Target carries dress designer Cynthia Rowley’s sparkling little numbers in floral concoctions of light green and grapes for a mere $9.99. These little well-priced for the quality costume jewels are the nicest mainstream products this Chicago gal has had mass-produced under her Swell line of merchandise for the Marshall Field’s chain. Still, they fall way short of her amazingly perfect party dresses, the likes of which sadly aren’t sold in Indianapolis.
Visit Nordstrom at Circle Centre Mall if you have $40 to $150 to spend on a quality costume brooch, like a slightly Vera Wang-looking Lydell NYC rhinestone rose for $44. Thus far, they have the widest selection with the broadest range of dazzling jewel-toned rhinestones. You can still go totally retro with this retro look by pursuing the vintage shops or asking your mom or grandma for their old baubles. The Express in the ’80s sold fabulous rhinestone bracelets and brooches, so keep your eyes out for them.
Sometimes it pays to be a discerning pack rat in the name of fashion. If you’re really lucky you’ll score an heirloom Eisenberg — the most popular costume jewelry maker from the 1950s and ’60s. Available at old L.S. Ayres, the crystal clear necklaces, earrings and bracelets were meant to sparkle like diamonds. Even today, the quality is such that they look brand new and visibly different.
Retailers are struggling right now because a non-uniform, non-designer look from head to toe is in à la SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker, of course) and all of those great Gap ads. What’s in is mixing and matching to get an eclectic original look almost as if the girl world longed to recall the days of Molly Ringwald in all of her John Hughes cinematic new wave punkiness. But, we really may have to give this retro rhinestone credit to Tarina Tarantino and her encrusted bobby pins, barrettes and accessories that burst out around 1998. Don’t you remember the jeweled butterflies?
Among the hoards of Meridian-Kessler high-schoolers busting kooky dance moves at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church’s 31st Annual Festival last Saturday night, Kelly O’Connor got this fashion concept safely right. Her brooch from Nordstrom was light blue, big and bold, quirkily contrasting with her brown corduroy blazer. Add the tank top and the hugely popular pleated denim mini — a bitch to sit in — and she gave what otherwise would have been super plain a great stylish edge. Get a brooch or two and stack them on not just for a night out, but to spice up a T-shirt on your next visit to the grocery store. Fashion isn’t wearing the same things the same way your friends do.