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Is corduroy the new denim?


Wales Go Wide
First denim was rescued from fashion purgatory; now corduroy, its geeky cousin, is being elevated to must-have status. Once associated with sartorially challenged English professors, corduroy has seen its reputation upgraded over the past few years, thanks to cool cord pants cut by designers like Daryl K. But this season, the material has reached critical mass. Marc Jacobs, Chloé, and Jill Stuart have fashioned it into pants, jackets, tops, and skirts; Dolce and Gabbana took it a step further with shoes (pictured, $255). At H&M, corduroy suits were the subject of several tussles on a recent Saturday. But the real proof of the fabric's newly respectable stature is at Chanel, which used it to make a supremely elegant, full-skirted trench.

Horse Sense
Gisele is not the only shiny-maned, long-legged creature starring in advertisements this fall. Horses have joined -- and in some cases replaced -- models in several fall campaigns. A Calvin Klein ad features a mare's midsection opposite bespectacled models, Nadja Auermann is stretched across a white stallion in the latest Joop! campaign, and a horse's head completes the androgynous trio in the new Balenciaga ad. Last season it was llamas; now it's horses -- could zebras be next?

Stealth Wealth
While follow-the-leader fashionistas are loading up on flashy gewgaws and ropes of imitation pearls, style-setters are opting for inconspicuous -- though still luxurious -- consumption. At Hedra Prue (281 Mott Street; 212-343-9205), the best-selling accessory is a vertical gold pendant with a diamond hidden on either end ($355, pictured). The piece's success has prompted designer Sehti Na, who calls her line Mine, to add rings and earrings with the same secret feature. This reverse exhibitionism may be subtle, but it's true to the season's unabashed consumerism. Says Prue's co-owner Anna Kim: "There's something so frivolous about hiding the diamonds." And on the heels of diamond-encrusted cell phones, discreet frivolity is fine.

Shop Talk
Bergdorf Goodman is the kind of department store that has a gloved doorman and a washroom attendant, and until two weeks ago, it was the kind of department store that was closed on Sunday, too. But in this shop-Sunday-or-else era (if not then, when?), Bergdorf's has opened its bronze doors on the once-official day of rest. Last Sunday, shoppers taking advantage of the six extra spending hours fought over Michel Perry stilettos before heading to the beauty-level café for a crêpe-and-coffee brunch (pictured). But while you can now have breakfast at Bergdorf's, don't even think about eating across the street -- Tiffany & Company still isn't open.


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