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FROCKS & ROCKS

Sparkling hot

Baubles, ball gowns, bags that dazzle -- everything for the holiday season grabs the eye.

December 02, 2007

Forget understated chic, Audrey Hepburn, the single strand of pearls and all that. This is one holiday season that is not about the little black dress.

Baubles as big as softballs, fists full of cocktail rings, metallic bags and shimmery gowns are what to wear, the more eye-catching the better. Not since the 1980s have we seen such a sartorial display of wealth. It's no coincidence that Sotheby's is holding its "Magnificent Jewels" auction on Tuesday, just in time for the holiday season. Calvin and Kelly Klein will be selling three pieces that once belonged to the Duchess of Windsor, with a combined estimated value of more than $3 million.

It all feels dizzying and a little insane, like everyone living it up in the waning days of the American empire. How sweet it must be to pile on the most beautiful jewels and extravagant silks -- if only in a fantasy.

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ON THE COVER: The dramatic, ruffled raspberry collar on the season's chicest Lanvin dress is jewelry in and of itself (pink washed-satin wrap dress, $2,495 at Barneys New York, Beverly Hills). But that doesn't mean you can't add some serious twinkle: Leiber Austrian-crystal minaudiere in black diamond ($2,495 at Leiber, South Coast Plaza), Fleurette white gold and diamond watch with mother-of-pearl dial ($28,100 at Van Cleef & Arpels, Beverly Hills), Garrard emerald cluster ring and Garrard Imperial Regal sapphire ring ($240,000 and $220,000, both at Garrard, Beverly Hills), Chopard pear-shaped diamond earrings ($430,000 at Chopard, Beverly Hills).

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Photographs by Jay Clenenden, styling by Melissa Magsaysay, model Natalia G at LA Models, hair by Jeremy Clark at Exclusive Artists, makeup by Sonia Lee at Exclusive Artists, fashion assistant Ronit Nabi, shot on location at Social Hollywood.

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