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Friday, June 26, 2009

Buckles by Jeffrey Campbell

Big Love: Buckles by Jeffrey Campbell stills our cheating hearts. Sorry, Attic.

When the Attic came out, even Jeffrey Campbell blogged about it. The attention must have had them thinking because now we have Buckles, a gladiator sandal with an ice cream name and bad metal looks that flirts with our attraction to Attic, then steals our heart.

If we have a steady relationship with the Attic, then Buckles is surely our mistress. That femmy heel (JC always nails the heels, no?) supports a rough-and-tumble, mean black gladiator shape. Whereas spring's Attic was all color and geometry, lightness and space, the Buckles is boldness and aggression, hardware and leathers. It's an urban take on a traditional glad sandal: smoothly tough but alluring and attractive.

Give yourself some legroom with this one. Short shorts and short skirts, black, to show them off. A blousy white or light shirt topped with a hugely floppy hat (we are in love with Hermes's recent runway appearance) and giant sunglasses and bold lip colors. The nice thing about this mean shoe is that it remains classic enough to wear through this season into winter and pick it back up next year. Buckles may well best the Attic for first place in your fickle heart, but find a way to navigate this love triangle and you'll be guaranteed to look your best all year long.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tab-2 by Jeffrey Campbell

Scaled Back, Fashion Forward: Tab-2 is back by popular demand.

We thought the Tab-2 was a pretty, pretty shoe. Apparently, so did you. After selling out of it in record time, we're excited to say it's back ... and in more colors. In addition to the ever-popular pewter and brown, we've received a posh dove gray suede (above). There's something about a gray shoe that is light and summery but outside the season. The punchy aqua footbed and tabs in darker gray, aqua and brown are a sophisticated color combination that we first saw (and loved) in Biviel's 1893 earlier this season.

All around the color palettes are fantastic. Undoubtedly a color wheel was consulted, maybe a Googling of that holy triumvirate of color theory: saturation, lightness and hue. The knocked-back, muted result lends Tab-2 a vintage feel which contrasts smartly with the '80s-inspired neon-bright footbeds. Whatever the process, the result works. It comes off fun but sophisticated. Considered. We also like how the overlapping scales subtly reference the new gladiator trend without straying from its origins as a pump with an easy three-inch heel.

Staff recommendations are to try this with cuffed skinny jeans and a buttondown shirt that's belted to pull some of that color up into your torso. Finish it off with some bangles. If that's not your look, the vintage feel works back to straight hems and A-line dresses. Try a floral pattern to pick up the organic shape of the color tabs and further the delicious tension of old and new that makes us love the Tab-2.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trina-2 by Via Spiga

Just Right: Trina-2 is a versatile shoe that works with a wide range of outfits.

Sometimes we pick a shoe for this column because it epitomizes a look. Sometimes we pick it because it defines a look. And sometimes we pick it because it does exactly the opposite. Trina-2, that Goldilocks of shoes, supports such a wide range of outfits that it works with just about anything. Versatility is the new look.

We'll start with its best trait, that lovely heel. Neither too tall nor too short, the slender, three-inch tapered heel lifts just enough for the new office or the night's outing. Its top half is wrapped in leather, the bottom stacked for texture. Trina-2 comes in classic black or a more assertive platino. A t-strap, wide at the toe and narrowing at the buckled anklet to meet a heel cup, is wonderfully demure. It creates tantalizing cutouts along the arch and toes while providing enough cover for more prim occasions.

While you can snap this shoe into just about any outfit to complete the look, what's coming to our mind is cropped cigarette pants and a blousy white top. We're also thinking A-line: fitted bodice and something fuller at the waist ... perfect with a heel of this height.

We like that Trina-2 makes its mark by not standing out. It simply makes your outfit work. That's not to say this is a boring shoe – far from it – rather, this is a shoe that plays its supporting role masterfully, shifting the focus to you in all your put-togetheredness. It takes some moxy to pull that off. We'd have to say Trina-2 is a pretty canny piece of footwear. This kind of classy classic will wear well for plenty of summer seasons to come. Like Goldilocks, it will always end up feeling just right.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chrysta by Jeffrey Campbell

The Braided Bunch: Jeffrey Campbell's Chrysta weaves casual and chic into the ideal summer pump.

It's just perfect, isn't it? The nude patent peeptoe and heel, the plait of silver braided above that, the silver footbed, the sleek kitten-y heel, the demure ankle strap ... The Chrysta by Jeffrey Campbell is a girl we want to be besties with. Fun and playful, you can nevertheless dress this up for a summer wedding or patio soiree.

We are slightly obsessed with this shoe under Lacoste's Stretch Gab High Waist Full Pleated Skirt in white. There is a certain Jazz Age zip to the Chrysta – something Daisy would wear to visit in East Egg. This is a simple shoe; there's an elegance in that simplicity. It has just enough trickery in all that overlapping peeptoe to keep things coy, which is to say interesting. The silver and beige work in a kind of slant rhyme: not matchy-matchy like a sweater set, they are close enough in tone and value to work with a range of wardrobes. Throw in a gauzy summer scarf (our favorite look this season) to add an aristocratic insouciance. Fun and easy-going with an understated glamour? BFFs indeed.

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