The FN Shoe Star Begins! Episode One!

Manolo says, the Manolo is excited to see that the first episode of the second season of the Footwear News Shoe Star is now on-line and available for all of his internet friends to view!

If you loves the shoes and the Project-Runway-type, reality-shows which mostly place the premium on actual design talent rather than witless drama, then you will enjoy the FN Shoe Star, which is the web-based reality show, sponsored by the Brown Shoe, in which the young aspiring designers compete to become the FN Shoe Star.

Black-Eyed Pea Fergie hosts the FN Shoe Star

FN Shoe Star: Fergie is the Host!

And now, before the Manolo makes his comments, he encourages you to go watch the first episode. It is only eleven minutes in the length and will give you the context needed to understand and appreciate what the Manolo has to say.

{The Manolo waits patiently, and yet also eagerly, for the return of his friends….}

What you watched was the was the first half of the two-part auditions episode in which the Footwear News editors, led by the handsomely dour Michael Atmore, pick the six finalists to continue with the competition.

For the Manolo, the worst part was that the episode ended too soon, just as the Manolo was becoming fully engaged. Yes, we live in the era of the short attention spans, but twenty or twenty-five minutes would have been the exactly right amount.

Other than this small quibble, the Manolo was pleased. The focus thus far has been on the shoes, and the discussions of the design thoughts in the heads of the young (very young!) designers-to-be.

As for the shoes, they were somewhat underwhelming. Most were pedestrian and not especially original, and in more than one case did not appear to be especially well-made.



Jimmy Choo Cutout Suede Ankle Boots for the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday, and you are back at your desk thinking that now is the winter of your discontent, not made glorious summer by these Jets of York, and all the clouds are lour’d upon your house.

But then that is what you get for being the fan of professional football…the months’ long build up of excitement and hopefulness, ended by the bitter disappointment of being tossed from the playoffs just before the Bowl of Superness.

Unless, of the course, it is your team that has won, in which case, it is exaltation and joy and wedges of plastic cheese to wear upon your thick noggin, or perhaps the tacky towel of terribleness to frantically wave as if you were signaling the rescue plane.

But, no, your team is not to be counted among the potential champions this season, meaning that this day, today, not last Monday, is indisputably the saddest day of the year.

What is needed now to ease the pain are shoes, beautiful shoes such as these…

Jimmy Choo Cutout Suede Ankle Boot

The Jimmy Choo Cutout Suede Ankle Boot, the sort of boot that could make the person forget all about the stout men in tight pants who play silly games with prolate spheroids.


Manolo the Columnist: Ramona from Aquatalia by Marvin K

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

Dear Manolo,

I will soon be on my fabulous, romantic getaway in Italy. Yes, I’ll be there in the frigid and possibly wet days of February. Can you suggest an comfortable, stylish, and waterproof boot to keep my tootsies happy?


Manolo says, how wonderful to be going to the Bella Italia in the depths of the American winter, which by the time the Manolo’s friend arrives in Europe will be into its seventeenth straight month of below-freezing, snow-covering, icy-sidewalk-slip-and-falling fury.

Thus, the comparative warmth of Roma, albeit with the occasional rains, will be the welcome change.

Of the course, it is never the bad time to visit Italy, especially if your mind is set on amor. It is the perfect place to go with the loved one, what with the wine, and the food, and the heady atmosphere of antiquity, art and style. So romantic!

And, if you do not have the loved one, what better place to find the temporary loved one than Roma, where every handsome Silvio, Leonardo, and Tony stands ready to flatter you shamelessly, put you on the back of his Vespa and speed you around the Colosseum as if you were the seventeen-year-old exchange student who has slipped away from her chaperones.

Here is the Romana from Aquatalia by Marvin . the super stylish, weatherproof boot that would keep your feets dry while you tread the Via Appia. And look! They are made in Italy, so it will be like the homecoming for feets!

Romana from Aquatalia by Marvin K


Fat Foot Week

Manolo says, all week long, our friend, Miss Plumcake, is discussing the trevails of having the big lady-feets and the troubles of finding the shoes to fit them.

Yet, like a baby in a tumble dryer, I can only ignore your cries for so long. You want wide width shoes, you’re gettin’ em. All week long.

Queen Ida

Manolo says, Queen Ida, because it is the middle of January and the world looks gloomy, therefore we must brighten our day with song..

…and because we hope we can still be this super fantastic when we are in our 80s.

Whose Shoes Wednesday…The Answer!

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Eva Longorias Shoes

Manolo answers, it is the Eva Longoria!

Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friend Toni (Not Parker) for being the first to correctly identify this week’s personage of note.


French Toasting

Manolo says, our friend, Erik, has posted his special secret recipe for the french toast.

Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?


Mirna from BCBG Max Azria on the Sale

Mirna from BCBG Max AzriaMirna from BCBG Max Azria

Manolo says, who among us does not need the simple-but-attractive metallic sandals for those occasions when the little bit of snappy style is required?

And who among us does not appreciate the sale, especially one that reduces the beautiful shoes more than $80 off of their usual price?


The Worst of the Globes of Gold!

Manolo says, in general, it was hard to find much serious fault with the outfits that this year graced the carpet of red at the Globes of Gold.


Katey Sagal at the Golden Globes in Douglas Hannant

Ayyyy! She just got the new sewing machine!

Did the Peg Bundy sew this herself?


Sandra Bullock at the Golden Globes in Jenny Packham

Shaggy Do!

No one wishes to say anything bad about America’s Most Wronged Sweetheart, but all the Manolo can think is, where is Sonny, 1967 Cher?


Christina Aguilera at the Golden Globes in Zuhair Murad

Salaciously Trashy.

It is the elderly Mae West!

No, it is just Christina Aguilera, fallen from the great height and landing with the splat in early drag-queen middle age.



Valentino Patent Leather Platform Sandals for the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and because of the holiday you are likely not back at your desk, which is the good thing, as it will give you the chance to finally take down the Christmas tree.

Yes, you know you should have taken down the tree more than the week ago, right after the Day of the Three Kings at the latest. And you would have, but, your family traditions include the great reluctance to drag the old Christmas tree out to the curb until it has shed the last of its needles and looks very sad.

This tradition has its roots in the distant family past, nearly the decade ago, when your youngest daughter was five years of age.

Born at the time of the full moon, this girl has always been the most peculiar child. Even in utero you suspected something was off; she kicked without warnings at strange hours, and your food cravings were satisfiable only with the unusual chutneys, and the jerked chickens, and things made with the fish sauce.

However, it was the Christmas she turned five that cemented her reputation as the special person, for that was the year that she married the Christmas tree. And it was no hasty elopement, either, but rather the grand ceremony with all of the stuffed animals in attendance, and her older sister presiding.

What else could your youngest do? It was the love at the first sight. Although, certainly, she did not rush into the marriage. There were the few days of secret courtship, during which you would come into the family room and catch her hugging the tree, which was difficult given that Jefferson Joe-Joe was the eight-foot-tall noble fir.

“Jefferson Joe-Joe?”

“That’s his name, and I’m going to marry him,” she said.


What can one say when one’s daughter has just announced that she is intent on matrimony with the tree?

So, you just said, “Oh,” and went into the kitchen where Gary was standing over the sink eating some leftover ribs between two pieces of white bread.

“Guess what,” you said.

“What,” he answered.

“Your youngest daughter just announced that she’s going to marry the Christmas tree.”

“It’ll never last.”

Which, oddly, is exactly what Gary said when your oldest daughter announced that she was in love with the bassist in the punk band called Plutonium Gauntlet.

And Gary was right in both cases. Your oldest daughter forgot about Stevie Spittle when the volleyball season started, and your youngest was widowed shortly after the second week of January, when Jefferson Joe-Joe was given the disposal with honors at the curb.

Although you were afraid of the big scene when it came time to take Jefferson Joe-Joe out, your daughter was surprisingly up beat.

“Oh, he’ll be back next year!”

Look! Beautiful shoes!

Valentino Patent Leather Platform Sandals

Not just any shoes, but patent leather platform sandals from Valentino!


The Manolosphere Week in Review

Manolo says, here are the few of the best things from the previous week in the Manolosphere.

From Manolo for the Men

The Comb-Over


From Manolo for the Big Girl

While yes, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed, being too hip for the room is a pit into which even the most seasons fashionista –and I’m including myself– can occasionally fall.

From Manolo for the Brides

I love love love handpainted bridal shoes – especially custom jobs that fit in with the wedding theme or have some special significance to the bride and the person she’s marrying.

From Manolo for the Home

Why this new obsession? Turns out, our bedroom renovation is done, and now it’s time for me to paint and decorate, and I’m considering all kinds of interesting ceiling stuff. Today, I happened to spot some sweet decorated ceiling fans that prove that your ceiling fan doesn’t have to be boring.

From Crafty Manolo

But when smocking started out, it was worn as much by adults as by children, specifically by adult male laborers. More fanciful stitch work on finer fabrics would be worn by wealthy people on their linens, as in this detail of a sixteenth century painting by Ambrosius Holbein…

From Ayyyy!

Sharon Stone, circa 1944

From Green Manolo

I also think, however, that this is where things get complicated for a lot of people who might support environmental stewardship as the responsibility of all people if it didn’t start to get overwhelming when you start expanding the scale of it all. Maybe it’s a tad intimidating – like it’s not enough that I recycle and compost and buy Fair Trade goods, now I have to vote for the right politicians and lobby for certain regulations and figure out how to support green energy when I can’t afford to switch to an electric car or install solar panels on my roof? That’s commitment right there, and I think commitment is difficult for a lot of people.

From Teeny Manolo

But what strikes me about the article is the strident nature of Ms. Chua’s superiority. And in a sense, I suppose she is correct in saying her parenting style has produced results. Her daughter has apparently played piano at Carnegie Hall, which is a wonderful accomplishment. My son, on the other hand, has played the tambourine (badly) for an audience comprised solely of his baby sister. So I suppose she is at least one up on me there.

From Manolo Jewelry

I know, a Canadian complaining about winter is like the guy who goes to the same restaurant every day but always complains about the food. However, taking my business elsewhere isn’t really an option.

From Manolo Beauty

This could be the best beauty product EVER!

From Manolo Food

Are you alone and different from me and stuck with a mouldering or pickled lump of brownish carbs, fats, and assorted undigestables, covered in some unnamed and unnameable sticky substance, the whole Shoggoth-like agglomeration wrapped in hideously toxic-looking red or green “festive” plastic?

From What you have there, my friend, is a fruitcake.