THE image of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, dressed in a silver onesie with loopy tassels hanging down to his shins, is perhaps not the best illustration of sophisticated fringe. Nor, for that matter, is "Heavy Metal Parking Lot," the 1986 cult-classic documentary in which Judas Priest fans in fringed leather jackets make devil's-horn hand gestures and proclaim themselves "Ready to rawk!"
Indeed, few styles appear as comical and costumey as fringe. And yet this season it has emerged as an intriguing trend. Particularly black fringe, which, in contrast to spring's garden party of florals, assumes a dramatic flair. "It's very sexy, the way it moves," said Genevieve Jones, the accessories designer whose strappy black fringe satchel has become a favorite of fashion editors.
Ms. Jones was far from the only designer feeling fringe this season: Veronica Etro took some trendy gladiator sandals and shook them up with shredded suede; Ann Demeulemeester showed uncharacteristically lighthearted flapper shorts; and at Balmain, Christopher Decarnin, who designs for an earthy rocker chick, used black fringe for several slinky looks that lazily danced around the body.
And fringe shows no signs of fading away. Mr. Decarnin showed it again for fall, as did Camilla Staerk, Isabel Marant and Frida Giannini at Gucci. For his part, Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent sent out models in matching black fringe hairstyles, some with black feathery eyelash fringe affixed to their outfits.
"It's just a cool look," said the stylist Keegan Singh, who despite his enthusiasm for the stuff, cautions against overkill. "If you're going to wear fringe," he advised, "wear just one item, and pair it with something simple."