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COURTLY OPULENCE FASCINATES:    Today, courtly opulence and extreme silhouettes fill the pages of fashion magazines.  They show a womanly ideal that is super-rich and weighted down with huge leather bags, dangerously spiky (yet knockout!) footwear and lots of big colorful jewelry.  And do these women look fabulous and utterly with it?  Yes!  A resounding Yes! 


But:  have you ever noticed that, no matter what the current trends dictate, there is always a fashion “safety zone” where certain women choose “their look” of subtle chic?  We’re talking about neutrals … and neutrals are the balancing counterpoint to today’s nonstop opulence.  Neutral colors and rich but uncomplicated materials provide visual calm, refined relief in a sea of pop excitement and bling glamour.


  • Neutrals are a way to stand out, charmingly enveloped in understatement.


Neutral colorsWho doesn’t love camel?  Or any one of a number of shades of grey, from charcoal to pearl grey?  If you think white is simply white, take a look at the Ralph Lauren color charts for white paint.  Beige, taupe, brown, all bona fide neutrals.  And even certain washed shades of black can be considered “neutral.”


PUTTING ON THE RITZ:  There’s something aristocratic in a neutral ensemble, especially when it is craftily accessorized with rich-to-the-eye jewelry.  A , classic circular fashion pendant shimmering with gold or silver plate, perfectly accompanies neutrals.  Or interesting chain necklaces, unadorned but finished with interesting links and faceting.  And neutrals blossom when accessorized with tailored hats-try fedoras with their flirty small brims.  Gucci-style silken scarves are often the only ornamentation neutral clothing needs to draw admiring glances. 


Natural materials also merge well with neutrals.   Wood bangles mingle nicely with gold or silver plate cuffs or bangles.  Mother-of-pearl bracelets, necklaces and earrings all give a natural boost to the innate appeal of neutrals.


A SAFE HAVEN:  For many, neutral dressing is the chosen everyday style, guaranteed to always look chic and in fashion.  For others, a handsome and deftly accessorized neutral ensemble can simply be an infrequent wardrobe choice, perfectly suited for a special occasion.  Neutrals actually cushion a fashionista when she needs a sophisticated break from the bling all around her. 



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   Hey, did you ever see so many circles in fashion?  Prints of big and little circles, twisted up circles, circles within circles, on top of circles, in praise of circles.  It is a geometric blast of shape, and it has invaded every facet of the world of jewelry.  Circle bracelets are hot, whether we are talking about bangles or charm bracelets with little circles hanging off them. 


Earrings made out of circles defy design exhaustion:  There are so many ways, big and small, to say and show circles!  Think about chandelier earrings, made of cascading circles.  Or linear drops of singular circles. Or just little circle buttons.


DESIGNERS LOVE CIRCLES:  Phillip Lim showed a marvelous, large gold chain necklace with two huge colored circle pendants in his recent runway show.  At Louis Vuitton, a dangerous looking silver necklace of pieced strips culminated in a big silver circle at the throat line.  Dries Van Noten loves colorful, bakelite-looking circle bracelets in myriad colors, and strings them on cord for an altogether unique bracelet-necklace. 


Circle pendants are everywhere.  Could they be any hotter?  Turquoise circles. Amber circles.  They resonate with spiritual connotations!  Circle chain belts are as hot today as they were back in the 60s, when Yves Saint Laurent introduced his famous big circle design, still hot today. 


ARCHTYPES:  There is so much you can say about circles.  They are an ancient form.  They evoke Jungian archtypes as a symbol found in every ancient culture on the earth.   They are fun, even for children.  They are easily understandable and people relate to them.  You can be circuitous.  Or run in circles. Or circle around the matter.  Or circle in on an idea. For starters, try centering on circles in jewelry.  This is a sizzling hot one!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, October 13th, 2008

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