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Chic Strands For Summer

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Now that late summer's swelter is upon us, looking polished from 9 to 5 is no easy feat. Luckily, designers produced a bumper crop of exotic baubles for the season, which provide an easy fix for days when feeling put-together seems impossible: Slip on a chunky metallic choker or an eye-catching bracelet for an effortless upgrade to a simple sheath or breezy sundress.

-- Holly E. Thomas

Ladylike Luxe at Lanvin

Floaty silk ribbons, gem-encrusted bracelets, fanciful beaded chandelier necklaces . . . clearly, designer Alber Elbaz had his customer's inner girly-girl in mind when designing this array of finishing touches. Draped across gathered duchesse satin and crystal-embroidered knits, Elbaz's lacy, looped bib-style necklaces completed a sort of ultra-femme fantasy -- for day-to-day wear, stick with just one dainty, ornate piece. For an uptown approach, opt for Banana Republic's navy version layered over a tailored white blouse or chic cocktail dress.

$89 at Banana Republic stores and http://www.bananarepublic.com.

Tribal-Inspired at Louis Vuitton

Marc Jacobs nodded to tribal art throughout his collection for Louis Vuitton, using beads, feathers and stones to embellish saucer-size earrings, dramatic necklaces and stacks of wildly textured, colorful bangles. On the runway, the designer piled on these show-stopping accessories to hit a note of exoticism and luxury. Off the runway, a bit of moderation is key: Try Forever 21's chunky beaded necklace with a crisp, neutral-hued blazer or a linen sheath.

$13.80 at Forever 21 stores and http://www.forever21.com.

Precious Metals at Dries Van Noten

The Belgian designer accented his eponymous collection of bold geometric prints and casual, flowing silhouettes with Space Age panache: Think bracelets, rings and chokers strung with golf-ball-size metallic orbs. The result? Modern pieces that conveyed an artistic sturdiness without sacrificing elegance. To nail that Judy Jetson je nais se quoi, look for bright gold and silver accessories with a chunky, structured feel, such as this hammered gold choker from Tuleste Market.

$135 at http://www.shopbop.com.

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