NEW YORK -- Women in the 1990s may be searching for quiet chic, but the desire for shimmer and sparkle cannot be entirely suppressed.
Those who would not wear expensive jewelry around the neck or wrist think nothing of wearing today's glittering, gem-studded clothes. But these are not the galactic dresses of old Hollywood.
Contemporary designers go beyond sequins and rhinestones to marry the techniques of jewelry-making to simple dress shapes.
The jewel-like effects include shoulder straps of suede threaded through big chunks of Austrian crystal, faux-pearl straps or pearl-studded knits, and big 60s-style Lucite bangles, which crisscross the back, line the bare midriff or dangle around the waist as a belt.