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Avoid the wet look; blue-tip locks

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Match Set

That new pulled-together Park Avenue look means investing in lots of accessories: python sandals require a python clutch, new jeans call for a denim tote. How about one accessory that goes with everything? Ralph Lauren's country-clubby totes with wood handles have reversible button-on covers ($45). Delvaux's leather handbag ($1,625) can be popped into Persian lamb or ostrich covers. And come fall, Celine will roll out faux-croc bags ($750, pictured) with ten snap-on covers (denim, corduroy, pony skin). "We have shoes to go with practically every one," says a spokesperson. With brocade knee boots costing $650 and up, we'll start with the bag.
SHYAMA PATEL

Top Dollars

Sifting through silk halter tops last winter, Lida Moore (a fashion editor at Self) and Larissa Thomson (a freelance fashion editor) found none they could afford themselves. Inspired by an $800 Italian number, they started playing with Indian scarves and an old necklace. "We wanted to use turquoise," says Moore, "but you can't dry-clean it." They finished the top with leather cord and puka beads, called it Lila (for Lida and Larissa), and showed it to a few industry friends. A month later, Glamour and InStyle shot the $130 piece for summer issues, Scoop and Henri Bendel placed orders, and 400 are in production. Sure, you could make one yourself -- but your leftover trinkets probably don't look like theirs.
S.P.

Surprise Endings

The season's newest hair trend, seen in East Village shops, midtown salons, and glossy ads, is not the return of Charlie's Angels feathers but the fact that they may be tipped in turquoise or streaked with baby blue. "I don't know anyone who doesn't love the color blue," says colorist Brad Johns. "A lot of 14-year-old girls are doing the tips," says stylist Brant Mayfield, who's done "blueberry" streaks for Melissa Rivers. "It's more of an accessory rather than punk rock." "It's so not punk," agrees Nick Arrojo of the Arrojo Cutler salon. "It has to have a certain level of taste." And if that taste changes? "You probably shouldn't say this," says Mayfield, "but Comet makes it fade really fast."
SARAH BERNARD

The Perfect Storm

"Two outfits kept me going," claims Elle's Marin Hopper. "My patent-leather Prada slingbacks and my Burberry's trench, and then my Helmut Lang pea coat, Earl jeans, and New Balance suede sneakers." While recent downpours had ordinary New Yorkers wrestling with cheap umbrellas and appearing at the office in hiking boots, the style council found ways to meet fashion-frustrating forecasts. "I was thrilled for the chance to wear my Marc Jacobs raincoat," says Jane's Jane Pratt. Marie Claire's Mary Alice Stephenson pulled on plastic Wembly riding boots; Glamour's Suze Yalof protected her Prada boots with an oversize umbrella from the Carlyle Hotel. Of course, the magazines they work for offer a form of foul-weather insurance: "If you do get soaked," says Allure's Linda Wells, "there's always the fashion closet."
S.B.


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