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Dressed to kill: Six femme-fatale looks that you want to mess with

Femme fatale is a look that both invites a stare and issues a warning

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Slink shot: Kitty Collins, the scheming seductress played by Ava Gardner in the 1946 noir classic The Killers, would have double-crossed just about anyone to get her hands on the dress shown here, from Alexander Wang’s much-lauded first collection for Balenciaga. Embroidery Dots gown and goatskin heels by Balenciaga, approximately $4,000 and $800 at Holt Renfrew (www.holtrenfrew.com). Double Knot brass bracelets by Balenciaga, $425 (U.S.) each through www.barneys.com. Fulham lounge chair, $1,595 at Elte (www.elte.com).

Justin Borbely/The Globe and Mail

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Vamp classic: Scene-stealing hair, dramatic smoky eyes and dark maroon lips are neo-noir beauty musts, as are oval-tipped nails in a vampy hue. If you attempt the latter, consider leaving the bottom of the nails (or half moons) unvarnished or painted in a neutral shade – a style of manicure that peaked during the 1940s, but looks fresh again this season. Wool-blend Anthra Dakar dress by Dries Van Noten, approximately $1,375 at Bacci’s (www.baccis.ca), 119 Corbò (www.119corbo.com), Cahier d’Exercices (www.cahierdexercices.com), Holt Renfrew (www.holtrenfrew.com) and Simons (www.simons.ca). Feathered Talia jacket by Dries Van Noten, price on request at Forty Five Ten (www.fortyfiveten.com). Blooming Flower Pyramid pavé ring by M.C.L. by Matthew Campbell Laurenza, $595 (U.S.) through www.bergdorfgoodman.com.

Justin Borbely/The Globe and Mail

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Suits her: An immaculately tailored skirt suit was every femme fatale’s no-nonsense daytime uniform. For fall, Gucci’s Frida Giannini offered a decidedly less modest take on the classic look, showing décolletage- and clavicle-exposing silk jackets with knee-length pencil skirts. Silk Duchesse jacket and skirt, $2,450 and $1,195 at Gucci (www.gucci.com). Aged gold and antique copper gingko-leaf necklace, $825 at Tory Burch (www.toryburch.com).

Justin Borbely/The Globe and Mail

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Dial M for miu miu … or ring up any other clothing boutique carrying the label: Its destined-to-sell-out hourglass-shaped wool coats are likely going to require getting your name on a waiting list. Operators are standing by. Silk-and-wool coat by Miu Miu, approximately $6,100 at select retailers or through www.miumiu.com. System 1-2-3 lounge chair by Panton, $4,300 (U.S.) at Design Within Reach (www.dwr.com).

Justin Borbely/The Globe and Mail

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Showstopper: Halt traffic – literally – in this little black Carven dress featuring an abstracted digital print evoking a car’s illuminated brake lights on a dark, stormy night. Dress by Carven, approximately $1,180 at select retailers or through www.carven.fr. Faux Nappa leather shoes by Stella McCartney, $955 (U.S.) through www.bergdorfgoodman.com. Rose-gold-plated pearl-point drop earrings by Mawi, $410 at Secret Location (www.secretlocation.ca).

Justin Borbely/The Globe and Mail

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The big picture: At the Marc by Marc Jacobs fall show, hairstylist Guido Palau pin-curled and back-brushed models’ hair, creating contemporary takes on the kinky manes sported by early noir stars such as Hedy Lamarr. The fortuitous result: voluminous bursts of face-framing curls to complement the exaggerated silhouettes of forties-inspired dresses. Arte Povera dress by Bottega Veneta, approximately $3,760 through www.bottegaveneta.com. Osiris Crown bracelet by M.C.L. by Matthew Campbell Laurenza, $4,000 (U.S.) through www.bergdorfgoodman.com.

Justin Borbely/The Globe and Mail

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