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Spring Picks

This season's seven (not so) secrets of style.

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The Fabric
Dressing in white eyelet is almost an easy way out, because it's the quickest way to look fresh, summery, and different from how you did all moldy winter long. Anna Sui (pictured) and Chloé, among others, use this fabric for spring in ways that are sexy enough to keep it from looking too Sunday school. Just be careful with the red wine.

The Car
Even if New York doesn't have the windy little cobblestone streets that inspired this car, there's no reason you can't throw a baguette in the passenger seat and pretend that your share on the Jersey shore is a villa on the Costa del Sol. BMW has redesigned the Mini -- the Shih Tzu, really, of transportation -- and put it back on the road. Plus, it's cheap! (For a car, anyway. It's $16,850.) Like all good things, however, it comes to those who wait -- there's already a long list.

The Bag
Plus ça change . . . Every season, the fashion elite anoint the Bag (see last season's tasseled Balenciaga handbag). But this season, they aren't after anything new; on the contrary, Camilla Nickerson, Carine Roitfeld, et al. are lining up for old-fashioned, quilted Chanel purses with gold-chain straps. Bad news for designers hoping to be "It" next season, though: This bag has already stood the test of time. More than once.

The T-Shirt
When architect Taavo Somer moved to New York from North Carolina a year and a half ago, "I couldn't believe how disposable everyone was here," he says. So he scrawled his thoughts -- until somebody better comes along; or my girlfriend's out of town -- on his T-shirts. Soon enough, chic people (like Anthony Kiedis) were stopping him and asking where to get the shirts. Now he's figured out how lucrative everything is here: He's selling them for $88 at Barneys, Selvedge, and Isa.

The Flats
Michel Perry has always been the stiletto-wearer's patron saint -- for him, the kitten heel may as well be a sneaker. But this season (to the great glee of fashionable podiatrists everywhere), he adds an easier shoe to the mix: the ballerina flat, with all of the color and flair of a Perry shoe, just not the inches. It may not lengthen your leg, but it will certainly add hours to your walking ability.

The Sunglasses
Boys and girls go ape over Hedi Slimane suits (first at Yves Saint Laurent, and now at Dior Homme) for their razor-sharp simplicity. Naturally, you'd expect Slimane's just-launched eyewear line to be just as precise. And is it ever: The entire "line" equals one pair of sunglasses. For everyone. Something, at last, that Anna Wintour and André Leon Talley can wear and share.

The New Lines
If you want to wear something new this spring, you don't have to go farther than your favorite old boutique -- two chic shop owners have decided to give designing a shot. Katy Rodriguez and Mark Haddawy of the vintage chain Resurrection are launching caitie et marcs, a range of sexy skirts and tops that are not (they swear) vintage-inspired. And at Language on Mott Street, owner Ana Abdul is striking out with her own line, too.


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