By  on September 4, 2007

It’s hard to tell the good girls from the bad girls these days, with dress codes short and sexy or sensual and sophisticated. Meanwhile, chunky high heels and gold-dipped spikes are taking shoes and boots to new heights. Speaking of that precious metal, fall accessories are as good as gold.

All that glitters is…Chanel’s metallic quilted handbag at Jeffrey New York, New York, almost worth its weight. ($2,495). 449 West 14th Street; 212.206.1272

Herve van der Straeten’s geometric hammered link jewelry and amorphous cuffs ($320 and $355) at Bergdorf Goodman, are sheets of gold with shapes cut out of them. 754 Fifth Avenue; 212.753.7300

Indulgems’ lobster-clasp necklace in yellow jasper and citrine ($121) at Lily Savitch a Boutique, Los Angeles, pairs the most delicate chain with amber-colored gemstones. 524 1/2 North La Brea Avenue; 323.933.3133

Alexander McQueen’s gold Elvie bag ($2,024) at Selfridges, London. “The Elvie has all the hallmarks of a real accessories icon,” says Sebastian Manes, Selfridges accessories buyer. This limited edition version was designed for the store’s Bejewelled promotion. 400 Oxford Street; +44.87.0837.7377

The dress remains the key wardrobe item, notwithstanding all the strong pants for fall. A style for a femme fatale is Gucci’s sophisticated bluebell-print silk dress with flute sleeves ($2,339) at Villa Moda, Kuwait. Shuwaikh Future Zone; +965.482.7004

For a woman’s girlish side that craves cute and sexy, there’s Stella McCartney’s baby-doll dress ($1,039) at Browns, London. Yasmin Sewell, Browns’ buying director, shares another way to wear the dress. “A grungy London girl will wear it with her Dr. Martens,” she says. 24-27 South Molton Street; +44.20.7514.0016

Oscar de la Renta’s fuchsia number with clusters of black and fuchsia paillettes is a bonbon of a dress ($3,950) at Jeffrey New York. Also at Jeffrey, Lisa Perry’s black trapeze dress with large white daisy ($1,395). Also, Chanel’s cashmere minidress ($ 2,681) at Printemps, Paris. 64 Boulevard Haussmann; +33.1.4282.5787

When it comes to fur, the more exotic the better. Take Marni’s Ching Xao (Chinese lamb) fur coat ($3,226) at Villa Moda, Kuwait. The cap-sleeved coat (practicality be damned!) has a refined caveman style and looks like it was made from an animal’s entire pelt. Shuwaikh Future Zone; +965.482.7004

Fur trimming on coat collars or cuffs adds a note of luxury. Put fur on the sleeves of a dress and it becomes extravagant. Michael Kors’ fox-trimmed, three-quarter-length sleeve, mélange gray flannel short dress ($2,895) at Bergdorf Goodman, New York. 754 Fifth Avenue; 212.753.7300

Two rows of silver fox adorn the cuffs of Carolina Herrera’s black felt cropped jacket ($3,990) at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. 611 Fifth Avenue; 212.753.4000

Also, Proenza Schouler’s black coat with fur-trimmed collar and sleeves ($3,680) at Printemps, Paris. 64 Boulevard Haussmann; +33.1.4282.5787

Subtle gradations of color, from dark to light and vice versa, always have been popular in fashion. Prada’s banana-heel shoe ($550) at Saks Fifth Avenue demonstrates the technique beautifully. 611 Fifth Avenue; 212.753.4000

Jonathan Kelsey’s shoes are causing a stir on both sides of the pond. “Unashamedly sexy with a modern, almost architectural twist” is how Harvey Nichols buyer Tina Lamb describes them, adding, “There is something new and exciting about these designs, which have a dark and sensual undercurrent” ($659 to $1,294). 109-125 Knightsbridge; +44.20.7235.5000

Heels rarely have been so interesting as Pierre Hardy’s black suede mini boots with gold heels ($1,220) at Satine, Los Angeles. 8022 West 3rd Street; 323.655.2142

Also, Lanvin’s patent calfskin-heel pump ($480) at Grey Flannel, Capri. Via Le Botteghe 31; +39.08.1838.8238

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