The buckle, which once served merely to fasten one item to another, has moved beyond its original utilitarian function and become a popular design element. This season you'll find the classic accent decorating everything from shoes to hats and jewelry.
Designer Marc Jacobs led the way with this trend in his fall 2012 runway show. Models walked in chunky-soled pilgrim shoes decorated with oversize square buckles encrusted with crystals. Kate Spade offers a "Dandy" pump with a glittering square detail.
The buckles that grace the Tonodo heel by Manolo Blahnik are less theatrical than Jacobs' but no less stylish, fashioned in an elegant snakeskin matching the body of the shoe.
As bags go, a clutch's structured style lends itself to the strong lines of a buckle. At Marni, a large bag covered in lamb fur has a magnetic closure, with a leather buckle detail that's just for show. A lemon-colored, buckle-shaped flap brings a pop of color to a fuschia Mimosa clutch from Diane von Furstenberg.
The modern lines of metal bangles and earrings by Michael Kors are accented in a classic belt-buckle design.
Merona felted cloche hats at Target feature belted bands — an added touch of menswear-inspired interest.