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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Blooms by Poetic License

March Showers ... : Our April is looking flowery thanks to Spring Blooms by Poetic

Have you ever noticed a certain insecurity amongst the superhero set? Superman can fly, is invincible, has heat rays and supersonic hearing, but in case you forget who he is, look for the glaring red S on his chest. Spiderman has the proportionate strength and agility of a spider and slings around Manhattan on gossamer spidersilk. Lest you mistake him for some lesser arthropod, his costume boasts a sleek spider. Batman has his bat thing. Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the list goes on. Seems no matter what your abilities, looking well-appointed is essential to a healthy self-esteem. (We're sure that raises the hackles of therapists everywhere but, hey, we sell shoes.)

We've got just the thing for your inner hero. Spring Blooms by Poetic License is a super-powered sandal that advertises spring like a Gothamite Bat Signal. We're fans of the lavender as opposed to green. (We feel Marvel's Poison Ivy has a lock on those leafy greens; besides, we want to use our wardrobe powers for good.)

Like all good costumes, this heeled sandal is two-toned for maximum retro awesomeness. A light lavender, patent upper tops a four-inch purple heel. Against a dark street scene (like the above photo) the heel retreats and you float just a touch above the ground. Call it your newly discovered super power. An adjustable heel strap leads to this sandal's secret power: a spray of fuchsia leaves in suede over the shiny patent. Fashion yourself a pink cape and, lo!, Spring Blossom is poised to save the world from the nefarious Old Man Winter.

We actually advise against the cape. (You don't want to overplay your hand.) For this shoot we paired it with a supercute gray jumper that showed a lot of leg and left plenty of room for accessorizing. The neutral cast of the outfit focussed attention on the shoes (where it should be). Easily worn with shorts and skirts as well, the main thrust is to let the shoe carry your look and, honestly, just have fun with it. Save your sober pumps for the conference room. Right now we are strapping these beauties on and clicking out dressed for super success! Despite the obvious, sometimes you just have to let everyone else know how fabulous you already are.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Clover by Rocketdog

Madras in the Grass: Rocketdog's sunny plaid loafer is summer incarnate.

Every once in a while a shoe just captures our heart, holds it hostage and demands an exorbitant ransom. Yes, the Clover by Rocketdog is like a scrappy band of Somali pirates and we, their unsuspecting foreign superfreighter. Fortunately for us, the Clover is a simple pirate, demanding only $34.00 instead of the millions requested by its fellow-buccaneers.

We will now drop that metaphor. We will retain a certain image of the sea, maybe just of the lake or even a pool because these Madras beauties are summer in a shoe! We just can't get over how bright and cheerful they are. Some shoes we love for their killer look, or how killer they make us look. And some shoes ... well, some shoes just make us smile. And a shoe that makes us smile is a shoe we want to wear. And so easy! The insole is fabric over foam that sits on top of a burlap sole – think huaraches – and lined with braided hemp rope. There’s nothing fancy here, but what we get works like a charm.

Fancy, no, but dull? Hardly. Here we have the trends of the moment – natural materials, neutral colors – and an absolute riot of color. For being a simple slip-on, Clover’s a bit of a workhorse. Casual construction – reversed seams on the toebox, gusseted heelcup for easy donning – brings to mind similar outfits. Casual. Easy. On the shore of our sea/lake/pool vision we now see us in whites, polos, flimsy slubbed tees (dare we say sweater sets??) drinking fanciful gin drinks, our Rocketdog Clovers kicked into the seagrass.

Shifting gears from lawless pirates, there's a Gilded Age Adirondacks or latter-day Hamptons kind of screaming preppiness about the Clover that, frankly, we love. Call it East Coast. You can wear it with pretty much anything seeing how the whole of ROYGBIV is represented in the pattern (though the overall cast is somewhat on the cooler, which is to say BIV, side).

Clover’s not for the office and definitely nothing we would wear out on the town (unless that town were an exotic island resort with sand and palm trees and complexly concocted cocktails served in coconuts), but we’d slip it on for just about anything else. Clover’s for, well, the clover – hit the beach, take a walk, bring these cuties with you. Who knows? Someone may see them on you and have their own heart hijacked by the little scrappers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cara by Rosegold

24-Karat Kicks: We're a fool for Rosegold's Cara – a corky wedge that gilds our spring look.

We're pretty good at getting our hooks into new trends if we do say so ourselves. Even with our eagle eyes, some trends are too hot to hold onto. Nicole Ritchie's House of Harlow? Oh sure coming shortly. But re-orders? Forget it. (They are sold out worldwide to the pair; like, crickets chirping in the warehouse. When they come online next week, you'd better have your mouse hovering over "Add to Bag.") Just as blistering but without the celeb cachet is Rosegold. Funny enough, same parent company. Fashion is as fashion does.

Cara is beautiful. A lovely 4.5-inch cork wedge interlaced with brown leather piping, emphasizing the graceful lines of the bottom and leading up to your hotchacha legs. The horizontal piping also serves to reduce the visual size of the wedge: you'll look like you have less height while gaining additional presence. It's a head-turning, attention-commanding sneak attack!

The heelcup and peeptoe are connected by a broad swath of camel-colored leather with cut-outs and finished with a demure ankle strap. We'd wear this with a nude nail polish or even a French pedi (mais oui!). We show it here with an adorable light frock with an all-over tiny flower pattern – feminine, fresh, fun. Think Anthropologie – that soft-focus, halycon Elysium in which their catalog is shot. Rosegold will make your every summer moment seem a keepsake.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nicky by Matisse

In Stitches: Matisse's Nicky is a wedge boot walking a mile as a moccasin.

We love the return of the moccasin. And we love seeing it seamfully continue the tall boot trend into spring. We feel pressured to insert a 18th Century reference, but rifling through "Last of the Mohicans" or the rest of Fenimore Cooper is leaving us cold. Natty Bumppo these are not; warm weather they are. But perhaps that's it. Maybe we are trying to hard. Shake-shake, clear the head, let's start this again: We love moccasins. Period.

The Nicky by Matisse is one helluva mocassin. This thing's got more whipstitching than the factory floor at Rawlings. The heel cup, vamp and top of the boot shaft are pieced together with a white whip that contrasts, but softly, with the doeskin suede. Let's dwell on that for a second. This suede is ultra-soft. It is delightful. Like a co-dependent lover, it has no structure except that which you give it. The fit is close to your leg or can be schlumped and scrunched and flipped down for something more casual.

There's more going on here than a chic exterior. The upper conceals a hidden wedge-ish bit of padding. It's slight enough that our own eagle-eyed copywriter missed it the first time, but the extra lift will make you feel just a bit taller. Score!

Don these boots with light spring ensembles. We're thinking lots of whites, no tights, long legs. With knee sock trends picking up and sure to head into fall, this boot is a great bridger: it's a spring boot with the easy fit and thin material of a sock. The casual boot, the formalized sock, the slimmed down and lightened up Classic Ugg. And we love the soft grey/beige palette. It reminds us of woodland fauna, hen of the woods mushrooms, tree bark on a mountain prairie and a wide blue sky seen through budding trees.

We started this post trying to force this boot into a Leatherstocking Tale, but it is no effort to say the boot works with the natural/fabric/organic trends cropping up (heh) in jewelry and accessories. The fabric flower necklace (above) is a big, fun, casual puff and is nicely balanced by the hard, sleek, colorful bead necklaces.

Walk tall, look natural, feel great. The Nicky is a great spring transition boot that will wear well into summer.

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