Manolo asks, whose shoes?
Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back at your desk, although frankly, as is usually the case, you would prefer to be somewhere else, maybe on the beach with the piña colada, or the dark side of the moon with only your clone for company, anywhere away from the incessant petty demands of the commercial workplace.
Everyone knows that summers are the worst time to have to go to the work. From childhood, you have been conditioned to take the three months from June to August off, spending those days in simple, wholesome pleasures: riding your bike to the swimming hole, catching fireflies in the gloaming, eating the watermelon slices and spitting the seeds at your little sister.
But then, when you became the adult, everyone expects you to change the natural order of things. Thereafter you must spend your summer days locked up in the cubicle, drenched in flickering, artificial light, constantly at the mercy of the bad-tempered bullies who sign your paychecks.
And now, in place of the lazy warm days spent lying on the lawn and staring at the clouds, you exchange your freedom for money, and attempt to cram your summer into the two weeks of vacation the bullies have allotted to you.
It is days like this that your most agrarian fantasies take flight. It is on these summer days, as you drive down the freeway, your business clothes cutting off the circulation to your buttocks, that you vow to quit the job, sell the house and the car, and buy the farm in the foothills of the Catskills…no, the Appalachians…wait, on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in Virginia! Yes, in Virginia.
And there, on your 19th century homestead, (which still has the bullets holes from the minor Civil War skirmish), you will raise goats (chèvre!) and chickens (free range eggs!) and plant the enormous truck garden. And on Saturdays, you will load up your antique Ford pick-up truck and drive to the farmer’s market. There, your heirloom beefsteak tomatoes will command the premium price, because famous television chefs had praised your vegetables in glossy magazines with obscenely luscious photographs.
But then you break your nail while applying the thick coating of suntan lotion to your arms, so as to protect your delicate cuticle as you dash from the office to your car in the midday sun, making you think that maybe, perhaps, you are not so well suited for the farm life.
You know what it is you now require? Shoes! Beautiful, sweet shoes.
These beautiful shoes, the Lana Patent Leather Peep-Toe Pumps by Brian Atwood may well be the cure for what ails you.
Manolo says, here are the few entertaining links from the Manolo’s Web Snob fashion friends.
Stiletto Jungle test drives the much anticipated Living Proof Full Thickening Cream.
Allie is Wired takes a first look at Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ fashion collection.
Bag Bliss put together a “neutral rainbow” of top purse picks for summer.
Bag Snob advises to run to the store right now to buy this bag!
Beauty Snob has the answer for that time of the month when you need to get back the bounce back in your step!
Coquette loves the fresh, feminine take on menswear with cut-out oxfords.
Stuart Weitzman for fall 2010 is a must according to Fashion Pulse Daily
The Jet Set Girls get excited for Chanel’s Fall 2010 Makeup launch especially the must-have nail color for fall!
KRISTOPHER DUKES is wanting Rimowa special-edition “Topas” suitcase.
Ah, Second City Style thinks there’s nothing quite like Style in the City this summer!
Shopping and Info loves looking taller and leaner in these K. Jacques nude wedge sandals for July 4th.
Want to know what the StyleBakery editors are loving this season? This week, they each share their top 10 favorites.
StyleCaster had New York’s premiere matchmaker, Richard Easton, tell us the10 quickest ways to turn a guy off!!
The Beauty Stop shows how to replicate Ashley Greene’s party look.
The Shoe Goddess loves this sexy pair of Christian Louboutin Clou Noeud Spike Pumps!
eye4stle composes an ode of sorts to a Wardrobe Workhorse – the stud earring!
Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
Starting next week, my sister, her husband, and two grade-school sons are coming from California for a five-day, Fourth of July visit. They’re going to be doing all of the sights, from the White House to the Smithsonian, and back again. I’ve decided to take two days off work and go with them on a couple of these jaunts, so there will be lots of walking in the unrelenting District of Columbia heat. Can you suggest some very comfortable sandals that don’t look a fright?
Manolo says, in the Manolo’s opinion, the Fourth of July is the best time of the year in the Washington, D.C., for the simple reason that no one looks at you askance for being the super patriotic flag-waver who expresses the ardent love of country. You are free to enjoy the fireworks and the brass bands, the happy crowds and the monuments, as if you were the little kid who has just memorized the preamble to the Constitution. (To have the company of actual children will make these simple pleasures doubly sweet.)
Unfortunately, at this time of the year, the Washington weather is not the most salubrious, for indeed, such heat and humidity are rarely found outside of the Turkish sauna. On the other of the hands, the congress persons have departed the district, leaving only the mosquitoes to feast upon your very essence.
Look! Here is the Julia from Think! It is comfortable and not unstylish.
Manolo says, now that summer has officially arrived, our friend Glinda has been thinking about what to do with the crunchers of the crumb.
It’s many a mom’s dirty little secret when you’ve got a kid who is moping around the house, claiming they have played with all of their toys and read all of their books. And even if they haven’t really, they feel as if they have, and so their perception becomes your rather unpleasant reality. Most days you can threaten them with chores or whatnot, but even that gets old after a while. Being a mean mom is only fun for the first month or so, and then it just gets to be a drag.
And, what is the solution? You must go read for yourself.
Manolo says, the Manolo’s friends at the Collector’s Weekly (which earlier this year published the remarkable interview with the shoe collector John Walford) have returned with the excellent interview with Elizabeth Semmelhack, one of the curators at the magnificent Bata Shoe Museum and author of the book Heights of Fashion: A History of the Elevated Shoe.
There is much in this interview to both ponder and enjoy, but below are two intriguing excerpts.
Collectors Weekly: How did a pair of Manolos or Louboutins become star accessories?
Semmelhack: I don’t think that it was the designers themselves who did it as much as the culture. Clearly their shoes are lovely, but over the course of the 20th century, you have a great loss of accessories in women’s wear. I like to use the hat as an example of that. If you think about watching “I Love Lucy” on TV, so often she’s walking by a hat shop and she stops to purchase a hat. Now she’s got to hide it from Ricky because God forbid he sees it. It’s the hat that she must have, the hat, the hat, the hat. Along the same lines, we had white gloves and we had pearls and we had other similar ways of expressing status.
With the loss of iconic accessories like those, shoes carry a greater burden of meaning. We now require shoes to really, as someone said, punctuate our fashionable outfit or unfashionable outfit, whatever we’re doing. They are increasingly a way of turning a generic outfit around, and I think that’s one of the reasons why shoes have become such a focal point of culture. We can read a lot into them.
But today, where fashion has been so democratized, you can have two women of wildly different socioeconomic standings or wildly different social constructs of themselves going into the same, say, Gap store and buying the exact same pair of jeans. One might wear her jeans with a pair of Manolo Blahniks, making one statement, while the other woman puts on a pair of Keds to go watch her kids play soccer, and she makes a different statement.
The loss of the hat as the fashion accessory elevates the shoes to the place of prominence? The theory is so simple and elegant, it cannot but be true.
Here is the second excerpt, this time on the topic of clothing for the men.
Manolo asked, whose shoes?
Manolo answers, it is the Juliette Lewis.
Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friend Katkova, who was the first to correctly identify this week’s always annoying celebrity of note.
Manolo says, here is the Lulu from Botkier, the flat sandal that embodies two of the lesser trends of the season, both of which the Manolo approves: the easy entry zipper in the back, to help us deal with the recent spate of complex, torus-and-klein-bottle shoes, and the airy mesh panel, which is perhaps the first reasonable step away from the complex, torus-and-klein-bottle shoes.
Manolo says, here are the few links which may perhaps amuse…