Styles that capture the oasis effect

Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic

Burning sand dunes, piercing sun, big sky and endless horizons. Whether you are trekking from Marrakech to the Sahara on a camel or taking in the sunrise at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley, designers have got you (barely) covered.

At Chloé, spring's offerings include pleated white silk cloqué dresses and pants with loose ankle ties that skim the body. Earth meets sky in Donna Karan's collection, awash in burnished terracottas and indigo blues and loose layers draped scarf-like. And at Joseph Altuzarra, fluid striped silks and twills ripple with every move.

FULL COVERAGE: Spring fashion

Getting down to the details, you'll encounter a trend we'll call modern exoticism. Nicholas Kirkwood's pointy loafers are a citified version of the Moroccan babouche slipper. And Dries Van Noten's eclectic mix of Eastern star necklaces and tasseled carpet bags are the stuff of the globe-trotting nomad who picks up treasures here and yon.

Speaking of treasures, Rauwolf's striking Constantinople clutch looks as if it could have been sifted from the sand. Erickson Beamon's chunky necklace, handmade from 24-karat gold, Swarovski crystals and African glass beads (pictured on Page 6), is also eye-catching, from a collection with a name that hits closer to home: Fashion Tribe.

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