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August 27 2014

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Oxford Perfection With a Pedigree

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For several months now, I’ve been on the hunt for a pair of flat black oxfords. Inasmuch as the oxford is one of this season’s key shoes, I’d assumed the hunt would be akin to shooting caged quail—in other words, not much of a hunt at all. Alas, the experience has been more like Goldilocks Goes Shopping. Every oxford I’ve tried on has been too stocky, or too tailored, or too jazz slipper-esque, or too anodyne, or too overdone, or too something. Then a friend called out the patent leather, ribbon-laced oxfords at Robert Clergerie.

I was skeptical. Clergerie, for oxfords? But not only is the shoe perfection, it’s also perfection with a pedigree. Back in 1981, perhaps with a whiff of inspiration from Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking, Robert Clergerie put his new shoe factory in Romans, France, to use making a likewise sleekly androgynous oxford. Designed for women, but produced using a man’s last, the oxford was the first shoe produced under the Robert Clergerie brand name. And new versions launch each season. The classic black ones are a no-brainer, but among Clergerie’s more directional styles for fall (like these bright ones pictured here), there’s a plaid-and-patent-leather pair that strike this Goldilocks as just right, too.

Photo: Nicola Kast

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