Unchain jewelry for a bright new look

June 10, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

Hand Linda Borella an earring and there's only a slim chanc it will end up on her ear. More likely, if it's a clip style she'll use it as a shoe clip, or if it's pierced she'll pop it on a jacket or hat.

Ms. Borella's official title is fashion director for Monet jewelry, but sorceress of style would be more accurate. She spends much of her time traveling and making personal appearances to share the latest costume jewelry trends with consumers in stores carrying the line.

"The watchwords are sleek, sensuous and feminine -- anything gimmicky is out," she said recently. She adds that chains remain a key item, especially in longer lengths of 48, 60 and even 90 inches, and textured surfaces dominate in gold- and silver-tone metals.

As for ways to make your old pieces look new, Ms. Borella shares these tips:

* If you have multiple-chain necklaces, use them in place of a camisole to fill in the neckline on an evening suit.

* Use a pin to make a belt buckle by turning the original buckle to the back and attaching the pin to the new front.

* Transform a clutch handbag into a shoulder bag by slipping a 48-inch chain necklace under the top flap, pinning in place and creating shoulder straps. For a dressier look, use necklaces with pearls or stones.

* A single opulent pierced earring can be used as a jewel on the front of a black cloth handbag to transform it into an evening purse.

* Create a new look for a necklace or a longer length by using a bracelet to extend it.

* Opulent clip earrings work well as shoe clips to transform plain pumps from day into evening wear.

* Transform a pearl necklace into a bracelet by twisting it four to five times around your wrist and using a large pin to secure the strands and create the look of an elaborate clasp.

* Take a pair of pierced earrings and attach them to collar points on a blue denim work shirt.

* Dress up a simple black hair bow by adding a fancy clip earring to the center.

* If you have a collection of single pierced earrings, use them as scatter pins on jacket lapels, on a plain baseball cap or on a denim jacket.

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