood for each season; I even research and source for both at the same time. Both collections are always strong and graphic but the development of each takes them in two distinctly separate directions. FENTON tends to be more eclectic and mixed media-based, whereas FALLON focuses more on simpler shapes and geometry.
How would you describe your jewelry design aesthetic?
Unexpected: embodying a kind of a "more is more" philosophy.
And how does this sensibility extend to the new FENTON/FALLON flagship?
The decor of the space is crazy! Its foundation is based on a stuffy Park Avenue townhouse that an '80s teen inherited and thereby disrupted by putting her signature on it. It's the tradition of a pearl necklace she receives for graduation that gets wrapped in our leather barbed wire and spikes.
You're renowned for your visionary and fanciful application of colors, materials, textures, and themes: as a jeweler, do you follow a set process while formulating a collection?
I have a "no-formula" formula in a sense. Once I based an entire collection on the early '90s commercial for the fragrance Exclamation... if I see something in a video or film: I immediately know. Most of the time I have already accumulated months of collected and sourced ideas in preparation for the next season knowing that my love of the materials is what drives the direction; but then suddenly seeing something makes it all click and make sense. This season, an entire group of necklaces was inspired by the colors used in Andy Warhol's portrait in Sigourney Weaver's apartment featured in Working Girl.
Tell us a bit about the FENTON/FALLON flagship. What are some keystone interior design influences and how did you choose the location (at the rear of Freeman Alley)?
I was looking for a new studio and stumbled upon this space -- my broker was like "Okay, it's totally Sanford and Son, but it opens on Freeman Alley!" There are custom triangular mouldings, a the Nagel lithograph , hot pink neon pawn shop windows -- all mixed with Biedermeier furniture and bespoke brass cases and fixtures. It's as unexpected as the collections...