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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Right Now by Nicole

A Boot for All Seasons: Nicole's Right Now ... knot your average knee-high.

Some boots are simply too hip. The aptly named Right Now by Nicole? Tragically so. It's cool factor lies in its ability to work in any season. This is a knee boot made for the present. The omni-present. The trick lies in an incredibly supple and lean leather in copper or black that can be yanked on, scrunched down and otherwise mistreated to achieve the perfect look. What this means for you is an on-trend boot that works throughout summer (scrunched waaaaay down) through autumn (flipped down, scrunched) and into winter (hiked up to the knees over leggings).

The copper-penny-brown is rich and rife with possible outfit pairings. The staff insisted on skinny jeans, but was willing to concede leggings and brightly colored tights. Deep blue jeans topped with a structured white blouse and lots of gold hardware is a clean, modern look. The tailoring and glam contrast the organic, folding tendency of the boot's upper. Prairie looks were a foregone conclusion, with breezy linens, muslins and calicos coming to mind. As the season cools, source a magnificently simple wool jumper (we're thinking charcoal gray), yank up those boots and apply legging treatments and colors liberally.

We realized that all this working of the the leather will age it. That's a good thing. Scratches from fingernails, oils from hands build up a bootstrap chic. You may miss the clean, unmarred newness, but dings, dents and scratches are sexy. You will earn the look of having weathered many a trend while still looking achingly current ... right now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

29086 (Koala) by Khrio

Spot On: Khrio's Koala is a balanced mix of past and future styling in a presently relevant boot.

We spent a good amount of time bandying about descriptions of Khrio's 29086 in Koala (also in black and brown) since "29086" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. At once, it looks like a set piece from a live-action staging of Akira; a motorcycle boot from a steam punk alternate reality; an off-duty combat boot; an earthy, casual-chic city walker. It's casual, confident, chic, fun, well-made, comfortable. Like its namesake, the Koala is adorable ... and a befuddlement to categorize. However you interpret it, let's agree it's singular. And we like things that stand out.

A titch shorter than last fall's version, Koala stands just over a foot high with a recessed one-inch heel. The molded rubber sole gives your step some spritely bounce. The cutaway floats the shoe above the pavement, reinforcing the look of spring in your step. The rounded toe is casual; a center reverse-seam makes it a bit rough-and-tumble, as does paneling at the vamp and heel reinforced with small rivets.

There's no zipper here. A Neoprene calf panel in distressed reptile pattern provides form-fitting comfort. Two Velcro straps at top cinch the fit while providing a cool edge. The aged leather upper has an easy, washed look. We particularly like the welted buckle washers in antiqued brass – nice detail.

Lightweight and airy, this is a boot to wear now, before (and into) fall. In the sunny months, pair it with long socks or knee socks in a contrasting color and a knee length (or slightly higher) skirt – something prim or structured to work against this boot's casual look. As fall progresses, graduate to leggings. In denim we're thinking gray or white, skinny (there's room to tuck), under an oversized tee with statement belt. Big metal buckle or pyramid studs tap into the upcoming accessories metal trend. Speaking of big tees, try one under a cropped military blazer to pull out Koala's regimental leanings.

We may not have a slick classification for the Koala, but that in itself says something. This is a boot that has many looks, that will garner many appreciative glances, that works in multiple seasons with myriad outfits. And when you're wearing it – looking fabulous – who cares about adjectives?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Destiny by Laura Brandon

Wrap It Up: The Destiny by Laura Brandon is a chic take on the fall bootie trend.

Continuing last fall's boot obsessions, this autumn will witness new styles with a heavy emphasis on short-shafted boots and booties. The Destiny by Laura Brandon is an early arrival. If there's one thing we love, it's punctuality ... that, and a sexy new silhouette. As gladiators and sandals are supplanted by fall's trends, we have our eye on Destiny's sleekly angular, open-front bootie with a rounded, closed toe on a narrow wedge. Wedge and upper are wrapped with the same panels for a lovely play on surface and structure. It's toned muscles flexing beneath flawless skin, the allure of a high cheekbone.

Staffers and shoppers are buying this to pair with mid-length, full skirts or bubble hems – the volume and soft lines contrast nicely with Destiny's organic, but angular lines and the playfully long, two-eye tie in front. The open front is chic and perfect for wearing between seasons and into fall. We could also see it working with tights as it gets cooler or even a superskinny pant leg, tucked inside for a dressy take on an undone workboot.

We like dressy for fall. Destiny's open front feels sophisticated and casual, confidently sexy like a woman wearing her boyfriend's oxford with three undone buttons. The closed toe and easy 3-1/2" heel echo another upcoming trend: the straightforward dress pump. Elegant, unadorned, classic. Destiny's combination of the cool and the cultured neatly sums up early fall trends, making it a versatile 'tween-seasons choice. Maybe it's just fate it arrived when it did.

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