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The style highlight of the Olympics — Michael Johnson’s ostentatious gold Nikes — is now proving its mettle in fall fashion. From Ralph Lauren’s 14-karat-colored lace dresses and Marc Jacobs’ lame suits to shoes by Gucci and mesh belts by Chanel, there’s enough gold on them thar runways to satiate King Midas. ”It’s been silver, silver, silver the last couple of years, but gold looks right again. Gold’s warmer,” says Mark Badgley of Badgley Mischka, which is counting on clients like Sharon Stone and Tea Leoni to fall in love with its gold organza gowns for fall.

”It’s so in to look rich. Gold just makes you look even richer,” says buyer John Eshaya of L.A.’s Ron Herman/Fred Segal Melrose. ”It’s like a trashy-’70s-Halston, gold-Bianca Jagger kind of thing. If you want to be very chic you find an old gold leather jacket or you put on pinstriped trousers and a gold spandex halter top. But I wouldn’t want a whole gold suit. That’s costumey.”

Though that’s what’s making head-to-toe gold so tempting at awards shows. At last month’s MTV Video Music Awards, Geena Davis (in Richard Tyler) and Dennis Rodman banked on bullion, while NYPD Blue‘s Sharon Lawrence, Cybill‘s Christine Baranski, and ER‘s Gloria Reuben (in Escada) all gilded the telly at the Emmys. Says three-time nominee Lawrence, who wore a $15,000 gold lace Chanel: ”Of course I wore gold because it matches the statue. Don’t think I didn’t think about that.”