my accountshopping bag
fashion trends

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kirabu & Kaylor by Jessica Bennett

Jessica Bennett Kirabu and Kaylor for Spring 2009The Naturals: Kirabu and Kaylor by Jessica Bennett show too much craft can be just enough.

Sometimes we just want to unplug. Working online day in, day out leaves us wanting something. Something like ... sunlight. Computers make us relive the paranoia of the '80s when the threat of world domination by aliens and computers was a thin disguise for those pesky Soviets. We spend an eternity in this phantom zone slaving away on the MCP and playing games with Joshua and dreaming of sweet revenge. Well, we agree that the only winning move is not to play, so let's take things offline for a minute and go native.

A favorite trend is what we, in this Luddite moment, are referring to as Offline Embellishments. These are the tribal stylings, wooden beads, craft-y DIY constructions and use of pre-Silicon Valley materials like wood, stone and metal for adornment. It's soothingly anti-mechanical and a delightful spectacle.

Not to mention a cinch to dress up.

Jessica Bennett leads the pack with two similar shoes, the Kirabu and the Kaylor. Unable to choose just one, we naturally chose both (our blog, our rules). These babies are a feast of over-embellishment. They don't read too much, they read plenty enough. They feel exuberant and fresh, light and maybe just a touch precious. In other words, perfect girlie shoes for spring.

Kirabu's deep blue denim looks great under a wideleg pant or even a cropped jean. The range of colors in the beading give you plenty to pick up in your accessories and outfit. And that peeptoe! So cute! We insist you pedi before wearing for optimum color possibilities. A four-inch stacked-wood heel is sculpted into a sweeping, narrow column that lends contrast to the fabric and beads, yet supports them by adding a touch of polish. Casual, but knowingly. Wear these to a street fest, Mardi Gras, a lecture on Mayan codices or a visit to the Smarties factory.

The Kaylor's beige upper and woven jute wedge sole just beg for a white summer dress with a floppy sunhat or anything to show off your legs and be happy about the warmer weather. The front is cotton webbing with a riot of embroidery topped with wooden beads. The slingback is made of nude leather. All of this perches vertiginously on a two-inch platform rising to a narrow four-inch heel. The embroidery - cobalt, magenta, ice blue - feels vaguely Hopi as though our kachina collection had been reshaped into shoes while we slept. These happy sandals feel close to the earth and far from the office.

We hope you understand our dilemma now. Two shoes, a brace of ways to celebrate the outdoors using the stuff you find outside, not indoors bound in the nutshell of infinite cyberspace.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sarika by Calvin Klein

Off the Ssssscale: Petal snakeskin platform pump Sarika by Calvin Klein

Let's start with the obvious: this shoe is gorgeous. We see a lot of reptile patterns cross our floor and Calvin Klein, per usual, takes it to another place. The petal-colored upper with its easy contrast against the dark brown platform riveted us. (Compare it to the black to see how strong a difference a color maketh.) The silver leather lining works back to those surprise pops of color we've been harping on in recent posts. The overall color palette is soft and as ethereal as spring itself.

Another stand-out is the texture. The scales on this pattern aren't simply stamped into the leather for an ersatz embossed look, they are undercut and rough, giving the shoe a natural, organic feel, which taps into two more spring trends: a back-to-nature ethos inspired by green movements (and the recession?) and a recurrence of goddess trends (we're thinking more Athena than Gorgon, but whatever suits you). With a five-inch heel (and 3/4" platform), the Sarika lends you definite presence. The snakeskin and wood-dyed sole feels very dryad, very Ovid, very Hesiod to us.

It should be no surprise, then, that we want to work this shoe back to a satiny babydoll top or causal bubble skirt -- items with fullness, drape and volumes of fabric -- or full and long jersey pieces that have the flow and cling of a caryatid. One of the girls based her Valentine's Day outfit on this: worn with brown tights and a babydoll dress with some layered jewelry, she received compliments left and right. She also mentioned the shoe runs very slightly big, so order your true size, add some foot pads and float into spring on these unearthly heels.

For larger sizes, visit Barefoot Tess Barefoot Tess for larger sizes.