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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some Spaghetti, Some Western: Laredo

Americans may have writ themselves a Manifest Destiny, but the Italians have proven themselves great copyeditors. Hell, if Amerigo Vespucci hadn't mapped the coast when he did, who knows what we'd be called (The Cortézians? The United States of León?). Speaking of, westerns weren't Westerns until Sergio Leone's off-shore "spaghetti westerns" mythologized and codified our love affair with the Wild West.

Now they've done it again: Italian line Laredo has taken our well-worn and much-loved boot styles like the campus and harness and tweaked them ever just so to reinvent a classic.

The 8359 in black leather (shown) or taupe suede is a motorcycle/harness boot extraordinary. The basic shape is unchanged -- 1-1/4" heel, calf-length shaft to protect from hot exhaust pipes, harness rigging over the vamp -- but Laredo added masterful touches: a bellows at top with cinches makes slipping these on easier while emphasizing rough and ready bike couture. They've also rounded out the toe, more NDC than Frye, for a boot with more fashion focus. Plenty of halter rings and judicious studs keep this boot aggressive and seductive.

A final hidden touch: the sole is stamped with the Japanese alphabet in red. Makes us think "Yojimbo," and then we get to thinking of "A Fistful of Dollars." Leone would be proud.

The 8349 (high heel) and the 8207 styles (low heel) dance around the classic campus boot, the 8349 being a touch more true to the Frye original, a style popular from the start of the Civil War to Neo-Tokyo in 2019. Laredo has again left the basics -- high-calf shaft, rounded toe, higher heel -- alone and focused on details: a belted leg opening and a distressed, wrinkled leather treatment that invites touching. The suede version is equally as tactile and supple.

If heels aren't your thing this season, the 8207s give you the same boot height with a flatter, 1-1/4" heel and a decorative outseam with pulls. Available in brown and taupe suede.

And the best part? Laredo is exclusively available at Lori's.

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