Fashion: The Stone Age

HOW IT STARTED Stones popular in the '70s are making a comeback

JUDGMENT Nice reprise, but could be a problem at the dry cleaner

Fred and Wilma would be hip: rocks are in. Today's trendiest fashion houses are studding pants, blouses, bags and belts with enough of them to fill a quarry. A Bill Blass evening gown is strewn with coral beads; Valentino adorns a pants-and-top set with turquoise and coral; and the extra-wide strap on Marni's messenger bag is festooned with rhinestones.

Some stones are unabashedly faux, nothing more than plastic made to look like garnet or jade. But this...

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