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Clothes and Accessories Get the Midas Touch (March 15, 2007)

Gold bags are a frequent sight in Tokyo. (Color & Design Research Room of Kyoritsu Women's Junior College)
Gold is this year's trendy color. Gold buttons are being used on pea jackets and trench coats, gold chain bags and belt buckles are all the rage, and gold-toned clothes and other small items with a touch of gold are now prominent. Gold is even replacing silver, a longstanding favorite, as the metal of choice for earrings, rings, pendants, and other accessories. The world of fashion appears to be on the brink of a gold rush.

From Street to High Fashion
Young Japanese men devoted to hip-hop culture and the "B boy" style were the first to embrace gold, wearing large accessories featuring imitation gold or rhinestones with baggy, everyday wear. Later, when hip-hop caught on among women, revealing outfits with gold accessories and other bold styles were adopted, and gold items were used first by "gals," a group marked by their preference for casual, sexy wear, and later by young women as a whole.

Gold bags go well with black clothes. (Color & Design Research Room of Kyoritsu Women's Junior College)

Seemingly in step with this trend, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, and a number of other haute-couture designers featured an abundance of gold in their 2006 fall & winter and 2007 spring & summer collections, focusing further interest on the metal. Most of the gold items, such as gold metallic dresses, satin gold tight-fitting suits, and blousons with gold zippers, were not ostentatious or showy but radiated a modern, futuristic, and powerful feel.

Gold and Economic Expansion
Gold was popular in the 1980s, at the peak of the bubble era. Just like today, metal buttons embellished navy blue blazers, gold necklaces topped tight fitting dresses with large shoulder pads, and gold was used in other eye-catching ways. Gold that shimmers is stunning and sumptuous and has connotations of lavish wealth, so - not surprisingly - it tends to appear during periods of economic growth.

The current boom in gold coincides with a long period of growth, but another factor is that people are tired of the informality of the longstanding retro style and loose-fitting layered clothes and are ready for something new. And some believe that the growing desire for a new fashion has the potential to serve as a stimulus for further growth.

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Copyright (c) 2007 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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