Shoe designers are all tied up for spring, looking to the neck — and its most popular masculine accessory — for inspiration. Tabitha Simmons turned an eye to the 1940s (think pin-up girl meets the classic polka-dot tie), enlisting an English silk factory to weave the fabrics for her Betsy style (at left, below). Meanwhile, Manolo Blahnik returned to his love of the silver screen. “The striped tongue [on the Raedachi shoes, [at left, above]] was inspired by the ties worn by Stewart Granger in the  movie ‘Beau Brummell,’” said the British designer, who is oft spotted donning his own dapper bow-ties. “[Granger was] a famous dandy.” Marcie Young
Get all dolled up with the new line of Cissy dolls created by Jason Wu. The fashion designer is collaborating with The Alexander Doll Co. (run by Madame Alexander) for three dolls, known as Envy, Vice and Lust. The trio will be part of The Cissy Collection, which will retail for $350. In addition, three more dolls will be featured in the NeoCissy collection, sporting couture accessories such as bright-green platform booties and a black feathered eye patch (both at right). They will retail for $160. The dolls debuted at The American International Toy Fair last week and will be available in August at FAO Schwarz and at Madamealexander.com. Kristen Henning
Invisibelt is tightening things up. Kathy Kramer, a veteran beauty director for several women’s magazines, designed the smooth, colorless belt for women who need extra support around the waistline. The belt works to remove the awkward bulge that is caused by gapping waistlines, but lends the same support as a regular belt. The Invisibelt comes in clear and black and can accommodate sizes zero to 14, thanks to its adaptable nature. It can be found at Lori’s Shoes, Shoe Inn and other independent retailers for $20. Devon Porrino
LAWS OF FASHION
Navigate your way through the legal side of the fashion world with “Fashion Law.” The book, by co-authors Guillermo Jimenez, fashion professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Barbara Kolsun, EVP and general counsel at Stuart Weitzman LLC, explores issues such as copyright, licensing agreements and trademark protection. Each subject features summaries of actual court cases and form agreements, and the book provides legal advice about launching a line, starting a business and developing in international markets. This how-to is the first of its kind and aims to help designers and fashion execs avoid future legal woes. “Fashion Law,” published by Fairchild Books, is available at Amazon.com and Fairchildbooks.com. K.H.