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Golden Moments Past and Present

After Almost a Decade, Gold Chains Are Back and Designers Are Applying the Midas Touch to Everything From Shoes to Shades. Of Course, With Rappers and Hip-Hop Divas, Glitz Has Always Been in Style.

May 07, 2000|Leslee Komaiko

Golden rules at Chanel's fall '91 runway show, capping off a decade of fashionable excess.

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For spring 2000, D&G Dolce & Gabbana rethinks the classic Puma "Suede" sneaker, $55, a favorite of rhymers and scratchers, in gold leather and pave rhinestones, $460. "Our designers are maximalists," says a D&G spokesperson. "They love embellishment. They love glitter, sparkle and shine."

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With most rappers cultivating the gold-jewelry standard of Mercedes emblems and thick chains, Beastie Boy Mike D. (far right) opts for a Volkswagen medallion.

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This season, the bigger the logo, the badder. Gold-plated "CD" necklace, $80, from Christian Dior.

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As if to officially signal the new fashion Age d'Or, designer Stella McCartney shows a multi-strand gold necklace and bracelet and mirrored gold "Cat-Aviator" sunglasses at her spring 2000 collection for Chloe. The trend continues for fall 2000 with designer Daryl K, of the eponymous Melrose Avenue store, who adds 18-karat gold necklaces by Italian designer Fortuna Valentino to her runway show.

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Hip-hop divas Mary J. Blige, in Roberto Cavalli ruffles and "Golden Bronze" M.A.C Iridescent Powder, and Lil' Kim, who does Elvis one better in Roberto Cavalli head-to-toe gold lame, in an ad for M.A.C Viva Glam III lipstick. "We wanted something that was an attention-getter," says M.A.C creative director James Gager. All sales proceeds go to the M.A.C AIDS Fund.

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A leather wedge sandal, about $475, from Louis Vuitton is "very '70s working girl," says a Louis Vuitton spokesperson. "Designer Marc Jacobs' whole line displays that [era's] excessiveness." More Studio 54/Bianca Jagger material: foiled-metal and leather side-sling sandal from Donna Karan New York, $345. Adds Donna Karan's Aliza Bernfeld, "Gold is the new white--both neutral and vibrant at the same time."

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Run-DMC, the undisputed kings of rap and one of the first groups to champion gold chains, at the 1989 American Music Awards.

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"A lot of DJs are attracted to this line," says Ruth Handel of L.A. Eyeworks. (Puff Daddy owns a pair in silver. Time for an upgrade?) The 22-karat gold-plated "Riso" sunglasses, $380, are "classic but a little campy."

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John Cusack is record-store owner Rob Gordon in Stephen Frears' film adaptation of Nick Hornby's 1995 novel "High Fidelity." (He does not wear gold chains.)

A Top Five List of L.A. Record Stores:

1. Beat Non Stop, 7262 Melrose Ave.

2. Wax Records, 7201 Melrose Ave.

3. Vinyl Fetish, 1750 N. Vermont Ave.

4. Global Grooves, 2400 Main St., Santa Monica

5. Aaron's Records, 1150 N. Highland Ave.

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DJs scour record stores for vintage and current 12-inch vinyl singles that feature remixes and "bonus beats" of their favorite songs, with the vintage records running from $15 to $20. Album covers for MC Lyte's "Cappucino" and Ultramagnetic MC's "Give the Drummer Some" feature the requisite hip-hop gold look.

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Produced by Jennifer Abu Hollander; special thanks to Evan Cerasoli at Moonshine.

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