Finishing touches: Whimsical accessories for this spring

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Cinderella slippers, quilted handbags and strawberry earrings – accessories this spring are as whimsical as they are light and pretty, says Gemma Hayward


The Neutral Belt


The best thing to be seen cinching your waist with this season is a simple but effective tan leather belt. Burberry Prorsum, Chloé, D&G, Hermès and Margaret Howell have all opted for such fuss-free designs. Go for a skinny version and fold over any extra length so it's pointing at your shoes.

The Quilted Tote/Doctor Bag

Say 'yes'to quilted bags, but perhaps not to those with a chain strap – even Chanel have included a plainer version this time around. Gucci have quilted their futuristic bucket totes and Luella has padded out her lady-like, Fifties-style ones. The most desirable quilted accessory of the season, though, is the boxy Dolce & Gabbana doctor bag; red leopard print is best.

The Clog

They haven't been in vogue since the early Nineties, but in fashion circles, clogs are having a moment once more. At Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld gives them height with a chunky wooden heel and also adds flowers for an overtly feminine touch. Marc Jacobs has been more experimental with his footwear for Louis Vuitton: these wooden-soled designs are, variously, peep-toed, or finished with oversized tassels or even with what appears to be a giant fluffy moustache.

The Statement Necklace

If anyone knows how to clothe women, it's surely Lanvin's Alber Elbaz, and it's not just his covetable dresses that make us go weak at the knees – he is a masterful jewellery designer too. In particular, this season's necklaces are as bold as they are beautiful: chunky chains are embellished with topaz and amber to entirely lovely effect. A second designer with a flair for jewellery is Dries Van Noten, whose multi-strand pearls with oversized, encrusted pendants will be gracing stylish décolletages all summer long.

The Purposefully Strange Sunglasses

Given the cold snap, sunglasses may be the last thing on your wish list unless, of course, you happen to be Stephanie Beacham. Once spring has sprung, though, that will change. For everyday life, Ray-Bans will doubtless be as popular as always, but the most achingly fashionable souls might like to indulge in more obviously experimental designs. There's not a rounded edge to be seen in Hussein Chalayan's frames: all sides are straight, making for a more interesting than average lens shape. At Emporio Armani, conversely, sunnies are rounded, John Lennon style. Giles and Marni, meanwhile, have both gone for frames that are heavy on the brow line – very heavy.

The Cinderella Slipper

Prada's transparent perspex sandals finished with oversized dangling crystals are fit for a modern-day Cinderella. As ornate as a Seventies chandelier, they win the award for the most desirable party shoe of the season – if not the decade.

Strawberry Earrings

So-called naive prints were all over the catwalks for spring, with cutesy swallows and cats dotted across blouses at Miu Miu. But everyone knows the humble strawberry is the fruit of the summer season, and it splodged its way onto printed T-shirts and embroidered skirts at Tao. They also came in the form of this cute fabric earring finished with pip-like gems, courtesy of Yves Saint Laurent. Delicious.

The Satchel

It's no longer fashionable to be seen carrying an 'it' bag. Instead, functional (not flash) is the look to aim for. Enter the suitably serious-looking satchel. Each major name has come up with one. Chloé's is a retro affair in nude leather, Chanel has one in bouclé wool and Louis Vuitton's is monogrammed, as might be expected. Dior's sizeable shoulder satchel is the closest to a statement that this particular style comes, and is big enough to hold everything a woman could wish to carry.

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