What the Manolo Is…

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

Reading…

Watching…

Listening to…

The Manolo has been reading the magnficient Tim Gunn’s new book, Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style, which he has found to be the delightfully odd little book.

The Manolo uses the word “odd” in describing this work because it is not the typically dreary fashion advice book, in which the fashion “does” and the “do nots” are recounted in excrutiating incorrect detail, accompanied by the photos of models of unattainable beauty wearing impossibly stylish clothes, or worse, by the photos of the uncomfortable-looking “ordinary” peoples in ill-fitting clothes.

The work is also odd, in that it does not play to the lowest common denominator, and in the fact the Tim Gunn’s erudition is allowed to shine.

Query: When was the last time you read the fashion advice book in which the Søren Kierkegaard was cited as the authority? Or in which the words “syllogism” and “semiotics” were used correctly?

Answer: None, at least since the publication of the Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Colour.

Of the course, the Manolo does have the few criticisms. Chief among them is the scant amount of space devoted to the shoes, the most important part of any outfit.

The usually masterful Tim give less then the single full page of his book over to the shoe-based advice! This is even less space than that devoted to the discussion about the pashminas!

Worse, here is the entirety of the Tim Gunn’s recommended shoe collection, from page 158.

Regardless of taste and budget, every closet should have the following:

1. Two pairs of boots–one dressy, one casual.

2. Flats that can go to the office, but with jeans as well.

3. One pair of daring, dress-anything-up evening shoe.

What is this?

This is not the real list of necessary shoes.

This is not even the minimum number of shoes the super fantastic girl should consider packing for the weekend in the country.

Despite this serious deficiency the Manolo can still recommend that you read this book, as it is smart, witty, and filled with usable advice on matters other than the shoes.

6 Responses to “What the Manolo Is…”

  1. g-dog May 1, 2007 at 8:13 am #

    If I may speak for him – I believe Mr. Gunn is merely stating that these shoes are necessary NOT that they are sufficient to create a whole shoe wardrobe.
    No matter how many crocs, flip-flops, or Payless bargains you have – or Pradas, Kate Spades, or Blahniks you have – you must also invest in at least the list provided by uber-classy Mr. Gunn.

    That is my guess …..

  2. Gigi May 1, 2007 at 9:18 am #

    I read Tim’s book a few weeks ago, it is delightful to say the least!

  3. Jenny May 1, 2007 at 1:05 pm #

    So, dear Malono, what should the shoe closet of the superfantastic girl contain??? I’ve been trying to purchase fewer shoes, but apparently have been going in the wrong direction completely.

  4. Of Shoes, Sagacity, and Stuff May 1, 2007 at 4:22 pm #

    Surely Tim Gunn meant to provide a bare essentials list for the poorer feet among us. As a clothes-crafter, Tim Gunn naturally speaks to the clothes-spenders, which is probably why their feet are poor in the first place!

    And so, I can see that. In fact, I can see:

    1. One black-inspired heel, suitable for the office and dress-up capabilities.
    2. One tan-inspired heel, suitable for the office and dress-up capabilities.
    3. One black-inspired flat, same idea.
    4. One tan-inspired flat, same idea.

    Mix in one black-themed boot and one tan-themed boot at will, of course, and please, please, throw in a confetti splash of colors whenever your fancy and pocketbook happen to collide … what you have there, methinks, is The Classic Handbag Philosophy of Shoes. Bland, maybe; boring, probably, but I think it makes sense for some of us pre-pumpkin Cinderellas.

  5. Annette May 3, 2007 at 2:53 pm #

    I believe the Mr. Gunn purposely did not fill the role of shoe advisor in order to leave that role open for the Manolo. May we expect a follow-up book?

  6. I love shoes May 3, 2007 at 4:37 pm #

    Reply to Of Shoes, Sagacity etc.. regarding shoes list:
    Was that a joke? black and tan high heels and flats? You were joking, I am sure…

    I believe I am Cinderalla of all Cinderallas and this how I feel even with a little budget..

    Sorry, there is no place for anything, flat, tan, with no personality, no style, without high or at least medium heel, non- designer, non-current should be in any woman shoe collection..

    Forget about “common sence”. Shoe are not something to wear on your feet that shoud work with rest of clothes. Shoe says what you are, how aware you are/ or clueless you are, how sexy or stiff you are, etc….I beilive it is the most important piece of your look and very versatile. You do not need a lot of shoes but a few right ones and you can make anything work..

    Ladies, this is my heart crying out… Buy only shoes that speak to you…that you feel belong on your lfeet, that match your personality when you are happy with yourself, when you feel on top of world… You need only few pair of shoes like this and you would feel on top of the wolrd every time you wear them… trust me .. Do not waiste your money on anything less … shoes should work with you first, make you want to walk out of house, and only than all other considerations like eather, where you going etc… just to slightly adjust a heel or color.

    I do make sure I have black/near black solid or patterned leather high heel (always designer, always current you can buy on sale they would last few seasons)
    shoe with covered toe to cover almost anything when I feel numb, and do not want to get noticed,

    and I am make sure I also have few choices of above but more glam, more comfy (read lower heel, – medium, nothing lower) with little Cooool in it, – extra detail, metallic, etc, but always designer and current , – for times when I want get noticed that I am alive and aware but nothing more than that…

    Every other shoe was picked following one and only rule, — does this shoe makes me feel my coolest, sexiest, hotest, me or not? My advice – do not waiste your money on anything less…

    Good luck…