Fashion: Why it's hip to be heavy

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Put your chiropractor on speed-dial now: jewellery is going supersized this season – pity the fool who doesn't pile on the gold chains à la Mr T, swaddle herself in statement necklaces, and make manual labour near-impossible with dramatic bangles. As Suzy Menkes, fashion doyenne of the International Herald Tribune, noted of the Autumn/Winter 2008-09 Balenciaga show, "Costume jewellery replaced bags as the must-have accessory."

Over at Marni, models' arms were covered in elaborate, floral and butterfly-inspired plastic bangles; Louis Vuitton showed big, bold chokers with blown-glass stones; while the girls at Givenchy were practically hunched over with oodles of gold chains around their necks.

This is good news for fashion fans who also have an eye on the unhappy financial forecast: it's not just OK to fake it, faking it is the whole point. (Just don't set your heart on that Vuitton necklace, yours for an eye-watering £9,000.)

Burberry had lozenge-shaped jewels in purple glass or amber, Lanvin wrapped faux-pearls in layers and layers of tulle, while Luella had ribbon-bow brooches with signature heart-shaped tags.

On a more credit-crunch-friendly tip, Butler & Wilson has a cuff – the hottest arm-candy this autumn – for £98, while Topshop (inevitably) is already ahead of the high-street game, with dramatic animal-head enamelled bangles – lions and tigers and, er, snakes, oh my, from £18 for a tiger bangle, to £25 for the diamante-studded turquoise enamel lion.

So while your accessories don't have to break the bank this season, do be careful that they don't break your neck.