Neil Lane is a name that’s synonymous with Hollywood glamour. The jewelry designer, who creates pieces for Kay Jewelers as well as couture designs for clients, has a vast collection of vintage jewels that has graced its fair share of red carpets on the hands (and necks, and ears, and arms) of countless celebs. And now, you can feast your eyes on a selection of Lane’s personal jewelry collection. The designer has lent spectacular jewels to an exhibit of vintage jewelry and fashion for the Museum of Fine Art, Boston.
Lane notes that he always had an interest in jewelry and dates his love for collecting back to his childhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., when he would spend his trips to the playground stuffing his pockets with pieces of colored glass. “I had no historical reference of what I was doing until I was 16, 17, when I first travelled abroad,” Lane tells InStyle. “I couldn’t really actually afford anything to collect and I didn’t understand the concept of collecting. I had no understanding of what collecting meant and since I was starting my business—designing, buying, selling, finding things on the street—I didn’t really understand that I could keep something. It wasn’t till years and years later, maybe 25 or 30 years ago, that I started to keep things.”
Lane began to hold on to the pieces of jewelry to which he felt a connection. “I don’t know what planet, where it came from, this connection to the jewels,” he says. “I just couldn’t part with them. Then that became a lifelong thing and all of a sudden you turn around and I have this collection of jewels.”
The "Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen" exhibit focuses on Lane's jewelry the 1930s and 1940s, which he calls the most glamorous era in Hollywood. Jewelry from his collection that once belonged to Mae West (pictured at top), Ginger Roberts, Joan Crawford, and Greta Garbo will be displayed next to the gowns they wore them with. The pieces include West's platinum and diamond art deco bracelet, a Paul Flato bracelet Zoe Saldana wore to the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 (above), and emerald Paul Flato pieces worn by Ginger Rogers (below) and range in value from $60,000 to $3,000,000.
The "Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen" exhibit is open from now until March 8, 2015, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Mass. Visit mfa.org for more information.