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HOT PROPS THE WORD ON WHAT'S HIP AND WHAT'S HYPE

April 30, 1993|ROSE APODACA

Forget Brown-Baggin' It

Bill Blass takes the shopping bag shape and transforms it into a glamorous new dimension for evening. Why? Because most women love to shop, says spokeswoman Carol Matthews. "By introducing a shopping bag for evening, we carry over the idea of one of women's favorite pastimes from day to evening." The luxurious satin bag is available in wine, red, concord, silver and black, from $55 to $60.

Everybody's Got It

The hottest props of all? The one's that don't cost a cent. Which leads to this season's egalitarian item: the belly button. Fashion pundits are nuts over navels, showing them off with cropped tops, cropped jackets and other midriff-exposing silhouettes. Gee, and just in time for summer. No surprise it's the new breed of gamin models with the ultra-flat tummies who pull off the look best.

Modern Primitive

The fascination with things primitive and of the earth, along with a drive toward items that express one's individuality, has inspired artists such as Deborah Hefter to take up the craft of jewelry-making in the old-school style. Using gold or silver wire, she links jade, old African trading beads, onyx, Venetian glass and a host of other materials into necklaces ($400 to $875) and bracelets ($150 to $425). The link itself dates back 4,000 years. "No two are ever alike," notes Hefter, who sells her work at Elements in the Irvine Marketplace. "Most everyone today wears a tennis bracelet and a fake Rolex, but my jewelry is for women who really enjoy signature pieces."

New Style Order

"Escada will do no grunge," exhorts chief designer Michael Stolzenburg. Well, that's a relief. What fans can expect for fall '93 is an easier, youthful bent combined with Escada's inherent sophistication. Stolzenburg, who previewed the collection last week in Los Angeles for retailers and the press, says choice is key. He offers 10 new color stories, each with styles for career, lunch, cocktail and mostly day. "A new generation is growing up, and these younger women enjoy more casual looks. They don't feel it's the right time in our world to be showy, overdressed."

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