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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Legal by Jeffrey Campbell

Zip It: The Legal by Jeffrey Campbell brings closure to the question of a cool wedge.

The first thing you might think when you see the Legal by Jeffrey Campbell is, "Eh?" The second will either be "Whoa" or "Wow!" This is a surprise addition that will stump you or seduce you and we're sure both camps will have their adherents. One thing's for sure: there's one lucky zipper manufacturer out there singing JC's praises.

Perched on a narrow, four-inch wedge sheathed in black suede, the Legal is wrapped in seven layers of chromed zippers that come together at the foot to form an unexpected peeptoe. All the zippers are functional and provide an unexpected degree of customizable fit and creative license with the look. Should you leave them open, closed, or open-and-closed? The bright chrome of the solid pulltabs creates a fantastic visual flash (and not a little bit of noise) on top the criss-crossed wrapping of the metal teeth.

Legal's a costume setpiece for a remake of "The Mummy" produced by The Cure and Trent Reznor. Nevertheless, there's an certain charm to the overt "rebel" in this shoe. It's so earnest we just can't help but love the Legal for it. And in a very strange way, the pulltabs start to read like fringe and, in that way, tap into the Western look that is all over the scene. Has Jeffrey Campbell taken the rock-and-roll rebel and ported it, ingeniously, into the Western camp? Possibly. Marry all that to the Project Runway vibe ("You have four hours and forty feet of zipper to make something wearable ... ") and you have an ostentatious shoe that behaves like a lady. A real rambunctious lady, but a lady nonetheless.

How? With denim, absolutely. Also with spangly leggings. Pick up the flash and dance of these wedges with layered necklaces or big tassled earrings. You can also work back into the punk angle with a bold plaid scarf and jeans jacket with band buttons. However you choose, safe to say the Legal will brng some closure to the question of what to wear.

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