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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Taming of the Shoe

Yesterday was a real "ooh" and "ahh" day for us. Coveting the Pour La Victoire Iva ("ooh") is a very Ectasy-of-Saint-Theresa moment, but ... how on earth would we accessorize pale gold patent leather menswear wingtips? Then it hit us ("aah!"): maybe we're not the only ones with such dilemmas.

Sometimes we feel these shoes are so fabulous we couldn't possibly add an outfit to them without slighting their magnificence. And since we can't walk around in them naked (well, legally speaking), we find ourselves in a quandary. But these shoes are often easier to wear than they look, becoming a foundation that transforms your whole look into something memorable. We've chosen an apparently difficult shoe and a demanding boot to show you how we would accessorize them to take advantage of their forward styling.

What to Give the Everything Shoe: Pour La Victoire's Iva
A quick run-down of the Iva's attributes makes for an intimidating list: pale gold leather, captoe, wingtip detailing, laceless vamp, menswear ... So how to bring it into the realm of the wearable? Start with the sole.

The pale gold leather is a red herring. The color is so pale as to vacillate between yellowish golds and silvery pewters, and its reflectiveness means, like skin tones, it will take on qualities of the colors around it. The factor that isn't so malleable is the deep brown sole. Black bags are out. The Iva is ultimately a warmer shoe; black bags will look flatter and colder paired with it.

Picking up the color of the sole, we're adding HUE's diamond texture knee-highs in opaque brown under a knee-length pencil skirt and dressy blouse. The brown bridges the shoe and skirt while the low-texture diamond pattern adds more kick and femininity.

Finally, a bag. We wanted a big expanse of brown, very clean, to bring the color up from the floor. The menswear look of the Iva suggested something more structured. We love Tano's Getting Warmer in Truffle. The structured hobo look is versatile and the slight crackle in the finish keeps it from being just plain. The nickel hardware tempers the shoes' yellow tendency.

Pour La Victoire's Iva with Tano bag and HUE tights.

Controlling the Crocodile: Vic Matie's 8222 Knee Boot
The 8222 takes the sophistication of an equestrian knee-high -- clean, tall upper, low riding heel, narrow rounded toe -- and makes it a stand-out with a bold, patent crocodile finish. It's a great boot, but it's a lot of boot. Here, we want to play up the confidence with more of the same.

We see these tucked into tight, dark-washed jeans under a very tailored blazer with minimal details. The calf-hugging shaft is slimming and sexy. Let embellishment come from layered chains by A.V. Max, David Aubrey and Peter M. The jewelry will also pick up the chain bit hardware at the top of the boot. Add a final pop of color and retro style with a one-of-a-kind ring made from vintage estate-sale buttons (available in-store).


Vic Matie's 8222 with layered chains by A.V. Max and Peter M. and vintage ring



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