Footwear Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs

With the riotous colors and patterns on the runway at Marc by Marc Jacobs yesterday, we were glad to see the shoes strike a more restrained note—in particular, a few pairs of suede and leather low-tops in neutral tones. As if even seeing the laces would be too much of a distraction, they were covered up with panels secured by crisscrossing leather straps.

Photos: Marcio Madeira

We'll drink to Black Fleece's new scent

Brooks Brothers' new Black Fleece cologne, according to designer Thom Browne, is "evocative of that man sitting in a library or parlor, smoking and drinking whiskey." Why, these are a few of our favorite things! We put it to the test to see if it stacks up. The results: yes and no. Library? No. Smoking? No. Whiskey? No—there's bourbon mentioned in the parfumeur's précis, but it's bourbon pepper, which smells, as you might expect, a lot like pepper. If this Black Fleece man is drinking, he's sipping a vodka-and-grapefruit Greyhound: Sharp notes of the citrus fruit abound, with a not unwelcome edge of ginger.

And speaking of gray—hounds and otherwise—the package deserves special attention (above). The flacon comes tricked out in a box filled with die-cut gray felted-flannel textiles—a cool, creative touch, and a nod to both Browne's preferred fabric and Geoffrey Beene's landmark Grey Flannel fragrance. Beene's bottle, too, came swathed in the material.
$125, available at

PLUS: While at Black Fleece, we also had a chance to preview Browne's Spring 2010 footwear for the line. No big surprises here—shoes like the double-soled wingtip brogue (below) are collection standards. But for Spring, the brogue got a tune-up in an appealing new cream color.

Photos: Elissa Wiehn; Josh Peskowitz

Footwear Watch: Patrik Ervell

The latest in a series of posts covering fashion week from the ground up

Patrik Ervell's show yesterday was so strong that you could be forgiven for missing the well-chosen footwear. Not that we did, of course. The Clarks Wallabees were an apt complement to Ervell's clothes—in particular, two pairs festooned with what looked like rusty staples. On closer inspection the adornment turned out to be...rusty staples. It was amazing stuff, though if you're tempted to try the effect at home, do what Ervell did and have the things lined. As he said backstage, shoes really shouldn't require a tetanus shot.

PLUS: See the full collection and read Tim Blanks' review here.

Photos: Josh Peskowitz

Footwear Watch: Loden Dager

The latest in a series of posts covering fashion week from the ground up

After taking another look at Loden Dager's impressive Spring offering, we'll admit that we overlooked a key detail the first time around: the models' woven leather mocs (from First by Jeffrey Campbell), which nicely complemented the collection's Latin American vibe. We'd tighten up those bows off the runway, but otherwise we'd say that huaraches haven't looked this good since the heyday of H.I. McDunnough.

Photos: Marcio Madeira

Footwear Watch: Esquivel

The latest in a series of posts covering Fashion Week from the ground up

We dropped by California cobbler George Esquivel's showroom yesterday to check out his Spring collection. (Esquivel's been working for years, but his star is on the rise of late; he was nominated for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award earlier this year.) Of particular note: a few styles in vintage-looking marbled leather, including a desert boot (above), and another reminiscent of the classic Red Wing, though with a thinner, more graceful sole (below).

Photos: Josh Peskowitz

Footwear Watch: Lacoste, Richard Chai

The latest in a series of posts covering Fashion Week from the ground up

The word of the week this Fashion Week has been "basic"—as in back-to. For Lacoste, what could be more basic than the original tennis shoe, first introduced by Rene Lacoste in the line's early days? It showed up on the Spring runways yesterday, no less appealing for being a brand standby the past few years. A new twist for 2010: A netted mesh version (middle).

Meanwhile, over at Richard Chai, what was old was being made new, too, with a new line of collection footwear made in collaboration with Keds.Tradition didn't have much ground to stand on here. His high-tops zipped, rather than tied, though the grommets for laces stayed on for a bit of decoration (below).

Photos: Marcio Madeira, staff

Footwear Watch: Robert Geller

The latest in a series of posts covering Fashion Week from the ground up

Inspiration's a tricky thing. If Robert Geller was feeling midcentury German vacationers for his Spring show, it was hard to tell from the clothes, and just as hard to tell from the washed-looking ankle boots that complemented the look. No matter—when's the last time you went shoe-shopping for postwar Teutonic holiday looks? Whatever their provenance, Geller's suede footwear, in cool, dusty shades of mushroom and tan, looked good to us. Expect to see them around next summer—in the city, that is, not the beach.

Photos: Marcio Madeira; Tyler Thoreson

Footwear Watch: Spurr, Duckie Brown

The latest in a series of posts covering Fashion Week from the ground up

One of the best parts of spring dressing: suede shoes, which tend to get packed away—the better to protect them from the snow and slush—during the fall and wintertime. Simon Spurr greeted the season with Grenson suede oxfords whose selling point was their beautiful simplicity (above, left). (He made a strong case for that European staple the espadrille, too; his were from myCATS [above, right].)

At Duckie, Steven Cox and Daniel Silver went for suede bucks, too, but simplicity wasn't the draw there. In their second collaborative collection with Florsheim, the duo did up the classic buck in neon-bright cerulean blue and citron yellow (below).

Photos: Josh Peskowitz; Marcio Madeira

Footwear Watch: Gilded Age

I'm always impressed by the footwear at Stefan Miljanic's Gilded Age presentations—he doesn't produce it himself, but he's got a keen eye for fine (and semi-obscure) pieces. This season, he seems to be championing the return of the Clarks Desert Trek, a center-seamed number that looks like the reckless younger brother of the ubiquitous desert boot (above). (Miljanic's were vintage, but you can grab a pair from Zappos.) On all other feet were sneakers from the West Coast brand Keep (below). They've only been making men's footwear since last season, but their women's kicks have been catching eyes (including mine) for a few years now. Back in the day, it wasn't unheard of for a male fashion editor or two to ask for a ladies' size 17—no names mentioned.

Check back tonight for our review of Gilded Age's Spring 2010 collection.

Photo: Staff
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