Wednesday, April 20, 2005

‘The Heights of Golan’


'Golan' Nine West Espadrille

I have to admit that I never really gave too much thought to the shoe selection available at the well known moderate priced chain, Nine West, considering it to be nothing more than a mainstream, inexpensive, ‘knock off’ brand. Until, that is, I stopped into their shop on Madison Avenue and 44th street (212.370.9107), in order to kill time between appointments. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.

In addition to a great selection of vintage inspired printed and solid cotton short trench coats in a variety of solid colors and patterns (including oversized florals), they even had their own version of a Chanel tweed boucle cardigan coat (I especially liked the off white number), and best of all, everything was well priced (most were well under $200). But what really caught my eye considering how ‘hot’ espadrilles are (of course, I’ve been wearing and collecting them for years), was their high heeled (3 ½ inch) version, called, ‘Golan’, made out of heavy satin. Most stores and companies stock espadrilles in predictable cotton, but the juxtaposition of the more formal satin with a natural jute sole is the perfect mix of high and low…day and evening….casual and special. In addition to the great colors (black, orange, green, red), the $69 price tag is hard to beat.

Now the bad news…when I asked for my size, I was told ‘Golan’ was completely sold out (not only in this particular location but in their stores across the country), and even though their website (www.ninewest.com) has them on back order, nobody knows if black (the most popular color, naturally) will ever be available again. I guess you could say the name ‘Golan’ is perfect since it seems that obtaining a pair of these versatile, chic, and well priced espadrilles is more difficult than scaling the Golan Heights.

By the way, if you do shop Nine West in store or online, you will find a really wonderful selection of shoes that are not only good looking, fun, and inexpensive, but comfy, to boot (pardon the pun). My current favorite is the $75 pebbled leather version called ‘Atom’. A nifty hybrid (a ladylike pump with the comfort of a driving moccasin), it features a round toe, top stitching, 1 ½ inch curved heel, and a tiny grosgrain bow decorating the vamp. It is available in all black, dark brown with a teal bow, cordovan with an ecru bow, and my personal favorite- off white with a black bow and black stitching, which helps give it a ‘Chanel’ sort of look. It is so comfortable that one can imagine wearing it in the manner of a ballet slipper. And it works perfectly now or through the fall and winter. What more could a girl want?

-Marilyn Kirschner

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