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Accessories Essentials For Summer

by Jennifer McCullum

With warmer temperatures daring us to dream of longer days and shorter hemlines, we Bay Area “stylites” can finally bring our lighter-weight wardrobes out of hibernation, and turn our attention to the ready-to-wear runways for the hottest haute accessories.


Feathers and Fringe:

earringsFashion birds of many-a-feather flock together with this avian-inspired trend. From the side-swept, feathered hair accents created by Odile Gilbert at Marchesa, to the whimsical nude ball gowns–complete with ultra-fitted bustiers and feathered hems–that flew down the Giles London catwalk, our feathers are sure to be ruffled this season (in a good way).

As far as fringe benefits go, Altuzarra, The Row, and Tibi all took on this tasseled trend with their spring collections. For those worried that the season’s embellished skirts and tops might look more summer of ‘69 than city chic of ‘14, this peace-and-love inspired look is easy to incorporate into any elegant ensemble–in the form of more subtle accessories, such as Oscar del la Renta’s tasseled chandelier earrings.


Heavy Metal

Spring runways embraced major metallics for the season. Ralph Rucci, Givenchy, Jason Wu, Diane von Furstenberg, and Thakoon all celebrated shimmering shades of gold and silver in various sheaths, suits, and sandals. Accessories that channel the periodic table’s noble elements are the simplest way to maximize the metallic trend in your wardrobe. British labels Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen both created handbagcovetable clutches in oversized shapes and mixed metal materials, sure to add a reflective edge to any outfit.



It’s almost impossible to pick a single shoe from this season to designate as a “must have” because, frankly, we want them all. From the major comeback mules made at Chloe, Alexander Wang, and 3.1 Phillip Lim, to the sporty sandals shown at Helmut Lang, Marc Jacobs, and Celine, this year’s warm-weather shoes truly offer something for everyone. Try out the trend with a pair of charcoal grey, gladiator- inspired flats from Brunello Cucinelli or red-hot mules from Gianvito Rossi.


Shades du Soleil

sunglassesNo hot-months round up would be complete without the ultimate balmy clime accessory: sunglasses. Ready-to-wear designers went in a million different directions with this season’s eye shades, including artful acrylics from Prabal Gurung, exaggerated cat eyes at Anna Sui, and rose-colored lenses at Missoni. We especially love the two-tone pair from Tory Burch, for the best balance of retro frames and contemporary color blocking. Shop sunglasses locally at the new Oliver Peoples boutique, now open on Grant Avenue. The new San Francisco boutique will carry most of the SoCal brand’s signature shades, including the much-anticipated “Isabel Marant for Oliver Peoples” collaboration collection. The grey-shaded aviators will beat the sun’s hot glare with cool style.


Jennifer McCullum is a contributing writer whose work has appeared in publications including Harper’s Bazaar, C Social Front, and San Francisco Magazine. She is also an instructor at the Academy of Art University School of Fashion in San Francisco.

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