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Skin jewels and pocket boots

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Stick It to Me

If navel piercings make your skin crawl and you'd rather leave mainstream mehndi in Madonna's hands, you can now dress up that bare epidermis with a new, pain-free adornment: skin jewelry (available at Henri Bendel and Language). During a recent fashion shoot, London makeup artist J. Maskrey decided to forgo layers of blush and eye shadow, instead covering the models with gemlike sparkles backed with sticky tape, and the 3-D glittery butterflies and half-moons have become the new behind-the-scenes accessory to achieve the glam-rock look. The temporary jewels, which can be reapplied up to four times, were recently spotted on Lauryn Hill's well-toned back at the MTV Video Music Awards, and Rita Wilson also picked up a few butterflies and teardrops (Maskrey has added Swarovski crystals to the designs) at Language. But these jewels may be a bit too semi-precious (at $50-$150 apiece) for the conspicuous-consumption crowd.
MAURA EGAN

And a Pocket to Boot

Since small backpacks have gone the way of the Rachel haircut and cargo pants aren't exactly the sexiest silhouette, another utilitarian fashion device has evolved -- the pocket boot. The new accessorized footwear is particularly popular with clubgoers who like to shake it without tripping over a stray rucksack. Jimmy Choo's creative director, Sandra Choi, says of the company's boot with a slim pocket just big enough for a credit card, "I don't like to carry a bag I have to worry about. Putting a pocket on shoes will be more difficult, but I'm working on it." The Yves Saint Laurent suede and Warren Edwards patent-leather platform-boot styles have more functional, larger pockets, while Prada has a strap-on-pocket version, which a spokeswoman suggests is ideal "for storing lipstick, keys, and your MetroCard." After you've spent $1,200 for a Prada pair or $745 for Jimmy Choo's, that may well be the only means of transportation left for you.
BETH LANDMAN KEIL

Size Matters

When Rebecca Danenberg opens her Bond Street boutique next month, joining stylish neighbors Katayone Adeli and Daryl K, the fashion tribe will have more choices -- and headaches -- when it comes to wiggling into a perfect size-6 pair of pants. Danenberg's leather low-riders are adored by the hip-hugging hordes for their stretch fabrics that give at the most common trouble zones, the thighs and derrière. Gwyneth Paltrow is known to stockpile Adeli's slim-fitting Dickies-style trousers, but less-famous veterans of Adeli's pants complain of sizing inconsistencies: A medium-framed woman can wear a size 4 or a size 10, depending on the cut. Daryl K's signature skinny trousers seem to command the most respect across the board, though donning a pair of her leather classics is not for the meek. "I'm scared to try them on," admits one curvier woman who struts about in the other two designers' pants. "By the time I find a pair I can squeeze my legs into, I'm swimming at the waist -- you need long, skinny legs and no butt to wear Daryl K."
M. E.

She-Men

The crossover of men's and women's fashion is a done deal: Seventh Avenue now combines some men's and women's runway shows; the Prada unisex Velcro backpack is this minute's pocketbook of choice for both sexes (to go along with his-and-her Capri pants). But now it seems that boys just want to be girls. Wall Street raiders indulge in seaweed wraps and botox injections (particularly popular at bachelor parties). At the recent Chloé store opening, the Mui Mui men's black leather platform thong was the popular choice for pedicured male feet (the same ladies' version irks women with its relentless between-the-toes chafing). For fall, Tommy Hilfiger offers a tartan red kilt so men can show off their own Krav Maga-trained calves. And for boys who once doused their necks in Chaps cologne, Ralph Lauren offers his newer, gentler fragrance -- Romance for men.
VANESSA GRIGORIADIS


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