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Friday, January 28, 2011

Mariel by Jeffrey Campbell

Springtime for Jeffrey: The Mariel's blooms heralds a fun spring shoe season.
The Jeffrey Campbell veterans out there will remember spring of 2010 arrived in much the same fashion: via Jeffrey Campbell and via a bold new take on florals, as embodied in the rabidly popular Charlie clog. This year's contender, the Mariel, bests even the Charlie for dizzying debut in terms of towering and flowering.

Like a climbing wisteria, Mariel's all-over pattern reaches for the sun on a 5-1/4" wedge offset by a 1-3/4" platform, which is getting high enough to need a platform of its own. As for flowers, chintz has never looked so good as this riot of roses and pansies in fantastical bloom twisting on stalks laced over a black ground. Yes, your grandmother's sofa has had its revenge.

The nice thing about this bounty is that it needs not feel overpowering. The dark ground keeps the pattern from being too difficult and, like a Seurat, the business blurs to a fresh visual buzz from a distance. Build your outfit from basic lights and darks using the flowers' pinks, russets and greens as accent foundations. The balance of warm hues (pinks and melons) and cool (greens) and neutral offer ample opportunity for outfits.

Keep tabs on the '70s trend roaring into our '10s this season—this shoe will apply. And perhaps that is Mariel's defining grace: its blend of parlor kitsch and Summer of Love meet at the springtime of our contentment. With the spectre of a recession and monstrous winter, if not gone, glowering low behind us, this kicky, loud and insouciant wedge may be just the bouquet we need to bounce back to good times.


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