Women and girls are craving not only for
bags, but also for other status
driven accessory items. Most have not taken to following the fad of some
celebrities who have exchanged their brains for the ultimate bimbo accessory, the undersized miniature dog. Others teeter on their Jimmy Choos or
Manolos designer shoes, which are far more desirable accessories and unlikely to ruin an oversized
designer handbag. Accessories
now include what I think of as techellery - the latest wearable technology.
Even top hairstylist designer haircuts, brand name hair extensions, bleached
teeth, cosmetic injections and breast and buttock implants, are now
considered merely a different kind of personal accessory.
The average mere mortal might simply choose from the latest style of belts,
shoes, sandals, sunglasses, scarves, watches or jewellery in an effort to
upgrade their look. Fortunately, the high street retailer is hot on the heels
of any celebrity 'must have' as information is disseminated so quickly these
Make no mistake how important accessories have become. They can be the
ultimate one off status symbol without buying into fashion racing of
garments, which can be hit more easily by climate fluctuations. Some
accessories like a flower corsage or charm filled kilt pin are very
inexpensive, but provide an instant update. You don't even have to wear
corsages or scarves in the traditional way, just fix them to
your handbag for an immediate fashion reviver.
This season in addition to
huge bags and tiny bags, belts are the biggest accessory story along with ribbon bows and ribbon work rosettes.
by the great designers of our time like Patrick Cox and Manolo Blahnik may be
beyond your budget, but the authority imbued by designs styled by these
artistic shoe designers is soon translated into high street examples that try to
capture the essence of the novelty. Sometimes they succeed, but
sometimes the only way to get that ultimate style is to splash out on these
revered top names. So important is the work of Manolo Blahnik that the
word Manolos or Jimmy Choos are now an accepted dictionary words for highly esteemed footwear accessories.
Other shoe designers also contribute new ideas. Prada for example offered bamboo
stilt style wedge stacks and wedges by Alaia and
Louboutin offer other interesting footwear options.
Alexander McQueen showed denim rope on skirt hems and this influence can be
seen sandals and shoes in parts
traditionally covered with leather. These great deep wedges shoes with
gold leather uppers are from John Lewis.
In fact, all the wedge images here courtesy John
There are wedge shoes with solid wedges, but some forward looking high
street wedges have large cut out pieces aping ideas from Miu Miu.
For wearable elevation check out wedges or heels that are not spindly,
but have thicker stacked heels. Thicker stack heels are most usually layered wooden, cork or fabric covered.
Selfridge metallic gold platform shoe, image to the left, is from the Xmas/Winter
range. Image courtesy of Arcadia.
shoe trends to note for 2006, include the platform sole
shoe and the return of patent leather. At least one
pair is advised as a staple of this season's wardrobe. Some platforms are
comparatively gentle as these gold platforms shown here, whilst other
are heavier and chunkier in appearance, more reminiscent of the styles
of circa 1974/5.
To the right are River Island Womenswear Spring Summer 2006 Metallic Shoes
£49.99, and just below the pump style is also from River Island Spring
Summer 2006. Pumps £24.99
1950s couture debutante look
by wearing either formal court shoes or round toed flat ballerina pumps with
satin or brocade coats, skirts or dresses. Zac Posen featured
rosettes on shoe heel backs and others have shown footwear with bows and
Round toed ballet flat pumps often come in strong colours and have
contrast trims as these shown right also from River Island illustrate.
Many ballet pump
styles are super flatties decorated in a similar way to the shimmering coral
red and cream version above.
For a little lift add a bit of extra height choose a pair with a more flattering tiny heel
of 2 cm or more. This height will take you out of the dumpy doldrums, so if you are
short, but want the round toed ballet look that is so good with
Roman influenced Gladiator sandals are frequently more complex than a simple
flip-flop thong sandal so popular last summer. This lovely golden
leather and bead Roman sandal is courtesy of
John Lewis. Others have
decorative bows or brooch ornamentation.
also in fabrics such as brocade and compact tweeds. Shiny patent shoes make a reappearance along with patent handbags.
The latter accessories look modern and young as patent has not
been in fashion for 10 years.
Mary Jane style bar and TBar shoes are
sturdy selections that stay on the feet and can be more comfortable than
winkle picker toes so are sure to be winners. Laced thirties style courts are another good option.
Belts have moved up from the hip and are now on the waist and mostly waist
cinching statement pieces too. For interest, choose coloured patent belts in singing colours, this will add life to sombre plain clothes especially red belts teamed with the neutrals like beiges.
Handbag hardware and styling appears to have moved onto belts so look for
buckles, studs and deep cuffs set as one belt on another. Some belts
are made from grosgrain ribbon and they provide a new look for a long
Skinny scarves which elongate the body when worn long and flowing can double
as belts. Accessorize has some youthful versions.
Scarves are back for both young and older. Great scarves are an instant way to add extra dynamic now fashion colour that can jazz up or soften a more sombre outfit. Wear them as a belt, as a
hair accessory or cover up a doubtful neckline.
Finding a glamorous scarf is not difficult, but choosing from the huge
variety available can be bewildering. Pay a bit more and choose one in
a ravishing material, wonderful complexion enhancing colour with good
Ribbon belts in quality satin ribbon give a 70s touch when used to streamline a
fitted rib knit sweater or cardigan. Add your own belts and braces to
customize your own pants styles.
Flower forms especially worn in the hair Geisha style with decorative hair
sticks are perfect for
evening and weddings. If that's too fussy for you just pin a flower
corsage to your
summer straw bag. These two examples are both from
In summer, no handbag is complete unless it contains a pair of sunglasses
artfully strung around the handle. Big Jackie O sunglasses are an easy way to give a 60s fillip to your look.
Check out Miu Miu's white-framed sunglasses.
The big buzzword phrase of 2006 is 'Wearable Technology'. Levi
Strauss launched Redwire DLX jeans and they integrate iPod plug and play
technology. One wonders if decorative iPod cases and costly mobile phones,
a necklace or across the body as a form of jewellery, are accessories or
Already I think of these various forms of wearable
technology as techellery. Jewellery trends will be discussed on
Even gloves have made a big comeback as three quarter sleeve jackets leave
bare arms that need a utilitarian smart option. Three quarter
leather gloves are now more easy to obtain from stores such as Debenhams and
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