Manolo says, ayyyy! Tom Cruise and Sophia Loren say cheese.
Manolo says, Ayyyyy! It is the fabulous Suzy Menkes interviewing Donatella Versace!
At first watching, you will not be able to pay attention to what they are saying. You will just revel in detail: the accents, the hair styles, the candles! It is all beyond magnificent and odd and wonderful.
At the second watching, when you are less distracted and can listen closely, you will realize that here are two smart women taking about interesting things.
P.S. From the Lauren Goldstein Crowe at the Fashion, Inc.
Who will be America’s next great shoe designer? Footwear News and Nine West have joined forces with the Fashion Institute of Technology to launch the first ever “Shoe Star” contest whereby students will compete in a series of challenges that will culminate in the naming of the next rising star in shoe design.
“Shoe Star was created to showcase new talent,” says Footwear Group’s Editorial Director Michael Atmore. “The shoe industry is in critical need of innovative, young designers who want to build a meaningful career. Shoe Star will offer one lucky designer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make their mark.” To determine the seven contestants who will compete in the contest, FIT’s seniors in the accessories program will submit a shoe produced in sample form, as well as sketches, and a 150 word essay explaining why he/she should be a contestant. Applications will be judged by the Footwear News editorial team based on their creativity and ability to show their level of professionalism.
On January 28th, 2008, FN will announce the seven “Shoe Star” contestants and a series of six exciting challenges designed to help determine who will win the ultimate Grand Prize. Among the challenges will be a “Red Carpet Challenge” where each contestant will design a red carpet shoe for a pre- determined celebrity. As part of the challenge, the contestants will have to incorporate Swarovski crystals into the design, as well as consider the celebrity’s personal style. Swarovski is a participating sponsor.
The competition will have three core judges: FN’s Editorial Director Michael Atmore, Nine West’s Creative Director Fred Allard, and FIT Representative and Chairperson of Accessories Design Department Ellen Goldstein. Celebrity guest judges will also occupy a seat on the panel as the competition progresses. The challenges will be judged 40% on conceptual design/creativity, 20% on fabrication/materials, 20% on appropriateness for market/customer, and 20% on technical specification.
Of the course, the best news of all is that our friend Anthony Cady, who teaches shoe design at the FIT, informs the Manolo that he is to be the Shoe Star version of Tim Gunn! He will be the person on site at the FIT guiding the young designers. This is very exciting news, indeed.
And now, if they will only ask the Manolo to be the celebrity judge everything will be perfect!
Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Washington Post Express.
My husband, who is an associate at a white-shoe law firm, says I must accompany him to his firm’s annual holiday party. Things will be especially tense this year as he’s up for partner. What do you suggest?
Manolo says, what does the Manolo suggest? Selling your house and cars and vacation home, moving from the city to Tennessee, and taking up goat farming.
Undoubtedly the Manolo’s friend would be happier in the more relaxed setting, where powerful lawyers and their consorts do not do regularly do the stylized and brutal “Dance of Status and Position”.
Yes, this will be the giant expensive holiday party, but no one will be especially cheery, except for the most senior retired partners. These men, well into the second childhood of their dotage, will sit at the tables gumming sugar cookies, oogling hot young associates, and dreaming happily of raccoon coats and rumble seats. Having forgotten all that their profession forced them to learn, they alone will be content.
But, until the deed on Rancho Cabrón Encatado is signed you must make the most of the difficult situation. Go to the party, smile, be gracious, do your spouse credit with your composure and beauty. And wear especially beautiful shoes.
Here are the very elegant, sophisticated, and festive shoes from Christian Lacroix.
Manolo says, Ah, the menswear, it looks so simple: the pants, the jacket, the shirt. It is not as if the male fashions have really changed in the past 75 years (other than the deplorable trend toward 24/7 casualness), and yet why is it that so many famous and talented designers produce such utter crap when they turn their hand to the menswear?
It is simple. Menswear does not fall under the purview of the fashion designer. It belongs properly and only to the tailor, to men who have devoted their lives to the arcana of button holes and pick-stitched lapels and French facings, and who know that what matters most in menswear is material, cut, fit and detail.
You cannot really learn this at the fashion college. Such knowledge can only be acquired through long apprenticeships at the feet of masters. Yes, the big fashion firms can mass produce the similacra of good tailoring–the off-the-rack suits that look moderately presentable on the size 42 regular–but it is not the same.
And so it was the nearly impossible challenge that was given to the Project Runway peoples last night, one made truly impossible by the choice of Tiki Barber as the model.
Manolo says, this is one of the reasons why the Manolo loves his readers so very much, because even when they dissent from the official Manolo Party Line, they do so in ways that are interesting, polite, and well-reasoned.
Sorry, I have to go against the grain here.
Ever seen those Suave shampoo commercials? Where two women with gorgeous hair flounce around for thirty seconds, and the announcer informs us that one of them spends a lot for salon products, and the other uses Suave? “If you can’t tell, why should we?”
Seven hundred dollars is an exorbitant price to pay for a mass produced product that you don’t plug into your wall. That it is not even remotely beyond the pale, in fact ‘reasonable’ as far as couture products goes, simply shows how divorced female ideals of conspicuous consumption have been removed from products that provide us value for money.
I remember being shocked when a friend of mine, a professional geisha, told me the average kimono she wore to work cost over ten thousand dollars. Then she actually went into the economics of the kimono industry, explained that every single kimono was a work of handcrafted art which kept dozens of artisans, sometimes the only living remnants of their craft, fed, and which was completely unique and symbolically sound in every detail. I was convinced at this point, and then she said, “Besides, it’s no more than you’d pay for a high-end handbag at some department stores.”
Louboutin’s name is not worth seven hundred dollars. No one’s name is worth seven hundred dollars. Value in fashion is assigned by a very small, very select cadre of people, and those values exist solely to keep a level of stylistic cache unattainable by the masses. Or else, how do you know how chic you are?
Of course, those signifiers fall apart if chicness is widespread, which is the real danger if mass market knockoffs. It is not a matter of protection of intellectual property; haute couture exists to determine the trend points upon which attainable intellectual property will be based, five years down the road. Nor is there anything patentable about patent leather, laces, shoe boots, or round toes. And if you honestly think shoe boots will be au courant long enough to constitute a ‘basic,’ or that any amount of money will make stilettos comfortable or long-lasting…
In summary, I am not offended by Steve Madden.
This is the exemplar of how intelligent and reasonable peoples should disagree! That the Manolo does not agree with this, does not change how happy he is to have received it.
As for what the Manolo believes, the Manolo can do no better than to point you to the replies of his internet friends Ninjarina, Dangster, and especially the Wannbe, who comes closest to expressing the Manolo’s own feelings with this perceptive comment below.