Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

I’ve been noticing a lot of large cuffed, pirate-inspired boots this season. I’ve always been a pirate-loving girl, and I was hoping you could suggest a pair.


Manolo says, Yo Ho! Yo Ho! The pirate’s boot for thee!

Apparently it is that time again, the time for the cyclical return of the pirate fashion, which comes back every few years dragging its puffy shirts, floppy boots, and crazy teased hair with it.

Yes, these things they look good on the Johnny Depp, who may best be described as the “master of his own fashion ship,” but trust the Manolo, such things will not look good on you. Unless that is, you avoid combining them all at the same time. If you wear the boots do not wear the buccaneer shirt. If you wear the buccaneer shirt, do not wear the Deppian mascara. This is the only way in which you can avoid looking exactly like the Adam Ant, circa 1981.

And so, with this warning in the mind, the Manolo would still recommend the purchase of the piratical boot, but only those that are not ridiculous in their swashbuckling exuberance.

Thus he would suggest the ironically named, Overthetop from the Stuart Weitzman, as being the pirate boot that would not cause your co-workers to snicker and call you Captain Morgan behind your back.

Overthetop by Stuart Weitzman    Manolo Likes!  Click!


Project Runway 3, Week 11

Manolo says, and it was the disappointingly anti-climactic week of disappointing anti-climaxes.

First, the Manolo must admit, that the previous week without the televised episode had diminished the Manolo’s enthusiasm, especially when he had already seen the final collections on the runway, collections which did not overly impress the Manolo.

And so because his ardor for the designers had perhaps cooled, the Manolo found that he was this week less interested in their risible antics, and much less interested in their “artistic” visions, having already seen the disappointing final product of those visions.

But the Manolo must carry on manfully as his many internet friends are awaiting his ridiculous pensées.

As for the anticlamatic anticlimax, the Manolo was disappointed that no one was sent away, just as he was disappointed during the previous episode when the Vincent and the Angela were brought back.

These instances seem to the Manolo to be the unnecessary bending, twisting, breaking of the rules by the producers so as to increase the dramatic tension. Although last night the rule-fiddling was not so much about the increasing of the tension, as about the acomodating of the favorites, so as to prevent the Michael, the beloved one, or the Jeffrey, the pathetic-boy sort-of-villian, from being sent away.

Yes, on the one level, the Manolo understands this decision to keep the Jeffrey and the Michael for the final runway.

Both the Uli (who deservedly won last night) and the Laura (who again showed too much of the sternum) are the completely predictable designers. While, the Michael seemed (until the Manolo saw his final collection) to have the impeccable sense of what worked. And the Jeffrey, for all of his many and manifest faults, is entertaining in his way. Thus the decision was taken by the producers and the judges to keep the more interersting designers, even though their final outfits last night were very weak.

Of the course, this decision, to end in the giant group hug, it undermines the point of the show, which is the fierce competition.

Without the competition, the Project Runway is not worth the watching. And when the losers arbitrarily can be brought back, and the final three arbitrarily made the final four, the show is revealed as silly and artifical. Yes, the Project Runway it was always silly and artificial, but as long as the competition seemed plausibly fair we could ignore this, so accustomed are we to the nature of games. In the world of games, the one thing you do not do is change the rules halfway through, for to do so is to render the game not worth the playing, or the watching.

Thankfully, however, last night, there were still the Tim Gunn, the Michael Kors, the pillowy Heidi Klum, and the Ninotchka Garcia de Castellanos to observe. Indeed as far as the Manolo was concerned the only truly amusing moment was at the end when the Tim Gunn became almost verklempt, the eyes welling-up, the voice almost demi-semi-quavering, and the lower-lip seconds away from full pout. Who knew that beneath the steely grey hair and the all-business demeanor there lurked the soul of the sentimental, marshmallowy romantic?

Now, it is on to the reunion show. Perhaps the return of the dangerously egomaniacal Keith can provide some true amusement.

Manolo in the Fortune Magazine

Manolo says, speaking of the Crocs, the Manolo has been cited in the most recent issue of the Fortune Magazine.

As I obsessed about the sudden proliferation of Crocs, I realized that they are not so much a new category as the latest in a pantheon of ugly shoes that became a fashion phenomenon despite – or maybe because of – their bad looks.

Think Jellies, Earth shoes, Birkenstocks, and most recently Uggs, to name a few. (Remember the Ugg-boot with miniskirt look that swept through New York and L.A. and then everywhere else a few years back? No? Lucky you.)

“There’s a long tradition of the underground alternative ugly shoe thing that is a backlash to $600 Manolo Blahniks,” says David Wolfe, creative director for the Doneger Group, which analyzes fashion trends.

That tradition is a conundrum to those of us who think of shoes as exquisitely crafted, expensive torture devices. At a recent conference in Toronto, I was teetering along in a pair of beautiful three-inch Christian Louboutins, a heavy computer bag over my shoulder, and I have to admit I was eyeing the Crocs in front of me longingly.

But comfort be damned.

I’m with Manolo, of Manolo’s shoe blog (which has no official relationship to Manolo Blahnik), who has consigned both the Ugg and the Croc to his Gallery of Horrors, which he calls a “permanent exhibition of the worst of the shoes.”

Yes, at the moment the Crocs appear to have won the battle, but do not worry, the forces of good shall ultimately prevail!

P.S. Many thanks to the Nancy for alerting the Manolo to this.

Tim Gunn on the Crocs

Manolo says, quite obviously, the Tim Gunn does not like the Crocs.

Arlington, Va.:Tim, In what is, to me, a particularly distressing trend, I have seen many women (and quite a few men) wearing crocs in public. Is this truly acceptable? Is there some sort of fashion clearinghouse which decides on a whim that actions which would normally result in ostracization are instead cool and accepted? Tim, please offer your advice.

Tim Gunn: Ohhhhh… May I respond by merely saying, “I hate crocs. May they please go away.”

The Manolo could not have said it better.

Debtaunt Update

Manolo says, the long time readers of the Manolo know that Manolo’s internet friend the Debutaunt she has been fighting and winning the lengthy and difficult battle with the grave illness. Here is the latest update on her condition from her sister.

Hi Manolo,

I know that you have read some of Deb’s site over at Right now she’s trying to raise money for a walk she’s getting ready to do. She just got another clean biopsy and is still kicking cancer’s ass, and her goal now, besides kicking cancer’s ass, is to raise $1,000,000 to fight leukemia. I was wondering if you would post the address to her pledge page on your site to help with fundraising. It’s

Thank you for being super fantastic!


It is good news that the Debbie Debutaunt she is doing so well as to now be able to devote herself to ending this disease. Please consider helping her do this.

What the Manolo Is…

Manolo says, it is Tuesday, time to see what the Manolo is…



Listening to…


Manolo says, the Manolo loves the Marcus Samuelsson


More Hair of the Presidents

Manolo says, since yesterday many of the Manolo’s internet friends have been writing to the Manolo to inquire of his opinions of the various American President’s hairs, and so as to satisfy this curiosity, the Manolo presents here his list of the top ten heads of the Presidential hairs, with the brief comments.
Such Beautiful Hair!
1. Andrew Jackson — truly and indisputable magnificent hair. Hair so romantic and heroic that even the Beethoven would be jealous. And as one commentor has noted, it is very similar to the hair of the Alexander the Great. Enough said!

2. Thomas Jefferson — Strong red hair, of the sort that betrays the active and somewhat unconventional mind. Thick, wild and beautiful hair with which to scorn the false periwigs of Europe.

3. Ronald Reagan — Yes, at the end, perhaps there was too much of the Formula of the Grecians, but still it was the most magnificent Irishy hair. Even into his dotage he still had the hair.

4. John Kennedy — Youthful and appealing, and so carefully combed. Again, magnificent Irishy hair.

Frontier Hair
5. Bill Clinton — Important Southern Hair. Blow-dried and famously styled by the Mr. Christophe, so well that the Manolo must admit that $200 is the very reasonable price to pay to have such wonderful hair properly attended to.

6. Jimmy Carter — The First President to use the blow dryer, and to great effect. Important Southern Hair.

7. Abe Lincoln — The unruly and completely natural mop that appeared to be haphazardly cut with the garden shears and styled with the rake. But despite this, there is something that is appealing and strong about the hair of the Abe Lincoln, something that suggests the honesty (what else?) and disdain for the fancy ways. This it is the powerful frontier hair.
The Beautiful Hair of Chester A. Arthur
8. Chester A. Arthur — Short but with the marvelous wavy texture. And those mutton chops! Alone they are enough to make the ladies in the parlor swoon onto their fainting couches.

9. Teddy Roosevelt — Like the hair of the Chester A. Arthur, short but with the good texture and complemented by the magnficent facial hair.

10. Franklin Roosevelt — This is, as one of the Manolo’s friends has commented, Important Patrician Hair, of the type most frequently seen in the Greenwich or on the Main Line.


Oversized Toddler

Manolo says, this picture, it says everything one needs to know about the Crocs

P.S. Many thanks to the Manolo’s internet friend the super fantastic Carol!


Manolo at the Politics Central

Manolo says, the latest column of the Manolo is now available at the Politics Central.

Manolo says, recently the Manolo has been thinking about the hairstyles of the Presidents.

For the example, the current president, George the W. Bush, has the mostly non-descript hair; the sort of the short, no-nonsense, cut-by-the-elderly-barber-named-Mory hair. This type of the hair, it is neither especially inspirational, nor particularly dismaying, and because of this it is part of that broad and undistinguished middle ground, where the majority of the Presidential coiffure may be found. The Bush the Elder, the Harry Truman, the Coolidge, the Wilson, the Harding, the Hoover, and the many, many others presidents of this past century and the half have had this same hair.

Better than the mediocre hair, to the mind of the Manolo, are the example of those politicians, like the Ike and the Gerry Ford, who gracefully went bald without resorting to the dreadful combovers, or the hair plugs, or the ridiculous and expensive custom “hair systems”. This willingness to stoically face the follicular misfortune is the testament to their personal rectitude and the strength of their characters.

You must got to the website of the Politics Central to read the rest.


Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

My friend is getting married in November and she has selected for her bridesmaids a brown dress with a sage sash. I’d like to help her avoid the typical dyed satin slippers. What would you suggest?


Manolo says, November! Brown and sage! From this alone the Manolo can intuit not only the entire scheme of this wedding, from the decoration to the table centerpieces, but he can even tell you the menu at the reception, which will undoubtedly feature the roast acorn squash and the cranberry sauce.

There is the reason why most of the weddings are held in the spring, so as to avoid exactly this.

But, it is now almost October, too late to reschedule, too early to phone the bride with your fake illness, and so you must do what you can to minimize the damage.

Happily, if you act quickly and are persuasive, at the least your shoes can look stunning.

The Manolo would suggest something with the heel, something that would elevate you above the colorful fall leaves and gilded pine cones that will undoubtedly be strewn in the aisles.

Also, you will want to have the shoes that you can wear again. Thus the Manolo would recommend to his friend the Maxime from the BCBG Max Azria in the color called the black coffee.

Maxime by BCBG Max Azria    Manolo Likes!  Click!

As the special exclusive treat for the readers of the Manolo’s humble shoe blog, here is the picture sent by the Manolo’s internet friend of the autumnal dress for which the shoes above are intended.


Ding Dong…

Manolo says, Fuller Brush lady!


Cool Out Suede

Cool Out Suede from the House of Dereon    Manolo Likes!  Click!

Manolo says, here is the unusual suede D’Orsay peep-toe pump from the House of Dereon.

Yes, it is the bit over the top, but in the attractive and luxurious manner of which the Manolo approves. Is it not possessed of the semi-retro Hollywood glamour?