Big Comeback for Costume Jewelry : Designers Take Individual Approaches to Their Art : Deanna Hamro

True or false, both categories of jewelry are capturing the limelight this summer. In fashion terms, true is real or precious. False is faux . And designer Deanna Hamro has raised faux to new heights of playful costume jewelry.

All her trifles are fun, glitzy and oversize. "I'm a big girl and I like big things," says Hamro, who spent 14 years modeling in Spain, Italy and Mexico. She also likes to follow the current trends in fashion and treat them with a sense of humor. In her spring and fall collections, there are 60-inch glass pearl and crystal ropes as well as raj-inspired paisley and fleur-de-lis earrings and pins--all nearly the size of Easter eggs.

It all began when Hamro, 30, looked at her life and realized she didn't want to be modeling another 10 years. She made an attempt at designing leather clothing and accessories but realized she didn't have the proper background. Then she started "playing around" with papier-mache and Austrian lead crystal, which she says is of the finest quality in the world.

Hamro found that the combination worked well for her large-scale jewelry designs because the papier-mache was so lightweight. If made in heavier materials, her brooches, she says, "would ruin a silk blouse."

"I think jewelry is getting more and more important," she says. "The clothes today seem to be demanding larger pieces. They can't handle delicate accessories."

The jewelry is sold at Neiman-Marcus under the label Deanna Hamro/Prego and sells at $60 to $200.

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