At Paris shows, less is definitely more


At last week's couture shows in Paris, all the hoopla over rising hemlines almost obscured another fashion turnabout. Accessories were being treated like extra poundage -- trimmed down or eliminated.

At Chanel, where the theory has always been "more is better" when it comes to gewgaws, there was not a strand of pearls, never mind the usual ropes of them, decorating a single model. The night before the show, the Chanel designer, Karl Lagerfeld, was supervising the last-minute looks. The usual trays brimming with accessories were spread out before him. But instead of adding, he was subtracting.

"So modern," he kept murmuring as the models were shorn of everything except their costumes.

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