Versailles On 36th Street
For her Fall 2011 Fenton presentation, Dana Lorenz invited guests to her Garment District studio. Not much to look at from the outside, admittedly. But step in and you were in a baroque fantasy. The Fall Fenton line, called Versailles at Midnight, is inspired by the court of Louis XIV, and to properly display it, Lorenz called in a set of Louis Quatorze furniture (on loan from D&D) and a sparkling set of Baccarat crystal. (“It had to look perfect,” she said. “This isn’t a barnyard theme, you know?”) The jewelry lived up to the decor. Scattered throughout were references to gilded and polished interiors: A chain link was a miniature handle found on a porcelain pitcher; a gold bangle was ringed with lion’s feet from a claw-foot tub. Different sections of the collection called to mind different times of day: Midnight offerings came in burnished matte onyx and glittering red stone, reflecting a palatial darkness. An earlier morning hour got acid green jade for a shocking, slightly eighties touch. Lorenz’s creations tend to have a contemporary, and-the-kitchen-sink feel rather than a more classical simplicity, but it was a nice surprise how well the older references worked with her reigning aesthetic. She was searching, she said over sips of Champagne, for “a super hand-crafted feeling. I really want to get back to that, especially with Fenton—everything handmade, everything custom.” That’s a sentiment a baroque queen would surely have appreciated.