If you're looking to update your wardrobe for spring, local fashion expert Suzanne Bishop said snakeskin is the way to go. "Snakeskin accessories are hot now and for spring 2009," said Ms. Bishop, owner of Frankie & Julian's fashion boutique on Frazier Avenue. "There's lots of handbags, wallets and shoes in snakeskin designs. Almost every handbag designer has a snakeskin bag in his or her collection." And you're also going to see it in fashions, she said. "Clothing, particularly jackets, are also snakeskin-inspired," she said, noting that in the February issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine, designer labels Gucci, Versace and Prada are showing snakeskin-inspired fashions ranging from pants to jackets to dresses. While some designers use actual skins in their fashions, many fashions and accessories are made to mimic the skins, she said. "With so many wonderful alternatives, there's simply no need to use animal skins to cover your own skin," according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Web site, peta.org. Shana True, manager of Backstreet Betty's, a fashion boutique on Market Street, said her store sells only faux snakeskin merchandise. "Visually you can't tell a difference in faux snakeskin and real snakeskin," she said. "And, personally, we feel it's ethically a good choice to sell only the faux, and we love it here. It's going to be a big look for us in 2009. We have snakeskin clutches coming in bright colors and textures."