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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

AsiaweekTimeAsia NowAsiaweek

MARCH 3, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 8

A Time For Whimsy
It's profusion and confusion when it comes to those extra details
By KAVITA DASWANI


Asiaweek Pictures
Frivolity is the common theme for accessories, here in the form of a little beaded bag from Dior

Prepare to be sartorially flummoxed. Accessories for spring and summer are going to leave you wondering whether you should be going for the disco diva look (that's feather boas, high-heeled sequined shoes and tiny mesh bags) or maybe Native Americana (beaded chokers, knee-high fringed boots and flat suede tasseled bags). But one thing is clear: The mood is frivolous, with most designers steering clear of traditional and classical styles and opting instead for adventure. Even Tod's, the Italian brand known for making flat, comfortable loafers worn by everyone from Julia Roberts to Hillary Clinton, has come up with ultra-high heels in sexy shapes. Towering stilettos from Sergio Rossi or Diego Dolcini are studded with Swarovski crystals, bugle beads or paillettes, often on luxurious fabrics such as satin or even alpaca.

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Blamed for the riots surrounding the fall of Suharto, controversial ex-general Prabowo Subianto tells his story
- Investigation: No single "mastermind" was behind the May 1998 turmoil. There were many players, and many plots
- Insight: Re-examining Prabowo's record in East Timor
- Insider: How the general and son-in-law benefited - and was compromised - by being part of the First Family

Editorial: The Internet is the most compelling agent of economic reform
Editorial: A good year for Kim Jong Il - but watch out

Malaysia: The real campaign for national leadership heats up
- Anwar: A decision on Mahathir's testimony is put off again
- Shadows: A play looks at Malaysia's troubled political soul

Hong Kong: The former colony is starting to trust the motherland

Taiwan: Beijing demands unification talks - or else

Japan: Obuchi raises (but doesn't fire) the starting gun for polls

Cambodia: A culture of violence and impunity undermines justice

Fashion: The spirited new styles suit Asia's mood
- Accessories: The rule is - there is no rule
- Menswear: Casual, chic - and inspired by womenswear
- Kenzo: The Japanese couturier bids farewell to the catwalk

Tom.com: Investors rush for a piece of a Hong Kong company with no history, few employees and lots of hype

Kosdaq: Korea's over-the-counter stock market soars

Scandal: Can Manila recover from the BW Resources fiasco?

Investing: Betting on the New India

The Net:
The freebie formula gets tested in Singapore

Cutting Edge: A keyboard you can fit on your Palm

Newsmakers: Japan's crown prince vents his anger

Viewpoint: To fight corruption, reform China's politics
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Seibu is beefing up its accessories department with an ever-increasing selection of little beaded handbags and slip-on mules. If you're buying practical loafers, opt for summery shades of sky blue or pale yellow, as seen in Tod's. Brands such as Sergio Rossi add a dash of luxurious exotica to shoes and bags with turquoise and coral chips. Even Anya Hindmarch, the London designer who made her name providing women with capacious, handy bags, has opted for a fun take on fashion, making bags beaded to look like candy packets . . . Cadbury's Dairy Milk, Maltesers and Jelly Babies.

Bags are going to be either vast or just plain tiny. The messenger models that were so popular last season can still be found in various incarnations. Men are wearing them, too, strapping them across a shoulder and teaming them with sporty, casual clothes. Joyce Boutiques features satchels and messenger bags emblazoned with bright prints of Hindu deities, or large clutches covered with tiny mirrors and multi-colored beads from London cult brand Voyage. Exotic skins are also big news this summer. At Stephane Kelian, flat mules are made from python skin, and the same material is used in exclusive loafers from Tod's. As has been a trend for the past several seasons, accessories are used increasingly to update wardrobes. That mid-calf-length skirt or those flat-fronted tailored pants from last season will look especially fresh with ankle-strapped shoes sporting a trim of fanciful feathers, or a band of crystals shimmering across the toes.


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