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Costume jewelry has always taken some of its best ideas from fine jewelry, replacing expensive, real gemstones with amazingly real-looking stones like CZs, rhinestones and glass that cost just a fraction of the price. 

 

A prime example of that movement can be seen in the fabulous new costume jewelry collection being introduced by Prada, the super-expensive fashion brand that has formerly stood for some of the most expensive accessories in the world. 

 

Now, however, Prada is unveiling a group of costume jewelry pieces that mimic real jewelry with remarkable skill. We don’t expect everyone to go out and buy Prada…the pricing is still high, by costume jewelry standards.  But, it is important to be aware of the products and to see the kind of jewelry the firm is manufacturing. 

 

              — After all, this is an incredibly hot brand, and getting “the Prada look” isn’t a bad thing to try for. It’s just about guaranteed many top costume manufacturers will be doing just that!

 

Prada is using a number of innovative materials in its new collection, like crystals of various sizes that are treated with thermic shock to create a cracked effect. They are then put on grosgrain ribbons which are linked to chains and clasps made with silver-alloyed metals. These, in turn, are used to form the collection’s necklaces, earrings and bracelets. 

 

The new Prada necklaces will retail from $695 to $750, while the earrings will run $350.

But, the good news is, you don’t have to spend that much to still get plenty of Prada-like power.  In making your buying plans, look for jewelry items with large, expensive-looking gemstones. 

 

Prada uses a good deal of turquoise in the new collection, along with clear crystal and both silver- and gold-toned gold in one piece. The firm also works with matched sets. Mixed metals rank high in this new grouping.  So do crystals or CZs on ribbon or on metal link chains.

 

Consider a bib necklace made of high fashion reconstituted turquoise stones set in a meandering pattern of metal.  It approximates the Italian look dramatically.  Also, look at fashion earrings in turquoise color, or a faux turquoise and crystal brooch with Victorian inspiration.  They all speak with the same refinement and beauty.

 

             — Remember:  Getting a hot designer look isn’t all that difficult. 

 

All it takes is, first, a keen eye for detail, and an appreciation of the original item. Then, you have to list the main elements of the item.  Think in terms of color, material, and stones.  Also, is the piece traditional, or modern? 

 

Some materials automatically give a rich appearance.  For example, crystal bracelets are wonderfully elegant, and perfect for that special formal affair.  Made of Austrian crystal, these bracelets will dazzle the eye delightfully. This is the mood you should look for when trying for jewelry with a “Prada sensibility.” 

 

Once you’ve got a line on all of that, start looking for pieces that match up with the original in at least several points.  And don’t forget to trust your own eye:  Do the pieces look alike?  If the answer is “Yes,” you’ve got a hit!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, November 17th, 2008


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