A Sagging Economy Calls for Flighty Accessories

      January 17, 2005 15:12

      The hairstyles of young women are getting fancier. As the economic recession continues, accessories like crystal-decorated hairpins, hats, and belts are gaining in popularity.

      Focusing on accessories rather than expensive clothes would seem a smart move for those who want a new look within a limited budget. This year, the selection of choices is extensive, from large exotic earrings and hairpins to hand-knitted hats and mufflers.

      ◆ Colorful Hairpins

      Winter calls for conservative-colored coats, so many Korean ladies are turning to colorful hair accessories to highlight their appearance. Pastel-colored crystal hairpins can upgrade your look. Sparkling crystal accessories go well with wool-knitted sweaters or fur coats. And pink seems to be the color of the season, even for pearls.

      Hair accessories like Olivier sell hairpins in the W80,000 to W130,000 range. and hairbands for W110,000. Etro also has some hair accessory products. Hairpins range from W50,000 to W115,000, hairbands from W55,000 to W95,000, and shushu bands from W40,000 to W85,000.

      ◆ Big Necklaces and Earrings

      Another fashion trend this winter seems to be dangling necklaces and earrings. Instead of the small gold or silver earrings seen last season, big earrings with exotic decorations are in fashion. "Burnished" gold, a golden-black shade, in particular is becoming very popular with the young generation. There is also a huge demand for "chandelier" style earrings.

      This description refers to earrings that have crystal decorations dangling like chandelier lights. You can purchase top models from famous accessory shops like Swarovski and Agatha, or more average variants from street vendors.

      ◆ Patchwork Bags and Antique Purses

      Instead of fancy designer-label bags, consumers are looking for unique alternatives. One handbag designer said recently that, "instead of expensive leather bags, people are tending to buy colorful patch bags and antique-looking purses." Following this trend, Bean Pole of Cheil Industries, DAKS, Tomboy and SSAM of LG Fashion are strengthening their accessory lines. Meanwhile, department stores are installing more fashion-based shops where consumers can buy anything from clothing to shoes, bags and accessories.

      ◆ Department Store Discounts Lure Consumers

      Department stores are holding discount sales to woo customers and stave off the January blues. Hyundai's Apgujeong branch will hold a sale until Jan. 16. Daniel Hechter's fashion mufflers and shawls sell for between W20,000 and W45,000, while Louis Quatorze leather gloves retail for anywhere from W25,000 to W55,000.

      Other department stores are also holding discount sales for hair accessories, with Shinsegae holding a sale from Friday to next Thursday. Hair accessory products from Daniel Hechter, Balmain, Valentine and Lov Cat will sell for W20,000 to W45,000, while Renoma hats retail for W20,000 to W50,000 and Nina Ricci and MCM gloves can be purchased for between W20,000 and W43,000.

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