Archive - July, 2009

Attack of the Forehead Redux!

Manolo says, Ayyyy!! Angelina Jolie is developing the dreaded Kidman Chrome Dome!

Manolo the Columnist

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


Dear Manolo,

In late August I’m attending an outdoor wedding in upstate New York. I’ve settled on a summery sort of wrap dress in a light blue color. What would you recommend in the way of footwear?

Rachel

Manolo says, the few years back the Manolo attended the late summer wedding in the Catskills. It was the wonderful celebration of love and family and friends.

Unfortunately, the weather was unseasonably hot and humid, and so even though the ceremony proceeded flawlessly, it was nonetheless difficult for the Manolo to fully enjoy the festivities, what with the quantities of sweat running off his brow and puddling up in his shoes.

And this is the problem with even the best planned of outdoor weddings. There are things which even the most attentive of bridezillas cannot control: packs of barking dogs, clouds of blood-thirsty mosquitoes, lightening strikes that set off car alarms, small aircraft towing banners advertising malt liquor, and freakishly muggy weather that leaves the guests wilted and spent, and causes the caterer to run out of cold beer before the first dance.

Look, here are the marvelous Stoneybrook from Stuart Weitzman, the low-heeled strappy sandal that will keep you cool during even the hottest of ceremonies.

Stoneybrook by Stuart Weitzman   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Giuseppe Zanotti: From Sublime to Ridiculous?

Manolo says, compare and contrast the following two shoes from Giuseppe Zanotti.

Giuseppe Zanotti Patent Leather Ankle Boots   Manolo Likes!  Click!Giuseppe Zanotti Leopard Print Platform Wedges

Manolo says, when the Manolo’s shoe-obsessed friend Wayne pointed out these two Giuseppe Zanotti shoes to the Manolo, the Manolo’s initial reaction was to laud the first for it’s combination of classical beauty and sublime construction, while deploring the second for its irrational science-fictiony exuberance.

And yet…the longer the Manolo considers the second shoe, the more he has reconciled himself to its over-the-topness. Indeed, the Manolo now believes that the right rock-n-roll girl could make this shoe work for her in the right conditions with the exact right attitude and outfit. Everyone else should select the first, which is undeniably beautiful.

Of the course, the real question is how can two such very different shoes, which share almost nothing in the way of aesthetic vision, be produced by the same designer?

The answer is, that they are not. There are clearly two different designers at work in the Zanotti atelier.

News from Texas

Manolo says, the Manolo suspects Fantasy by Britney Spears.

The Manolo’s Sharp-Eyed Readers

Manolo says, the Manolo never ceases to be amazed by the shoe-spotting ability of the Manolo’s sharp-eyed internet friends.

For the example, yesterday, while preparing for the Whose Shoes Wednesday the Manolo mistakenly included this fragmentary photograph in his collection of the Lady Gaga shoes.

Not Lady Gaga's Boots

This is not Lady Gaga, something the Manolo in his haste to prepare the post had missed.

And yet, even though it was the single image among nearly the score, this did not prevent the Manolo’s readers from identifying to whom they belonged.

The first to do so, was the Manolo’s internet friend Jo.

Nicole Scherzinger, I think?

Followed by the more complete identification made by the sharp-eyed sharpy, Rachel Marie

Those are Pussycat Doll paws-who else wears tartan parachute pantaloons with knee high boxer boots? It is Nicole Scherzinger! She redeems herself with her other footwear choice, though. I heart you, Manolo! Kisses

And then, here is Long Island, calling the Manolo out this morning.

I love you Manolo but I think you throw a ringer photo in with this lot. I believe that photo of the young lady in plaid wearing lace-up boots is Nicole Scherzinger. However it possible that both could wear the same equally outrageous combination.

And naturally, these readers of the Manolo were exactly correct.

Nicole Scherzinger and her marvelous boots!

It was the Nicole Scherzinger!

Whose Shoes Wednesday…The Answer!

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Lady GaGa's Shoes!

Manolo answers, it is the trying-too-hard-to-be-moderately-outrageous Lady GaGa!

Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friend Sean who was the first to correctly identify this week’s personage of note.

Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?

Ick!

Manolo says, the Manolo is worried about the person who has purchased this eBay item.

Mr. Henry’s Fish Fry

Manolo says, Mr. Henry on the go.

For the past two weeks Mr. Henry has been on the road and in the swamp. He has eaten blueberries in Maine, black raspberries in Massachusetts, corn in upstate New York, and fried soft shell crab in Florida.

Needless to say, you must go read the whole thing.

The Art Shoe

Manolo says, we live in the age of wonders, witness the rise of the Art Shoe.

A revolution in shoes is upon us. Suddenly the capital’s most desirable shoes are no longer designed by graduates of craft colleges well-versed in traditional skills. Now architects and product designers are becoming masters of the “last” and they’re pushing the concept of footwear way out into the stratosphere.
Zaha Hadids Shoe For Melissa
The ubiquitous Zaha Hadid is the most visible architect to have entered the shoe cupboard recently. Last September, the Pritzker prize-winner designed some enticing and affordable plastic shoes for Brazilian footwear brand Melissa, which by now most fashionable London girls must have tried on, if not bought.

[…]

Then early last year, John Lobb asked Doshi Levien to design the Apprentice Collection — post-modern brogues by this husband-and-wife design duo best known for sofas called My Beautiful Backside and tableware for Habitat.

Doshi Levien's Apprentice for John Lobb
The Spanish neo-baroque star designer Jaime Hayon has also been seduced away from his customary porcelain and crystal into designing shoes. In September last year, Camper launched Hayon’s soft men’s leather shoes in jaunty colours like custard and fuchsia. Sporty, with a distinct elegance and a whiff of the music hall, there’s an archetypal quality to this nonchalant shoe.

French designer Paul Coudamy, normally found remodelling office spaces, wowed the design world last December with thought-provoking shoes called Woodwalk for the tennis shoe company K-Swiss. A conceptual fusion between urban trainer and 19th-century Swiss country clog, the limited edition of 25 pairs, hand sculpted in wood, invites us to reconsider urban lifestyles and walking in the city.

[…]

On a balmy evening last week, Spring Projects presented Bhömer’s Beigefoldedshoe — an astonishing, highly wearable piece of origami, created from a single piece of untanned leather folded around a stainless-steel heel. They were presented along with photographs of their construction and three abstract videos on the subject of walking and adorning parts of the body.
Bohmer's Beigefoldedshoe

The designer is thrilled. “To establish something in London really means something. There’s like a gold rush in design here at the moment.” She and an assistant will make every pair that are ordered through her website or through Spring Projects. It’s a painstakingly couture process, which means that these shoes are expensive — £2,250 inc worldwide delivery.

This is exactly what the Manolo has been advocating for for many decades now, the recognition that shoes are more then merely functional protective coverings for the feets, that indeed, they can and should be works of wearable art.

Now, we can only hope this laudable trend survives the current economic downturn.

Why Does Manolo Loves Buenos Aires?

Manolo says, why does Manolo love Buenos Aires?

Because only in Buenos Aires do people consider it normal to go dancing at age 100!

P.S. Many thanks to the Manolo’s internet friend Fausta who found this video for the Manolo.

Older Dancers

Manolo says, the Manolo, at the behest of his middle-aged, dance-loving friend Herr Professor Dr. von Korncrake, has been looking at the videos of older male dancers, over the age of 50 (such as the good Professor) who are still capable of cutting the rug in vibrant style.

Here is Fred Astaire at age 52.

Gene Kelly at age 53.

Jimmy Cagney at 56 and Bob Hope at 52…

And most amazingly, the great tap dancer Jimmy Slyde at age 71 (trust the Manolo, your really must see this one, especially the section from about 2:10 until about 2:30).

(more…)

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