té casan

Neighborhood: SoHo
Type of Place: Shoes

A party at a luxury shoe store, hosted by a new dating web site, serving yummy custom cocktails: It seemed that Carrie Bradshaw would have to turn up around the next corner. OK, she's a fictional character, but still--the combination of elements seemed destined to conjure her out of the air (or the airwaves)--credit card in hand, buying shoes in preparation for a hot date and, perhaps, some eventual sex in the city.

In Carrie's absence, the store got me--a bit tired from a full day of day job, with daily newspapers tucked under my arm and a large, functional pocketbook rather than a tiny night-out purse. But I was wearing a pair of bright-pink slides (nothing compared to the beauty of the shoes here, but I did try) and eager to see what might be found.

Té casan offers limited-edition shoes from 7 up-and-coming designers with distinguished fashion pedigrees (Versace, Alexander McQueen), with a selection ranging from day wear to the most formal of evening sandals. I especially loved the printed quotations on the walls from the designers themselves, explaining something about their approach to life and to shoes.

"To me, shoes are about journeys," read the quote from Niki Robinson, "and it's the personal journey they take you on that fascinates me." Her flats in grey or teal suede with metallic detail, $220, would look just right with this spring's mini-dresses; and her platform strappy sandals ($275; the pink and magenta are especially cute) hint at lighthearted journeys worth taking.

"What is it that holds us back?" asks designer Manuela Filipovic. "The worst would be not to have done what I wanted with my life." Words to live by; and I loved her strappy flats--good for getting where you want to go--in red, black, or beige, $245. The same design was also charming with a patterned heel in green, red, or cream. Her suede flats with cute circles instead of bows at the toe, in red and teal ($245), were functional but not at all dull; and her party slippers (red or black flats ornamented with a fabric flower and satin ribbons), or as stilettos without the ribbon, were so much fun that i forgot to write down their prices.

"Something new must happen," states Gianluco Soldi, "and everyone is waiting for this. Today, fashion is quite boring." OK, maybe not "everyone" is waiting for the next fashion innovation; but whatever you're waiting for, you might as well bide your time in Soldi's gold sandals flats ($245) or his delightful floral heels with red bows ($265, and perfect for a picnic to pass the time during your wait).

I would not be serving the shopping public if I didn't mention the sale items: Currently lots of great pairs are available for 50% off. Classic mauve pumps that could be worn today, from Manuela Filipovic, are now $95; and for fall, I liked Zoe Lee flats in black leather ($123).

All these shoes could be borne in mind when dressing for a date; and if that date was found on an internet-dating site, then the evening's host, whatdoyouknowaboutromeo.com--on which women offer insights on guys they know who are currently listed on dating sites--should be kept in mind as well. The site was founded by two female friends who know that every bit of info (or, occasionally, forewarning) can help in the sometimes wooly online-dating world. WhatdoyouknowaboutJuliet.com and (why not?) WhatdoyouknowaboutHomeo will be coming soon.

Carrie never did materialize at the party--and let's face it, the world in which she came to be looked different than the one we're coping with now. But with all that has changed, we still do by and large need to wear shoes, and we still hope for romance. The shoes here are gorgeous and of great quality. If the same can be said for a date, all the better.
  - Pamela Grossman; June 3, 2007

té casan
382 West Broa
New York, NY 10012
(212) 584-8000