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New York goes head over heels for the shoe-boot


Name Dropping
Now that nameplate pendants are as passé as pashminas, narcissists need to advertise a little farther south. The last time name belts, now spotted on the hips of Britney Spears and Queen Latifah, got this much attention was when Madonna sported her boy toy buckle in 1984. Noir by Catalan, the company that designs the custom-made billboard pictured ($100-$200 at Henri Bendel), attaches letters in clear or colored rhinestones to the buckle of a leather belt or silver or gold chain. There is, however, a limit to how much name you can claim -- specifically, eight letters. More than that and you'll need a nickname -- Samantha Ronson went for lil' red.

Wings of Desire
Roxi Suger's label Angelrox has been a hit with the patrons of Tunnel and Twilo for some time, but now the placement of her winged tank top in some distinctly unclubby locations, namely hip Lower East Side boutiques, is making the label a crossover hit. The tank ($80) is floating off the shelves of Zao, Patch 155, and Suger's own shop, 18 Orchard. Move over, Charlie: With this shirt, Suger's making everyone an angel.

Reduction Theory
Even though most of the stores in the Amagansett outlet center have closed, East End shoppers looking for a bargain don't have to venture far from home: Betsey Johnson has carved out a nook in her new East Hampton store (54 Park Place; 631-329-5797) that houses her threads of yesteryear. Most of the collection is from Johnson's golden years in the eighties, when Lycra equaled luxury, and the clothes go for less than they did the first time around ($25 to $300). That's the kind of designer deal you'd expect to find at, say, Woodbury Commons, but at least after shopping this outlet you're sure to find a decent lunch.

Low Rise
While most New Yorkers are dressing for summer's monsoons in flip-flops, a few fashionable feet are already rocking this fall's fetish: the shoe-boot. Nearly every designer from the appropriately named Kitty Boots to Celine, Chanel, and Dolce & Gabbana sent a version of this eighties favorite -- think Pat Benatar -- down the fall runway. Sophie Dahl, Kate Moss, and Marianne Faithfull have already gone gaga over the made-to-measure version by British shoe designer Olivia Morris ($440; 011-44-020-8962-0353). Morris's advice for wearing the new look is as pointed as the toes of her boots: "Chunky ankles," she says firmly, "don't work."


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