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For $2 or $2,000, follow a Native American path for fall accessories
IT'S BEEN a boho summer, with more frayed denim shorts and fringe on young Hollywood than there was at Woodstock. But now, as we move into fall, the look is going more native, Native American that is, with the kind of Southwestern hues and beaded, feathered details that we haven't seen since the '80s heyday of Ralph Lauren's Santa Fe chic.
The trend is being interpreted by high-end designers and fast-fashion chain stores. Better yet, you can hit local boutiques and museum shops that carry the real deal -- authentic and inexpensive items actually made by Native American tribes.
In the splurge category, Jimmy Choo's Bill boot ($1,995) is a brown suede, knee-high style with a top cuff of pink and gold beaded fringe that Cher would love. The brown suede Sylvia open-toe shoe ($950) has a multicolored, beaded sunburst.
Tory Burch proves fringe doesn't have to look sloppy with her tidy whip-stitched, fringed messenger bag ($535) and classic tote in shocking yellow leather with fringe border ($465).
Mischa Barton's favorite hippie head scarf is being replaced by the suede-cord headband with delicate feather and stone details. L.A. designer Chase Cohl's Little Doe line has styles from $250 to $400, available at Satine in L.A. or by custom order at www.littledoeislove.com.
There are lots of inexpensive ways to buy into the trend too. Urban Outfitters' Santa Fe Weekender is a carpet bag with silver, cowboy-style hardware ($88). And the statement-making Morningstar fringe necklace ($38) is an impressive looking bib of orange, white and gold beads.
For more authentic items, the gift shop at the Museum of the American West at the Autry National Center has a multicolored, beaded necklace with an oval pendant handmade by the Zuni ($4.25), and suede coin purses in desert sunset colors ($2).
Tucked away in the themed-out sensory overload that is Universal CityWalk, Adobe Road is a treasure trove of some of the most authentic and least expensive Native American accessories. A feathered hair clip ($12) and earrings ($5) are steals, made by Monague Native Crafts Ltd., a Canadian company run by members of the Beausoleil First Nation (Ojibway) of Ontario.
A hair tie with dangling feathers ($6) from the Lakota was also a bargain, as was a set of two beaded hair combs ($20) made by Cherokee craftsmen.
Native American accents are a great way to add earthy texture to your fall look. Just remember to keep them in check; a few feathers go a long way.