By and  on February 20, 2009

Accessories designers are taking different approaches to staying optimistic this season. Kara Ross introduced seven new handbag styles, including square clutches and hobos in velvet or leather, trimmed with lizard and stingray. The results were chic looks at refreshing price points. For her lower-priced Kara by Kara Ross jewelry line, color was key as she used enamel for the first time, layering it over etched metal to look like crocodile on cuffs, or inlaying it in links on long necklaces.

At Rafe, designer Rafe Totengco opted for a harder downtown look inspired by memories of his early days in New York in the late Eighties. Highlights included chains and hardware embellishments on cross-body bags, and higher-heeled gladiators and booties.

Meanwhile, Parisian handbag designer Jérôme Dreyfuss brought his fall collection to the newly opened Ludivine boutique in New York. The contemporary-priced lightweight lineup came with lots of fun parts, including removable fringe and pockets and a practical key light attached inside. Dreyfuss offered soft fabrications such as jewel-toned, vegetable-dyed leather, metallic snakeskin and stitched brown suede. “You buy a bag for so much these days [that] it’s good to have options,” Dreyfuss explained.

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