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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shimmer by Gee WaWa

The Delight is in the Details: The pre-fall Shimmer heralds a clog explosion.

Shimmer reminds us of a mirage, and not just because of the name (well OK, also because of the name). But like a mirage, that phantom water always just out of reach, Shimmer's a shoe you see in parts, as a collection of fabulous details. You see this clog one fleeting moment at a time and end up with an impression greater than the shoe alone. We know: deep.

But true! Let's start with the obvious: it's a clog. Clogs are big. Expect them to get bigger. Fall will be clogged with clogs (heh). Gee WaWa's pre-fall jump on the trend is prescient; they've bridged current looks with coming fashions. There are the clever appointments we've seen this spring: the antiqued brass hobnails along the sole, the burned-out suede upper (don't discount the ultra-hot chestnut leather), and fringe. That last has been resurrected from last year's fall/winter; we're sure more is on the way. On Shimmer it sits in a double layer like bed-messy Mod bangs (or an adorable Bouvier!). C'est très chic!

To those current details we add more: a reverse seam down the center front keeps this clog closer to casual, boho roots, unlike a more posh rendition like, say, the Jeffrey Campbell Charli. The same can be said for the leather whipstitch detail along the top and a fun, chunky, stacked leather heel. At four-and-one-half inches, you gain some height; a generous one-inch platform makes it no big deal. Finally, it's just so well constructed! Leather lining, padded footbed, all-leather sole.

A lot of you may find this a difficult look, which is a nice way of saying clogs make you want to puke in your face. But lo! You can wear the clog without looking like a clunky cat-lady. We think their strength is with wider leg jeans (no skinnies, please) that partially cover the shoe. This gives you that substantial boot look and a wicked free-spirit vibe in a shoe that's much easier to wear in warmer weather. And you have to smile at Gee WaWa's playful designs. Their collection feels light and fun, young but not childish – something we care to capitalize on in these fleeting summer months.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lorissa by Sam Edelman

Dragging Heels: You'll want a sprightly step to sport Lorissa by Sam Edelman.

Well, guess you can leave the pepper spray at home.

We're at a loss for words with the Lorissa, mostly because we can't talk while salivating so profusely. We had plans to talk up a different shoe this week (sorry, Caparros) when the sultry and heavily-armed Lorissa caught our eye. And with all those studs and sharp gems there are plenty of places to get snagged. This shoe is two-faced. From the front, a demure but sexy peeptoe is cut out of a velvety black suede upper. A towering five-inch heel is mitigated somewhat by a concealed platform. As you rise toward the heel, though, the quills come out like a Goth hedgehog; the back bristles with metal cone studs and cut gems. It's biker chic meets the marauding horde. A barbarian Bedazzler.

Besides it's versatility as footwear and lethal weapon, the Lorissa has other qualities, such as it is H-O-T-hot. We love the thought of approaching some unsuspecting man at a party, flirting then turning our back on him wanting more ... with a tinge of alarm. We got claws, kid. A word of warning on your look as you prowl the streets: don't over-do it. This shoe has personality out the wazoo. Too much going on up top may come out a hot mess. Keep your outfit sleek and chic and let these sexy numbers give the come-hither looks. You just practice your graceful-walk in five-inchers, secure in the knowledge that you Mace isn't in you clutch, it's on your feet.

The Lorissa will be back in stock on or around Monday, July 12. We apologize for any inconvenience, but, really, are you that surprised?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Randy by Charles David

Just One of the Guys: Randy by Charles David gets our motor revving for menswear trends.

Menswear. It's not so much a trend as just a fact. It's more or less going to be around as long as the men are. And, while some days we wish that masculine eschaton would happen sooner (like, right now) than later, we have to admit at least the dudes got some good clothes to pick through.

Case in point: Randy by Charles David. It's one of the more masculine dress styles we've carried for a while. It's just a thrillingly straightforward captoe blucher. Chaz D. has the good sense to keep the classic points of this style intact, but inverts some details to make this dressy number satisfyingly current. For instance: your classic captoe ends at the toebox with a cap over the vamp of the shoe. The Randy's abuts and a double welted seam ends in a piping that reverses the look: the upper seems to go over the cap. Genius. We love it. In fact, most of this shoe seems to be about meeting points: each panel overlaps at discrete points, marked with leather tabs sewn down with a box stitch. This shoe is a handshake. Each part meets and covers the part next to it. We like that kind of camaraderie.

Continue the bonhomie with your outfit. The nice thing about classic men's styles is that they are, well, classic. They kind of shrug and work with what they're paired with. Don a short short or skirt and one of our new apparel pieces for a look that continues Charles David's reversals – men/women/male/female/etc. The cognac color (above, also in black) is a natural with jeans or dress pants. The work/play transition is fairly obvious in that it's really easy.

If you can't beat 'em (or if they won't go away), join 'em, right? One thing the men have going for them is classic styles that weather the seasons. Charles David's Randy is a weathered soul of a sole. Pick one up and see what you can do with it. This show is all about the meeting of parts; show us how you'd introduce it to the rest of your wardobe!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Drastic by Chinese Laundry

Drastic Measures: Chinese Laundry's latest wedge changes the animal print game.

The Drastic, Chinese Laundry's newest wedge, arrives just in time for summer fun. Is it just us or is that zebra print upper making us feel even hotter, reminiscent of the Serengeti? We'll take it having developed a morbid fear of the cold that comes with a Chicago winter. But this wedge plays tricks – that zebra stripe doesn't have the texture of a pelt. It is smoothly glazed in a crackle lacquer to temper the hotness of the continent with a bit of cool finish.

Supporting (heh) this is towering five-inch wedge in a deep, rich ebony paired with a 1-1/4 inch platform. All this lends a bit of the posh and glam to the exoticism of the upper. The result of this mix is a worldly wedge that travels well from day job to nighttime responsibilities. A padded leather footbed makes sure you make the transition comfortably.

Wearing it is easy. The height makes us want to look even taller, so we're recommending you hike those hems up and show off some leg. Short shorts and skirts, which we saw all over the UK last month whilst traveling, are a perfect match. Pursuant to another favorite look, the mismatch, cut across standard rules for dressing and don a lightweight floral sundress with a small, colorful, all-over pattern (smaller in proportion than Drastic's stripes for contrast, please). Your gams will bridge the gap between patterns so the clash remains subtle, and interesting.

Drastic mixes it up with the polished and the gamey, giving you a lot of dressing latitude. That makes it ideal for summer fun looks and fair weather serious occasions. Do not fear the bold animal print: on them, it's camouflage. On you, it's pure, sweet, delicious attention.

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