Faking it takes real savvy

October 29, 1992|By Liz Rittersporn | Liz Rittersporn,New York Daily News

Pile it all on, or take it all off. When it comes to costume jewelry, those are the contradictory messages from, say, Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld of the more-is-more school and from Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein, who team up on the minimalist side.

Taking it off is easy. Piling it on takes some doing. To wear three and four necklaces, three bracelets and a wristwatch all at once takes courage, says Camille Scifo, consultant to the costume jewelry industry.

"But if clothes are simply cut and come in just one or two colors -- not an exaggerated plaid or print -- an assemblage of jewelry will look chic and smart, even in an office situation," she adds.

If you're putting pearls into the mix, know that different shades can enhance different complexions and makeup, says Carolee Friedlander.

Gold-washed pearls are especially flattering for dark and earth-toned skins, explains the founder and president of the costume jewelry firm Carolee. Peach and pink-toned pearls do wonders for warm complexions and light makeup. Pale skins and dramatic makeup look luminous with white, blue and gray-washed pearls.

Kenneth Jay Lane, the father of faux jewelry, goes further. His view is that silver-toned metals look particularly good on dark and/or tanned skins. He has mixed gold and silver in special pieces for 20 years, and, he says, one can wear both gold and silver at the same time if one has a sense of proportion and a lot of taste.

The shape of costume jewelry can minimize or enhance one's looks. Long faces should opt for big button earrings. Round faces look best with oval drops or round earrings, triangular faces look best with wide earrings and square faces look best with oval or drop earrings. Oval faces can wear anything.

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