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Typecasting with accessories

Splurging on accessories will be easy this season. But caveat emptor. The wise shopper should do some serious typecasting on herself before going on a spree with credit cards.

To be -- or not to be -- (1) pretty, (2) preppy, or (3) perpendicularly rectilinear. That will be the question. Shoppers will find that choices in new hats, handbags, belts, jewelry, and other fashion addenda lie within these parameters: softly feminine, Ivy Leaguey-classic, adn ultramodern geometric.

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To be sure, acquiring some new angular jewelry to wear with ruffles or with Gibson girl leg-of-mutton sleeves definitely will not work. Ditto for gold bar pins and regimental ribbon stripe belts. These would clearly be destined for button-down oxford cloth shirt looks.

A big pussycat bow or a lace collar is going to spell disaster with, say, a color-bisected dress.

Given these warnings the accessory seeker will have a field day. there is a galaxy of goodies to pep up tired old duds or to complement brand new outfits.

The futuristic trend has zeroed in on the accessories market like a rocket. In its wake, we have lightning stripe hair ornaments, metal-tube cuffs, matchstick glass earrings and quadrangular Lucite handbags, plus a multitude of other items in triangular and circular shapes -- all very sleek and modern-looking.

Art deco lives, and so does cubism, in accessories this year, and these are choice pieces to accompany bicolor dresses and abstract prints. Clutch handbags in textural splits or color divisions -- also such Hi-Tech looks as corrugated box bags -- complement geometric styles. Two-toned belts, some combining snakeskin and leather, have piped trim and geometric buckles.

The sash-wrap belt -- either tied or buckled -- is probably the single most vital accessory, serving as it does to cinch in cotton Tee dresses as well as chemises.

As for the fillips to add to feminine or classic clothes, the mainstays are bows and pearls. Bows of silk, satin, or taffeta are finishing touches at necklines. Bows substitute for buckles on belts. Bows decorate pumps.

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Good quality cultured pearls of any size or gradation rate high, with the graduated necklace a must accouterment for preppy dressing. Real freshwater pearls, or simulated copies thereof, continue to make news in double and triple strand necklaces and bracelets, often being strung with garnets, other semi-precious stones, or gold beads.

Speaking of gold beads, the tiny BB shot or petit pois sizes are at present the sine qua non in gold jewerly, as fashion-consicous gold-rushers who have been collecting 14-karat chains might take not. Here again, the gold beads are frequently spaced with carnelian, lapis, or onyx for both neck chains and bracelets to match.

Black and White -- that most dramatic of combinations -- was a strong message at both Paris and New York openings. Nothing sets it off like black patent, which is coming back in shoes and handbags. Jewerly has also picked up on black and white -- pearls strung with jet beads, for instance.

The latest in asymmetrical, one-sided effects is to wear one extra-large earring -- a fan shape, perhaps -- with the harido swept over to the opposite side of the head. A white pearl on one ear and a black pearl on the other is also an idea that is new, but only seemingly so. After all, Mex Beerbohm's heroine, Zulieka Dobson, did it first, a long while ago.

Last but not least, there are many fan motifs, for Yves Saint Laurent's Picasso-inspired two-and three- color plastic fans are already making their mark here.


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