x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Fashion talk: 'maxcessories' enter the stylish lexicon

Everyone is raving about the accessory brand Bex Rox's new chain-link necklades and bracelets.

Double Flurocuff jewellery by Bex Rox.
Double Flurocuff jewellery by Bex Rox.

The way to rebel against all the shades of nudes and pastels that have invaded the fashion sphere is to punctuate the palette with sparkly gold, silver and metallic accessories. I suspect one of the reasons that everyone is raving about the accessory brand Bex Rox is that the chain-link bracelets and necklaces, woven with bright colour pops of red or blue leather and ribbons, make anything pale look interesting.

The other reason? Its name. Bex Rox sounds cool, right? To make it big in fashion, it helps to have a name that everyone can remember. Fashion types are notoriously lazy about remembering names (and faces). You know you've arrived when you get called by your first name, like Kate (Moss), Stella (McCartney), Hussein (Chalayan) or Anna (Wintour). Otherwise it's the one-size-fits-all moniker "Daaarling!"

Occasionally an accessory brand comes along, such as Toy, the chunky watches, and Ugg, the boots, and now it's Bex Rox, which concurrently slips into fashion and fashion-speak. By dropping "Bex Rox" into a conversation, the listener would prick up her or his ears, even if she or he didn't have a clue what you were talking about. If she were fashionable, of course, you would earn huge amounts of style points.

It turns out the person behind the label, Rebecca (Bex) Manners, ticks all the right boxes in terms of beauty, background and brains. She grew up splashing about out in the crystal waters of the Mediterranean - like Jade Jagger, she's a Balearic Islands groover. She then moved to New York, became a fashion stylist for W magazine, Calvin Klein and US Vogue, as well as a seasoned global collector.

Lucky for her, neutrals are providing the perfect backdrop to display her wares, which, it must be said, owe a great deal to Coco Chanel's chains - without the granny vibe. The bracelets and necklaces, which also feature semi-precious stones, look like a posh version of festival friendship bracelets. Being sold as limited-edition pieces in exclusive boutiques such as S*uce in Dubai has, however, helped elevate them to must-have status.

Because there doesn't seem to be one particular It-bag anymore (satchels with the strap slung over the body are de rigueur), statement accessories - or maxcessories - such as these chains are tipped to be huge this season. Tasselled flat sandals like those seen on the Louis Vuitton catwalks are already everywhere on the high street. Anticipating a summer of open-toe sandals and peep-toe "droopy bootees" Chanel has just launched two new nail polish shades to go with its colour Particuliere.

They hope Tendresse (507), a salmon-hued pink and Inattendu (503), a nude, will mirror the sell-out status of last year's Jade, which was going for $300 (Dh1,100) on eBay. The ultimate maxcessories include Lanvin's tribal necklaces, Holly Fulton's bangles (worn in threes) and ethnic earrings that dangle to - or past - your shoulder (singular). It will be interesting to see if the one-earring catwalk look takes off.

Not that fashionistas will be investing in any. Most have been accumulating tribal jewellery, a kind of fashion industry rite of passage, since they started in the business. There's nothing that stylists love more than showing off their Native American Navajo, Rajasthani or Somali tribal collection purchased while on some exotic location photo shoot. Alber Elbaz's Lanvin catwalk jewellery looked to me exactly like the sort you often see credited in magazines as "stylist's own".

Another fashion-editor essential frequently picked up on assignments to Machu Picchu and the likes is the poncho. I reckon the entire front row of fashion editors at Chloé and Celine smiled when these appeared on the catwalk. Not only can they be worn (elegantly) by women of any age; they are the perfect accompaniment for those who travel a lot, especially by plane. The fashionista's favourite poncho brand is Casha (www.cashmereponcho.co.uk). Another new name bleeping on the fashion radar, Casha was launched last November and is already part of the fashion vocabulary. Not only do its ponchos come in crucial neutrals as well as classic shades of midnight black, warm beige and ocean grey, but these cover-ups also share all the benefits associated with the famous Himalayan mountain goat, the fineness of its hair as well as the warmth it provides, and are perfect for AC and chilly spring draughts.