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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Rather Natty in Fringe

Taking a tour through the site lately we're not sure if we're shopping for shoes or if Google hyperlinked us smack dab in the middle of the costume trailer for "The Searchers." While we certainly wouldn't have minded the chance to see Natalie Wood sporting rawhide ponytails, we decidedly loved the reality: fringe is a prominent feature on fall's boots, bags and scarves.

This isn't your '60s hippie beads-and-fringe, neo-Haight-Asbury rerun (and in this post post-Colonial world we're going to refrain from the easy "ethnic"), but a harkening back to something simpler than computers and mortgage-backed securites -- a pioneer leaning that would have brought a tear to the eye of James Fennimore Cooper.

Fringe today is a rustic touch dressing up modern boots that have clean silhouettes and quality, distressed leathers. It's the lost colonists of Roanoke 10 years later; proper English attire gone native; country manor with a bit more buckskin. Rustico.

Sam Edelman
gets it. His knee-high Utah and the drool-worthy buckaroo Uri come in a camel suede with raked tiers of fringe. The orthagonal lines of the fringe give it a contemporary feel and a narrow toe keeps them dressy. We see these with skinny, deep-wash denim or a miniskirt -- anything clean and simple that lets the fringe do its thing. Bowie knife optional.

Jeffrey Campbell's slouch dally boots in fawn suede sport a single pane of fringe along their short shaft. A buckled cinch along the back controls the scrunch factor and the kemptness of the fringe. Our favorite feature here is the scuffed heel and toe, adding personality and a dark sheen to the soft suede.

For those of you unconvinced by our pithy references to American literature to sell you fringed suede, we can only say ... have you seen the handbag? Suay's Suede Fringe Shoulder Bag is day bag by way of the Pony Express, though we doubt Buffalo Bill's had intricate laser cutouts backed with an interior gold foil layer. Or a hip brass ring-tie. (He most assuredly had the fringe covered.)

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