Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

I just purchased a Max Azria jersey knit wrap dress to wear during an upcoming trip to Ireland. It has ¾ length sleeves and is black with a green and white print. My question is, can I wear this dress with knee high boots during the early spring?


Manolo says, Max Azria and Ireland! Truly, this is the combination the Manolo has never considered.

But then, the Manolo’s mental image of Ireland is firmly planted in the distant and picturesque past of red-headed peoples in tweed who carry the shillelaghs in one hand and the pints of Guinness in the other.

Of the course, the new Ireland is the dynamic and modern place where digitally-savvy immigrants from foreign lands mingle with the natives in the fancy gastro-pubs serving nouvelle Irish cuisine, like corned-kobe and bok choy.

Even Irish fashion has begun to make its mark, with designers like Pauric Sweeny, Margaret O’Leary, and the shoe designer Eileen Shields, whose main store is in the Old City part of Dublin, and is well worth the visit.

Natrually, you will need the boots to outfit you before your Irish shopping expedition, and so the Manolo recommends the Connie from Bruno Magli. It is simple, elegant, beautiful and eminently wearable.

Connie from Bruno Magli    Manolo Likes!  Click!


Antonio Bernardi Sans-a-Heel Platforms

Manolo says, the Manolo does not approve.

The 5 1/2in creations by Briton Antonio Berardi can hardly be described as high heels, since they lack the most important part – a heel.

For the bargain price of £1,800, the wearer will get to totter around with all her weight balanced on a thickened platform sole.

Unsurprisingly, fashionistas are jostling to buy a pair.

Stars including Gwyneth Paltrow and Uma Thurman invested in a black patent version costing more than £1,100, shortly after they were unveiled in Berardi’s spring/summer collection in Paris.

And Victoria Beckham apparently has a snakeskin pair.

They are going on sale in Browns stores in London, where they have to be ordered up to five weeks in advance.

Lincolnshire-born Berardi, 39, said he was inspired by Latin American music and 1980s post-modernism, adding: “When you walk, it is almost on tiptoe. You look really dainty.”

Dainty, as if your feet were bound in infancy by Mandarins.


Whose Shoes Wednesday…The Answer!

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Hillary Clintons Shoes

Manolo says, it is the Hillary Clinton!

Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friend Molls who was the first person to identify the subject of this week’s Whose Shoes Wednedsday.

Laura K. and Blogging the Project Runway

Manolo says, there is the marvelous article in the Arizona paper about the Manolo’s internet friend, Laura K., who is the founder of the Blogging the Project Runway blog.

Laura Kluvo has a big secret.

It’s about the winner of Season 4 of Project Runway, the Bravo reality series where rookie designers compete to be the next big thing in fashion.

She won’t say who it is or how she knows – until it’s revealed properly on the show’s finale next Wednesday – because she hates spoilers.

The stay-at-home Scottsdale mom runs the show’s ultimate fan Web site, called Blogging Project Runway,

Her blog is a hub for all things related to the show: a place to go for podcasts, interviews, live blogs during episodes and compiled news links about contestants and hosts.

She asks herself: What would the show’s biggest fans want to read about, whom would they like to meet and what would they ask them? And then she does it.

She has become friends with several of the designers and co-host Tim Gunn, the show’s breakout star. Project Runway alum Emmett McCarthy designed a floral-print coat and named it the “Laura K.” Gunn went for a ride in the Kluvo van when he was in Scottsdale in November.

And, most recently, she sat third row at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City, where she watched this season’s finalists show their collections at Bryant Park.

What separates Blogging Project Runway from other sites that track the show is Kluvo’s mission to remain positive and supportive of the designers, which has helped her foster relationships with them.

She doesn’t take sides. And, most importantly, she never includes spoilers about the show in her blog.

The article even includes the mention of the Manolo! Go read it now.

Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?


What the Manolo Is…

Manolo says, it is late on Tuesday and thus time to see what the Manolo is…



Listening to…

It had been many years since the Manolo last saw Gone with the Wind, and on viewing it again the other evening, what struck the Manolo most forcefully was how it was both exceedingly melodramatic and yet completely engaging.

By rights, this movie should be considered laughable, with each overly dramatic and manipulative incident following so closely on the heels of the previous one.

But it is not.

Instead, one is irrevocably sucked into the compelling and bizarre world of Scarlet O’Hara where up is down, and down is fiddle-di-dee! You weep real tears at the death of Bonny Blue, gasp at the revelation that Captain Butler has shot the pony and locked himself into the nursery with the corpse, and three minutes later are weeping again as Melanie collapses and dies.

How is this level of emotional engagement in something so obviously contrived even possible?

The Manolo admits to having no clue.


Ayyyy! Puzzle Corner

Manolo says, it is once again time for the Ayyyy! Puzzle Corner. This week, it is the celebrity tattoos.

Dolce and Gabbana for the Spring

Dolce and Gabbana Blunt Shoe    Manolo Likes!  Click!
Manolo says, the Manolo commends to you these marvelous white and navy peep-toe pumps from the Dolce and the Gabbana. Are they not beautiful?

What’s that you say, “But Manolo, it is not yet the summer time. I cannot possibly wear the white shoes before the Day of Memorializing.”

Ha! The Manolo scoffs as such fashion timidity.

Are you not the confident, super fantastic, adult person, one who is fully capable of charting her own way in the world? Indeed, you are fashionable woman, hear you roar!

Do not worry what the petty arbiters of outmoded fashion standards say, this is the beautiful shoe, one that can be worn anytime the weather warms. Remember the Manolo’s motto: If the shoe looks good, wear it!


The Awards of the Academy!

Manolo says, ayyyyyy! This was perhaps the most boring Awards of the Academy ever! All of the ladies were in red, all of the gentlemens in black, all of the Jon Stewarts in tedious.

But, fear not, dear friends, there is some small grist for our celebrity mill.

For the example…

Ms. Wilma Flintsone and her richly deserved award.

Vision of the future red carpet, circa 2035 AD, Mr. Tom Cruise and Ms. Katie Holmes.

Best Actor Nominee, Mr. Mole.

Finally, the Manolo has the suggestion for next year’s master of the ceremony, someone whose lively personality and ready wit would undoubtedly make for the ceremony one no one would ever forget…



The Million Dollar Shoes

Manolo says, it is time again for the Academy Awards, and thus also time for the shoe designer Stuart Weitzman to unveil his annual Million Dollar Shoes, which this year will be worn to the ceremony by Diablo Cody.

The “Juno” writer, a former stripper, has been chosen to wear footwear designer Stuart Weitzman’s million-dollar shoes to the big event at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

The “Retro Rose” shoe features two Kwiat diamond roses, fixed to 1940s-style beige metallic T-strap high heels.

More than 1,800 Kwiat diamonds weighing 100 carats were used to make the roses and 400 of them have been incorporated into the design of the shoe, which is worth over $1 million.

Shoe mogul Weitzman has also created a ballerina flat with a similar diamond-like design, which Cody will change into after she walks the red carpet and kicks off her high heels.

This is the first time Weitzman has created a changeover pair of shoes with a matching design element for use at the Academy Awards.

The Manolo loves these shoes, they are glamorous and retro and pretty. Perfect for the stripper-turned-screenwriter Cody, who gives off that self-consciously quirky, tatooted, 1940s pin-up girl vibe that is common among the indie alt-rock crowd.

UPDATE: Ayyyy! Maybe Cody Diablo, er Diablo Cody, will wear the shoes, and maybe she won’t wear the shoes!