Perhaps the most important ingredient you can add to your closet this season (or more importantly, next season)…is sitting and waiting for you at the Yves St. Laurent Rive Gauche Boutique on east 57th street (212 980 2970). And the good news it costs under $300!

No silly, I’m not referring to the black and white polka dot blouses and skirts (which range in price from about $750 and up) that are not only in the company’s ad campaigns, and are currently decorating the store’s windows, but were recently seen on the backs of two of fashion’s most influential women- Carine Roitfeld and Anna Wintour. Both Vogue editors in chief chose variations on the theme designed by Stefano Pilati for his inaugural spring 2005 collection for YSL, when they made the rounds of the Paris Collections, literally putting their collective stamps of approval on the designer’s work.

But what I AM talking about is the very wide belt with large square buckle that accessorized the waists of almost all the models during the YSL spring show last September, (literally holding the collection together), which also appears prominently in all the spring ads.

The $295 belt, which is at least 3 inches wide, is available in black and purple patent leather (though I was told they are going fast) and is coming in shortly in red suede. Sized from 28 to 34, it is the perfect accessory…a collector’s item, really: classic, timeless, seasonless, yet highly distinctive. And of course, the wide belt was a major theme during the recent round of fall 2005 collections. Worn over a shirt, jacket, or coat….or used on a dress, skirt, or pants…it’s the quickest way to put some shape into your life and add a bit of style and chic. Actually, it’s a ‘cinch’!

Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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