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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Miles by Rosegold

Walk On: Rosegold's Miles presents two looks in one shoe: polished and ultra-polished.

We're of two minds on the Miles ... literally. With a leg-lengthening four and one-half inch heel and a three-quarters platform, Miles is comfortably in the realm of the fashion heel. The color, billed as "beige" is actually warmer and rosier – more of a "nude," if that nude were slightly flushed, or perhaps blushing. It's a singular color that we love. Now, of height and color we are of one mind. What splits our attention is the construction of the shoe itself. Divided straight down the middle of the shoe are two treatments that make us gasp and ogle ... or was that ogle and gasp?

The instep of the shoe is wrapped in clean, flawless leather. It is the ultimate classic pump (a big trend again this fall). It bespeaks confidence and power, professionalism and a classy gal. Turn your gaze 180 degrees and prepare to get ruffled. The same leather, the same dye on the outstep are here gathered, ruched and sewn down onto the classic side. This side is all waves and wrinkles and edges. The look is forward and organic, dynamic and aggressive. Watching a walk in these pumps is like watching a two-image flipbook: clean/embellished/clean/embellished/clean/embellished/ (The geek in us secretly wishes Miles were called the Harvey, as in Dent.)

How to wear such a complex piece of footwear? Easy peasy. We pick up the theme of neutrals with a Christopher Kon day bag, but shift to gray. This keeps the outfit in the same tonal range without looking boringly matchy-matchy. The reptile embossing on the bag echoes the ruching of the Miles, while the structured silhouette works back to Miles's clean side. The killer touch is the tie-back knee-high crocheted socks by Bloom Boom Boom. Top with a mid-thigh retro pattern dress and your summer just got a little brighter.

Miles satisfies our twin desires for classic American dressing and something a little more daring, and it does them at the same time. While the split may address different aspects of our personality, the overall look is cohesive thanks to quality leather and spot-on construction. Give the Miles a spin; we guarantee you'll get a number of double-takes on the street.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fatale by Gee'WaWa

Bad Romance? Gee'WaWa's Fatale taps our inner fame monster.

Rah, rah, ah-ah-ah! Roma Roma-m* – uh that's, we mean, welcome to our review of Fatale by Gee'Wawa. Dubbed the "Lady Gaga shoe" before it even arrived at the store, Fatale is a thrilling new look for fall and for Lori's and may prove deadly should our heart rate continue to flutter so.

This is just a monster of a shoe. How can we put it otherwise? The platform, verging on ridiculous, measures 2-1/4". That's the platform. The thick pincer of a wedge/heel rockets up another 3-1/4" to top out in the 5-1/2"-to-6" range. An upturned toe and sharp V at the heel define the silhouette – and this shoe is all silhouette, blacking out giant swaths of ground as you walk. It makes our spines tingle. But the immensity is all in the looks. The shoe is featherweight and comfortable, the leather high quality and easy to wear. (This from Lori herself, clonking around in Fatales the moment they arrived. See below next to a size 12 men's Frye harness boot.)

We just love how calmly outrageous Fatale is. Ever since McQueen debuted the armadillo shoe, we've been quietly obsessed with shoes that completely overwrite the body's natural contours. Armadillo sent up Edo-era foot binding to a modern (if precarious) aesthetic; Fatale fits into the new styling of Gaga-era: dance hall bizarro cult glam, perhaps. Since Gaga wore the armadillo in "Bad Romance," maybe we're not too far off.

Though weight is not an issue, Fatale is visually bottom-heavy. A nice benefit of this is that your legs will invariably look longer and more skinny poking out of the wide shaft. (There's also a zipper on the insole.) This is a natural with leggings of any stripe (or color, or pattern). Pair with short, cut-off denim or small skirts and a simple tee. Go big on accessories. You can make your outfit about the outré and get away with it: statement necklaces, clangy bangles, soda can curlers in your hair, you name it. Now if we could just stop singing ...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dreyfuss by Jeffrey Campbell

The Dreyfuss Affair: Jeffrey Campbell's diaphanous pump makes us want to betray our wardrobe.

We just want to throw it all away. Lose the clothes, the shoes and boots and sandals, chuck the accessories and run off with our new love, Dreyfuss. What is it about this petite pump that makes us want to betray the rest of our wardrobe, to abscond with it in the dead of night and start anew? We definitely respond to its three-inch heel: not too high, not too low. But, no, that's not quite it. The silhouette? Well certainly we like the classic pump shape set to take fall by storm. Love the low heel, full heelcup, low-slung upper ending in a fabric-wrapped toe. But, no ... it's not quite that either.

It must be the wrapped upper.

Or rather, the wrapping, since the upper isn't so much there: it's formed by crisscrossing bands of ruched, diaphanous fabric that hug your foot. Without our foot, Dreyfuss doesn't come to life. She appears deflated. She needs us. We can respond to that. We need her too.

Like this shoe and our illicit desires, the look here is subversively conservative. Dreyfuss builds a femmy, classy, sexy look on top of a fairly straightforward pump silhouette. Work with that. Palette: whites, beiges, blacks with an emphasis on whites. What about a pair of ankle-cropped white cigarette pants? Right? We know. Or change up the office girl look with a clean knee-length secretary skirt which will make the Dreyfuss look like a peek at the flirt beneath the professional crust.

Summer's raging across the country. While we're (always) looking forward to fall, we want to see the summer through in relative comfort. The fabric composition of this pump is easy and cool on the foot, making it a practical solution in addition to a romantic obsession. But really that's just a justification which in the heat of our passion we don't need. We're happy to be wrapped in the fabric of our fantasy for Dreyfuss, heat be damned.

Friday, July 9, 2010

View by Franco Sarto

Seeing the Potential: Franco Sarto's View is the foundation of many a look.

Maybe we're just getting older. You know, set in our ways, taking less risks and we still don't know why we need an iPad. Maybe we're just getting ... boring. All of this is true, especially the boring part. Classic pumps – and we mean classic – no frills, no embellishments, no crazy materials, no hidden lifts (well a couple) or fancy colors are the crest of fall's trend wave. We hesitate to even label them a trend as they've been around forever and are now, for once, getting their due.

Franco Sarto's View is an excellent example, though even the View spices things up with a conservative peeptoe. The colors are exquisitely boring: black, beige (shown) and moss. The four-inch heel (half-inch platform) is safely high. No ka-RAY-zy five-inchers here, folks. The upper has a graceful swoop rising to a full heel cup (don't want to show too much skin after all). It's all just so nicely – yawn (excuse us) – put-together. If this shoe went to a party, the host would remark, "Oh hel-lo! Terribly sorry, remind me of your name again?" Twice. At least.

The View's a wallflower, and that's just the way we like it. Our closets are full of Jeffrey Campbells and Sam Edelmans, Italian Exclusives in exotic materials. This blog is guilty on all counts of advocating a look that starts feet-first at the expense of the rest.  Sometimes you must go back to basics. Sometimes your shoe must play a supporting role. Sometimes you have to make your pump a little bit boring to make the whole ensemble an outrageous success.

The View, like all our classic pumps, is a team player. It is superb foundation piece. The conservative cut, the considered colors, the classic look make the View supremely easy to build upon. The hues chosen are masterfully blended. You have to see the beige to believe how subtly it bridges grays and tans and taupes: a perfect neutral. All-day comfort is a matter of course. With the View we'd load up on bold accessories or break out a more complicated top. Skirts, still, as it is July after all. (We'd see them working under linen pants as well.) The View moves between looks effortlessly, giving you leeway to experiment. We're all about wearing beautiful footwear, all the time. View is no exception; it simply works behind the scenes to keep you gorgeous and, in our view, that's not boring at all.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Girl's Dream by Poetic Licence

Seeing Through the Hype: Poetic Licence's "A Girl's Dream" is a coy transition pump we fantasize about.

We'll start with a disclaimer: we got really excited about the toe detail on this shoe and stuffed it full of clear Lucite pendant necklaces. (The boys in creatives wanted to drive a point home.) The only gems that come with this looker are the rainbow-hued cluster over the toe. Box-cut, teardrops, princess cuts: these sit on a rosette of reptile-patterned leather and form the top of a lovely little peeptoe.

Available in Sandstone and Black, A Girl's Dream sits atop a 3.5" stacked and back-swept heel, giving it a cool lean. This is picked up in the upper that rides high against the sides of the foot like a starched Edwardian collar before plunging like risqué decolletage into the gems. The rounded high sides lend the shoe a distinctly retro look, the swooping lines and graceful arcs reminding us of early-20th-century Futurism, a fact reinforced by the metallic leather lining. Maybe Daisy Buchanan would have worn these into the city (maybe they're what caught Gatsby's eye).

The office loves this shoe. Chances are if you don't buy it, the staff will. And considering how many shoes these gals see in a day, that kind of Pavlovian response to one particular shoe says something. (That something is, roughly, "minemineminemineminemine.") What's the appeal? It's just so ... chic. Something about this pump just breathes style and ultimate cool.

We see it with skirts. Skirts skirts skirts. Preferably short to mini, but you could make a case for just-lightly-brushing-the knee and we'd listen. For the younger amongst us, the opalescent sheen of the gems could work with a bold legging, making A Girl's Dream a nice transition shoe. However you work it, this pump can make your look polished and hip ... and that is most definitely our dream come true.

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