'Tis the year to be a fashion snake charmer

| Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 8:45 p.m.

That seductive serpent in Eden may have taken the rap for Adam and Eve's fall, but to the ancient Greeks and Romans, snakes represented wisdom and immortality. In any case, the lowly reptile is enjoying a high-fashion profile. Slick python skins and prints showed up in fall and spring collections from Tom Ford, Proenza Schouler and J. Crew. And since February marks the start of the Chinese celebration of the Year of the Snake, there's more reason to recognize its cunning chic.

Here, some suggestions for reptile accessorizing:

• Clever Cleopatra ruled Egypt and ensnared both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Embrace your inner temptress by coiling your arm with House of Harlow's snake cuff. A fashion-forward alternative to the already-ho-hum trendlet of stacking bracelets. $93.75 at www.glamboutique.com.

• Legs have all the fun with so many choices of embellished and textured tights. But, thanks to Essie's new magnetic metallic Repstyle collection, nails can buff up an ensemble, too. Here's how it works: Apply one coat and then paint the second on one nail at a time. While still wet, hold the magnet top of the polish as close as possible to each nail without touching. In about five seconds, a snakeskin pattern appears. Repeat until all 10 tips look venomously attractive. Available in six shades. $11.25 each at www.essie.com.

• There's nothing coldblooded about the whimsical serpent interpretation on Jonathan Adler's handcrafted, chain-stitched clutch. An interior zipper pocket and a removable leather strap enhance its utility. Petite dauphine snake clutch, $198 at Jonathan Adler, www.jonathanadler.com.

• Kilian Hennessy's new collection of perfumes, In the Garden of Good & Evil, plays on the myth of original sin with a trio of scents: Good Girl Gone Bad, Forbidden Games and In the City of Sin. Each swoon-worthy fragrance, a different blend of sweet fruit, spice and woody notes, is housed in a lacquered white clutch with a serpent ornament. Use with guile. 1.7 ounces, $245 at www.saksfifthavenue.com.

Janet Bennett Kelly is a writer for The Washington Post.

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