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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rye by Chinese Laundry

Fine Grain: The Rye by Chinese Laundry is a refreshing summer treat.

Like its namesake, Chinese Laundry's Rye is a summer staple that can be worked into an intoxicating mixture with a little time and a few added ingredients (in this case, a shot of teal handbag by Junior Drake). Nude huarache slingback on top, cork wedge on the bottom, Rye blends two trends into an easy, sunny look.

The neutral colorway is a nice balance: just dark enough to offset fair skin but light enough to do the same for darker complexions. A woven leather escutcheon over the foot is the visual focal point, falling off on either side in an open weave to the upsweep of ankle sling. The result is a foot casually thonged without discomfort. (You can also thank a sueded footbed for that.)

The focus may begin at the front of your foot, but a four-and-a-half-inch cork platform wedge shifts attention to your new-found height. A subtle curve up at the toes helps maintain the sense of lightness inspired by all that cork.

We're pairing this one up with a bold block of color like Junior Drake's pleated tote with whip ruffles (shown above) and jewelry sporting turquoises and corals – the former to triangulate your color scheme and the latter to bridge it to the gauzy linen summer dress or clean white V you are wearing over wideleg jeans. The look is casual and understated with a considered polish. Kind of like the drink itself (we recommend the Sazerac.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kammi by Pelle Moda

Cage Match: The Kammi nets top marks for edgy cool and sexy summer wear.

Sometimes you need a shoe with a just little bit of sexy bitch in it. Sometimes you need a lot. And then there's occasion to don the Kammi by Pelle Moda. Summer is that occasion. Kammi's basic look – a platform heel with geometric upper and a lot of attitude – is on-trend for the season. We've seen similar in Pour La Victoire's Bianca, Jeffrey Campbell's Attic and the urban grit of JC's Bank-2. Kammi's advantage is wrapping all these traits into a sleek and aggressive heel that can't help but externalize your libido.

Available in a golden pewter or black with pewter lining, the three-part upper is a leather webbing that wraps the sole and ends in a coquettish peeptoe. This, coupled with an undercut platform and slender straw of a four-and-a-half-inch heel, float you above the ground an extra quarter inch, you dominating goddess. Bondage looks aside, a heel zipper, padded leather footbed and quality leather make this a comfortable wear by all accounts of the sales staff.

A shoe this confident requires an outfit to suit. The season's predilection toward athletica, fitness looks and tight shorts works a fabulous contrast. So does a legging jean with a high crop that just skims the shoe. For some reason we're also thinking aviators, an ultrasoft, overlarge tee or perhaps a washed and cropped leather jacket. The Kammi may have a specific look, but it's not picky; all is asks is a little bit of excitement for summer in the city.

Friday, May 8, 2009

7096 by Gastone Lucioli

En Pleine Air: Gastone Lucioli's cork wedge captures the natural look (and our hearts).

The natural look continues to dominate our thoughts. As the weather warms and color returns, we’re finding a real joy in the directness of simple, well-crafted things. The unending expanse of a blue sky, the greening of shoots on trees, the vividness of tulips … we’re letting nature take the lead on color right now. We will follow with clean looks and light-hearted neutrals that compliment our surroundings and reflect our positive mood.

So when the 7096 by Gastone Lucioli came in the other week, we became quite a bit happier. Perched on a five-inch cork wedge, the woven upper comes in a chocolate brown or taupe suede. The quality is unparalleled. Evidence of this can be found in the subtle, sinuously curved cork wedge: a slim, tall stalk of a heel gently fulls out and down along the arch to the ball of the foot where it flips up at the toes. The effect is a sense of airy weightlessness, sandals on which you seem to glide a quarter inch above the pavement.

The basket woven upper completes this easy, natural look. It’s perfect for the warming spring. Out of the box, we were a staff divided between leather and suede, but a certain magic happens – as it always does – on the foot: this shoe is all lightness and breeze, but that sensibility comes out of contrast. Lighter skin tones may find the suede too neutral; the rich brown of the leather reinforces your distance from the ground. Likewise with darker hues under the suede.

Of course it will work with denim and casual outfits, but we’re really insisting on whites here. Summerweight, overlong men’s trousers, summer dresses and prairie skirts, bright and clean. Accessorize with bits of natural color: the veiny blue of turquoise, the dark striation of ebony woods on chain and leather, layered. Leather will pick up steam into fall; Gastone’s wedges will guide you there.

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