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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Adi by Jeffrey Campbell

Black Gold: Jeffrey Campbell's Adi is a disco pump that embraces the '70s trend.
Disco chic meets a continuing interest in neutrals when the Adi by Jeffrey Campbell steps out. Like many things Jeffrey, Adi is subversively neutral—its upper is less demure beige than an ephemeral, shimmering gold. Caught in the light, she shines with rainbow hues that form and evaporate with the passing of a sunbeam. Adi is roller skate chic without the wheels.

Of course, disco's an easy theme to conjure up during a resurgence of the fashionable Nixon-Ford-Carter years, but if you want to cite inspirational moments, let's talk oil. Between OPEC in '73 and the Iranian Revolution in '79, the seventies were less about dancing and more about existential, automotive dread. Adi captures both with her decadent, tall, aggressive heel (five-and-a-half inches) and her petrochemical sheen over bright gold straps. Love and loathing, riche et louche. With our own oil crisis to contend with (thanks, BP) and a new, if differently motivated, set of uprisings in the Middle East, the Adi seems altogether more relevant than perhaps even Mr. Campbell anticipated. (Nothing like a little gallows tangent, eh?)

Flimsy analogies aside, Adi's also just one attractive piece of footwear. The finish on these sky pumps makes for a versatile going-out shoe. A neutral base that hypercolors in the light does not a difficult shoe make. The height (buffered by a two-and-a-half platform) thrusts everything pleasingly upward (the heel is substantial enough to avoid gratuitous tottering).

Gold is a good compliment for the marine stripes dominating dresses and tops. Pair with stripes and gold hoop earrings, Ray-Ban aviators and perhaps some bangles, and you are all set for a summer cruise down memory lane. Or should we say Gasoline Alley?


Friday, March 25, 2011

Tombolo by Bacio 61

Tomboy to Geisha: Bacio 61's Tombolo is meant to transition between different looks.

Maurizio Celin, the hand behind Nicole and OTBT, is close confidant of Lori's. The two recently took a break from the Milan shoe shows to tour Paris, shop Colette and catch up on industry gossip.

Naturally some of that gossip revolved around Bacio 61, Celin's newest endeavor and a brand-new arrival at Lori's Shoes. Our current obsession within the line? The Tombolo, a mid-heel, snake-embossed, feathered beauty with a wrappy ankle tie. It is the archeopteryx of shoes—part reptile, partly oscine and promising the beginning of an evolution in spring sandal looks and quality.

The natural leather of the upper has been treated and embossed to look and feel like genuine snakeskin. This floats over a sleekly sculpted, stacked heel. (Celin's professed '70s inspiration aside, there is an updated fin-de-siecle—the last siecle, that is—vibe going on here too.) The leather insole has just the right spring to the touch. Of course, this being an Italian creation, all those fine details would be for naught without flare to balance them. Cue a pinwheel of suede fringe and bird feathers pinned down with a hammered brass stay. The shoes just feel substantial and they look like the quality they are. Given their $122 price tag, we'll call them a great value as well.

But don't rely on our opinion; let the designer himself tell you. Transcribed from a recent Skype interview, here is Celin's motivation behind his latest line and our newest treasure:

Maurizio Celin Explains His Design Philosophy Behind Bacio 61

"When I am asked to do a new shoe collection, I ask myself, 'What is the market missing? Is there a woman that exists that would like to see shoes designed by me? What do I need to do that will make my designs more desirable or attractive than those of other designers?'

Then, I think how can I translate the current trends and design shoes for 'my woman'—a modern woman, an independent woman, a world traveler, a woman that follows the trends but is not a slave to fashion. She has her own strong personality and sense of style that is not necessarily influenced by advertising or the divas on the red carpet.  She is woman that works, travels, loves men but does not live for them ... in short, a woman who is a little bitchy, flirty, sexy ... like a woman I know named Lori Andre. ;-) She is my muse.

Looking at the trends of this season, I was inspired by revisiting the 1970s with a touch of modernity, those years of sumptuous material and excess—young and bohemian, rebellious and streetwise. As always I incorporate the beautiful, often handcrafted, materials that I find in Italy to create 'independent' looks.

Our Bacio 61 collection gives clear insight to into the complexity of the future woman's wardrobe, where complete style overhauls can be a common occurrence: a tomboy by day to a geisha by night.

(Like you, my dear ... )

Naturally, all [this is] linked to the hand of an Italian designer ... attention to details and 'touch' that only Italians know and have ... never boring and always unexpected!"

—as told to Lori Andre via Skype


Monday, March 21, 2011

Frank by Jeffrey Campbell

Technicolor Dream Wedge: JC's latest spring heel is Broadway by way of Devil's Island.
For such a dazzler of a spring heel, Frank has an awfully matter-of-fact name. Maybe that's because Jeffrey Campbell decided to let the show do the talking ... or should we say, performing? Also available in red, Frank doesn't so much talk as sing during a smart softshoe routine that brings out standing O in the crowd. The striped, burlap-wrapped, chunky heel reminds us of a neon night on the Great White Way back in the late '60s, while its casual electric feel makes us wish for a crazy fun day at Devil's Island.

The three-part suede upper (black or red) is a the perfect stage for a glossy pedicure. We'd put this under a bell bottom (yes, coming back ... again) or slimmer bootcut jean and a blousy top. Of course, there are gobs of accessories on the racks at Lori's that work with this. Check out some of the statement necklaces just in, or Cut N Paste's grey fringe bag. Actual trips to the beach may require something larger and more festive, like the monster shoulder bag by Earth Axxessories. Likewise, a trip to the theatre in warmer weather requires a wardrobe change. How about a lightweight, belted shirt dress and smaller, structured bag to hold your ticket, phone and Playbill? Melie Bianco has a bold orange tiny-tote that blends class and casual in a way that acknowledges and tames Frank's insouciance.

Color and florals and patterns and wedges and natural materials and a whole passel of looks are emerging this spring like flowers on Broadway's pedestrian islands. Frank's rolling stripes like so much electric fuzz takes a little of this, a bit of that and drafts up a lovely casual-chic heel that works from day to night, beach to asphalt, sun to neon. Frankly, that sounds like a spring shoe we need.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Alpha by Libby Edelman

This is Just the Beginning: Libby Edelman's Alpha is a welcome respite from the wedge trend.
Wedges and heels are big this spring (and big with heights soaring past the five and a half mark). Natural fabrics like hemp rope and raffia always tend to crop up when the lilies bloom. Bright pastels and cottony fabrics are an annual ushering into the new season. We love it—no shame there—but this week we're going in the opposite direction: shiny, flat driver mocs.

Did we mention they are shiny, flat driver mocs by Libby Edelman? You may have a passing familiarity with her husband and business partner, Sam. Ms. Edelman, a former editor for Harper's and Seventeen, as well as co-designer and partner of Sam Edelman has crafted her line to reflect the needs of the modern-day lady—comfortable, versatile, fashionable. Something to go from mom to power broker in a step.

Or a drive. Libby's new Alpha flat are so very exciting that we had to sweep all the wedges and towering heels off the table and just look admiringly at these patent flats. Glossy and deeply saturated in black, turquoise and pink (really more of a profound lavender), these flats are a relief from the heights. The nubbly rubber bottoms are grippy and cushioning. The stylized logo medallion on the toe is at bold, but the color-on-color scheme gives it a touch of classy reserve.

Sometimes (most times?) just slipping on a flat is such an easy relief. Wear them as chic commuting shoes ... or keep them on in the office. Their timeless look works with pretty much anything from pants to jeans to dresses, and the bold color lends a lot of personality to your look. We love our high shoes, but right now the Alpha is looking like the start of a great spring season. Enjoy!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Feel the Rhythm by Poetic Licence

It's Gonna Get You: Poetic Licence dances into spring with a floral motif pump.
Feel the Rhythm sounds appropriate for a Poetic Licence pump—their shoes always look like crystallized bits of music, as if whatever wackiness ensued at their magical footwear laboratory settled into the very fabric of the shoe itself. When we wear this pump we are hard-core channeling Gloria Estefan. This shoe is going to get us despite our best efforts to save our payche— What's that? $122? ... That's for both of them, right? Well. That's not so bad for some spring dancin' shoes.

(And if you've been paying attention on Facebook and our mailers, you'd know we regularly give some Poetic away, which is even cheaper, though you pay in anticipation.)

The flower motif is a perennial spring favorite and we've already seen a number crop up, including Poetic itself. What we like about Rhythm is that is doesn't sport flowers or floral patterns, it has been made into a flower. The upper is made of overlapping petals of rose leather, fronted by a bloom of dusky rose patent around a peeptoe. (Does this make your toes the stamen?)


Rhythm's not just for the dance floor. It's a versatile pump that can play it cute or serious. It sounds like a complicated and specific shoe, but the color-on-color treatment (it also comes in neutrals) holds the shoe together. Try it with a marine stripe top—both pieces are light and airy and the navy and white stripes will complement this fresh rose pump. Short dresses with a '70s feel—think busy patterns, chock-a-block geometrics—will highlight the Rhythm's internal lines.

Poetic always has a few surprises and Rhythm is no exception. The screaming lemon yellow sole is a bright surprise, and the yellow logo cutout on the heel is a nice touch. We love the patent-wrapped heel and heelcup. The glossy, dark back contrasts with the lighter forefoot to make your foot seem taller, even though at 4-1/2" with a 1/2" platform, the heel is fairly manageable.

Extra height without even trying? Now that's something we can groove to all night.


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