The Boston Phoenix
The silent parade of shoes
Moccasins pad along with a new look
BY NINA SCHWARTZ
Can you hear it? The fall lines are coming! No more searching for the next big thing and finding the dregs of last season’s jellied, stiletto flip-flops wasting away at 75 percent off. No more wilted SALE banners and picked-over bikini racks. It’s time to resurrect the next long-abandoned style and reinvent it for a brand-new season. But hush! This year, you must be very quiet, because moccasins don’t make any noise.
Yes, moccasins. You remember them: finely handcrafted leather shoes, expertly stitched by Native American tribes, or by you as a child at summer camp. They’re soft, they’re silent, and they’re mercifully comfortable — good for, you know, hunting and stuff. But don’t start knocking them yet. Leave it to the new millennium to take what we accidentally wore in the past and make it crrraaaazy.
If you’re into high fashion, check out the new Marc Jacobs store on Newbury Street. Ever irreverent and with a quirky sense of the ordinary, Jacobs has a collection of metallic mocs in a variety of colors, including a fabulous rock-star pink ($200). Salvatore Ferragamo has a similar shoe ($310) at Saks Fifth Avenue. And if you’re really in the mood to splurge on fine footwear, go try Tod’s Antibes Driving Moccasins in pink anaconda ($650), exclusively at Neiman Marcus.
Say you’re willing to embrace suede, but you’re not quite ready for a couture-level commitment. BC Footwear’s Driving mocs ($48) come in black, orange, and purple at Urban Outfitters, while its Shine mocs ($49.95), adorned with glittery beadwork on the toe, are available at Nordstrom. Banana Republic offers black patent-leather and bright-pink-and-purple suede ($88). Not surprisingly, J.Crew plays it safe and classy with earth tones ($118). If what you hunt is bargains, Isaac Mizrahi’s Kelly Driving Moccasin ($26.99), in brown leather or black suede, is the perfect prey at (where else?) Target. And Arrow Gift Shop, for those footwear purists out there, is actually selling real Minnetonka mocs ($40), authentic from the deerskin stitching down to the very last primary-colored bead. These go best with a stout heart and a swig of firewater, but those who dare will have earned our undying respect.
The new moccasins are chic and they’re stealthy — a deadly combination, and useful in the wilds of the fashion kingdom. Maybe you can hunt down a matching purse or a wild boar. Or maybe just the purse. Let’s start with that.
Where to find it:
• Banana Republic, various locations; www.bananarepublic.com
• Marc Jacobs, 81 Newbury Street, Boston, (617) 425-0404; www.marcjacobs.com
• Neiman Marcus, 5 Copley Place, Boston, (617) 536-3660; www.neimanmarcus.com
• Nordstrom, 6 Providence Place, Providence, Rhode Island, (401) 621-3111; www.nordstrom.com
• Saks Fifth Avenue, Prudential Center, Boston, (617) 262-8500; www.saksfifthavenue.com
• Arrow Gift Shop, 201 East Wall Street, Eagle River, WI, (715)477-2745; www.arrowgiftshop.com
• Target, various locations; www.target.com
• Urban Outfitters, 361 Newbury Street, Boston, (617) 236-0088; 11 JFK Street, Cambridge, (617) 864-0070; www.urbanoutfitters.com