All that glitters 

Forget minimalism. This season, fashion is once again taking a fun detour through the land of excess (a place some of us never quite leave, as my adoration of all things bright, shiny and tacky goes to show).

Metallic fabrics, vibrant fake fur, rhinestones and eye-straining patterns abound. Time to dust off that Bedazzler — or you could just buy one of the updated models, re-released for the new millennium, at the fabric store.

Some of the best looks seamlessly blend the ornate with the basic, along with ’70s and early-’80s glam-rock or punk influences. Think glamour, uniqueness, and artfulness.

Royal Oak’s Axis is a treasure trove for great yet affordable fashion. Located on downtown Washington Street, the store showcases a carefully selected blend of funky, chic and downright gorgeous offerings for men and women.

Axis features both new and unique vintage items, along with to-die-for jewelry, including some amazing rhinestone necklaces. There are also some beautiful gowns and reasonably priced, stunning evening shawls.

For our shoot at C-Pop Gallery, we chose colorful, textured pieces that in some ways mirrored the work of the gallery’s featured artist, Rico Africa. A long faux fur-trimmed sweater coat in steel gray provides an interesting take on one of the season’s big trends, while a filmy layered gown with mirror appliqués captures the eye in scrumptious, offbeat shades of tangerine and sunset yellow.

In keeping with the season’s colorful spirit and love for all things knit is the vintage crocheted sweater-dress and matching vest in turquoise and pea green. The look is dressy, but still leaves room for plenty of self-expression.

Equally fabulous is the black, short-sleeved mock knit sequined sweater. Dressed up or down, this piece retains an artful edge despite the glitz. And it goes practically anywhere.

With all the options available now, don’t be afraid to take chances. A great way to start is with an eye-popping pattern. Here, the model shows off a bold polka-dot shirt. Bright ’60s- and ’70s-inspired prints are plentiful in stores now.

Or you can just hunt for the real thing. Nothing looks quite as hip as a ’60s mod suit (or a great knock-off). This one, in a deep charcoal gray, features cool military pockets. The look gets extra points when combined with a skinny rock star-type physique.

With the days growing colder and darker, we can certainly do with more color and sparkle, and a few loud, defiantly unique fashion statements shouting above the dull murmurs on the streets.

Photographs: Angie Baan

Styling: Rebecca Mazzei

Models: Jan Cameron, Sharon Emeigh and Sylvia Isho

Clothes from Axis (313 S. Washington, Royal Oak, 248-546-5860).

Location: C-Pop Gallery (4160 Woodward, Detroit, 313-833-9901).

Paintings by Rico Africa. Christina Kallery writes about fashion for the Metro Times. E-mail her at letters@metrotimes.com

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