Archive - February, 2011

Repulsive Little Fashion Troll

Manolo says, to be filed under things that make the Manolo both sad and angry.

Fasion guru John Galliano was filmed having a vile racist rant during which he declared: “I love Hitler.”

The British designer – an alleged Jew hater – then tells a horrified woman: “People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed.”

John Galliano

Repulsive Little Fashion Troll


His tirade was videoed by a friend of the people he was insulting – who were French and Italian, but not Jewish.

Galliano, 50, was at the same Paris bar where he allegedly launched a vicious verbal attack on two people last week – which led to him being arrested and suspended by fashion label Christian Dior.

After stating he loves Hitler and making the gassing remark, a woman is heard to say, ‘Oh my God’ before asking slurring Galliano if he had a problem.

He said: “With you. You’re ugly.” Asked where he was from, he said: “Your a***hole.”

Dior should fire John Galliano. Such behavior is beyond the bounds of what should be tolerated. Nothing more needs to be said about this specific instance.

However, such repulsive behavior in one so mightily talented raises the larger question: how does one separate the art from the artist?

The sad fact is that great talent is often found in horrible people.

How can this be?

So, how does one enjoy the transcendent clothing of John Galliano without feeling that one is somehow patronizing the bigot?

How to sanction the artist, while admitting that his art brings beauty and joy to the world?

The Manolo, who loves the poetry of Ezra Pound, the music of Wagner, and the clothing of John Galliano, has no easy answer to this question.

Brian Atwood Harris Platform Pumps for the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back at your desk assiduously working your way through the giant stack of papers, when you notice that today is the last day of the February, 2011.

2011…

2011…

Ayyyyy! You are living in the future!

Remember way, way back before it was the year 2000, in the 1980s even, perhaps?

Back when you were still living in the 20th Century, when you kept thinking to yourself, “yes, things here are not that wonderful, what with the parachute pants and the big hair and the Vanilla Ice, but just wait until the 21st Century. We’ll have the flying cars and the magic diet pills that will keep us thin even as we enjoy our Tang and NASA food tubes.”

And now, here you are, it is the future and you still taking the bus to work.

Worse, the magic pills that would keep the bags of the saddles from settling upon your hips, have side effects such as hair loss and sleepless weeks. And as for the NASA space food, the less said about reconstituted meat made with the futuristic growth hormones, the better.

Star Trek Communicator versus iPhone

Take That, Gene Rodenberry!


Still, the future is not the complete bust.

Have you looked at your cell phone lately? It makes the Star Trek communicator look like the Buck Rogers, retro-future movie prop (which it sort of is). And, as for the functionality, the Captain Kirk was never able to view the humble shoe blog of the Manolo, or shop for the clothing on the galactic intertubes while attempting to bed the green-skinned space hotty.

So, there’s phoning technology, even if the bill that arrives every month must be paid in currency that is still earned by the sweat of your non-robotic brow.

What other benefits have the future brought you?

Well, the Manolo can tell you that the shoes have gotten much, much better. Indeed, one can say without the hesitation that we are living in the sort of Golden Age of Shoes. More designers, more variety, more and better shoes; truly, it is the most super fantastic time to be the lover of the shoes.

Look! Here is the Harris Platform Pump from Brian Atwood

Brian Atwood Harris Platform Pump

This is exactly the sort of shoe you imagined in the future: the super sexy Jane Jetson pump that would have all of the cosmonauts down at the Saturn Club doing that comic thing with the eyes bulging and the tongues hanging out.

Manolo the Columnist: Layla from Beverly Feldman

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

Dear Manolo,

My lovely fiance and I are getting married at our favorite tiki bar in May. I am wearing a short, toga-ish, one-shoulder white dress; my fiance will be wearing a Hawaiian shirt (and pants). I’m looking for fun, cute shoes that will look good with this dress – and that will also be comfortable for running around enjoying the wedding. Any suggestions?

Arin

Manolo says, Ayyyyy! The tiki flavored wedding at the tiki bar! It is the perfectly whimsical solution to the problem of the enormous costs of the modern ceremonies. Instead of the surf-and-the-turf sit-down meals, pu-pu platters and poi for everyone!

Of the course, such things are not without the danger. For the example, the Manolo does not fully remember his own last visit to the neighborhood tiki bar, Trader Melvins, the exotic realm of giant Styrofoam stone heads, bongo drums, and the rampant Polynesiana.

All the Manolo can say with confidence is that the evening began with the giant clam shells of Mai Tais, together with the long straws for everyone at the table, and ended many hours later with the Manolo hula dancing wildly to the sound track of Blue Hawaii.

And after that, the Manolo vowed never again to drink the rum.

Here is the Layla from the Beverly Feldman, the mid-heel sandal in silver with the South Sea pearl-type accent.

Layla from Beverly Feldman

The Convertible High Heels Case Study

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends has asked him the question.

Dear Manolo,

As a passionate shoe-lover, I have recently been asked by a group of entrepreneur students at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business to help them out to devise a business plan to create an adjustable height high heel shoe. The heel within the shoe would have the ability to elongate in order to create the first comfortable, all-purpose shoe for women.

While I think that is a very unique idea, I am not quite sure about its feasibility. You would need to design a flexible sole and the heel itself would probably require a clunky design. All in all, I feel like a heel/flat
2-in-1 shoe would be innovative, but it loses the elegance and sophistication of a heel. Women choose to wear heels for a reason to begin with, and if they know they want to switch out of those heels while out, they may also toss a pair of flats in their purse.

I wanted to get your perspective on this 2-in-1 shoe idea. What do you think in terms of feasibility? Attractiveness? After all, you are Manolo, master of shoes!

Thank you and best regards,

Lisa

Ayyyy! The Manolo’s first response is that this shoe, it is has already been made! Twice!

One version of such the shoe is called the Camileon Heel...

Camileon Heels Convertible Heels

Camileon Heels

And, yet another is called the iloh adjustable heel.

Of the course, to the Manolo, neither solution is especially elegant or desirable, and one naturally wonders about the durability of the mechanism, and about whether or not it is stable enough for the long periods of use.

And, from what the Manolo can tell, neither of the companies cited above have had overwhelming success with their products. If one takes the closer look at these two companies, especially the shops whom it is claimed stock these shoes, one will likely find that the shoes have not been the best sellers.

The problem here is as exactly as the Manolo’s friend Lisa has said. It is not that such ideas are not clever, for they are very clever, but rather that they ignore the fundamental reasons that the high heeled shoes are purchased: to make us more appealing and sexy.

The most desirable high-heeled shoes are items of fantasy and wish. They appeal to us because they promise us so much. These shoes are often so desirable that they cause us to relegate the matters of comfort and practicality to the status of tertiary considerations.

And so the Manolo would say, that unless one can make the convertible shoe that is intrinsically beautiful and desirable, and much less goofy and gimmicky, one would have little chance success in the shoe business.

The much, much better idea for the business would be to design the line of handsome and beautiful shoes that deliver great comfort. As the enormous success of the Taryn Rose proves, if you can achieve this, you will make yourself very rich.

Of the course, this is the wickedly difficult undertaking, and in some respects the Holy Grail of the shoe business, which is why it has so rarely been achieved.

Duck, Duck…

Manolo shouts, Goose!

Who to Avoid the Online Knock-Off

Manolo says, our friend, Miss Plumcake, has the wise advice about how to avoid the designer fakes and the luxury phonies that proliferate on the interwebs.

Luxury houses have very specific agreements as to where their merchandise can be sold. They take the exclusivity of their product very seriously, because they know you’re buying not just the product, but the prestige. If Manolo Blahnik won’t let his merchandise be sold at Net-a-Porter, arguably the poshest online-only luxury store, because it’s not prestigious enough, you can bet your suitably luscious bippy he’s not going to give a sweeter deal to TotallyNotFakeShoesReallyWePromise.com

But there is much, much more, so you must go read the whole thing.

The Tyrant Teeters

Colonel Qaddafis Umbrella

Ear Flaps? Oh Fortuna!

Manolo says, while few things would make the Manolo happier than to see the tyrant Qaddafi run out of Libya in ignominy, it is nonetheless somewhat disappointing to see him reduced to such dire sartorial straits.

It was only the few years ago that the Manolo was pointing out that Colonel Nutbar was the only despot who fully understood the value of costuming…

Young Qadaffi. 1969

Colonel Hawtness, 1969


Naturally there is the exception that proves the rule, the one dictator who knows how to rock the clothing. The man who in his prime was the movie-star handsome tyrant with the mythic fashion sense.

The Manolo is speaking, of the course, about the Mu’amar al-Qaddafi, who has eschewed the cheap gangster look, preferring in the stead to wear the flowing natural-fibers and earth-toned robes favored by both the Bedouins of the Sahara and the Jedi Knights of Tatooine.

And when he was not sporting the Bedouin robes, the Qaddafi he wears the kinte-cloth dashikis! And he had the personal bodyguard comprised entirely of the super hotty she-devils!

This […] is how the real tyrants do it, with flair and drama and color, and Amazons in the tight-fitting camouflage cat-suits!

Qaddafi and his Bodyguards

Who's the cat who won't cop out when there's danger all about? QADDAFI!

Qaddafi, he’s not just the despot, he is the Arab Superfly, White Shaft in Africa!

Let us hope that the people of Libya will soon be free from this clothing-aware lunatic.

Calvin Klein Collections on the Sale

Mila from Calvin Klein Collections on the Sale

Manolo says, the spring is approaching and soon it will be warm and you will need sandals to go with your skinny jeans and the slouchy sweater which as been sitting at the back of your closet enticing you with its comfortable shapelessness.

Here is the Mila from the Calvin Klein Collections, the casual flat sandal that would look good with exactly that outfit, and, even the better, it is on the sale, over $100 off of the regular price.

FN Shoe Star, Episode 5

Manolo says, here above is the latest episode of the FN Shoe Star, the fifth in this season of the online series.

And, as you may see, the seemingly interminable build-up to the first actual challenge continues. Allow the Manolo to speak for everyone when he says GET ON WITH IT!

We have been introduced and re-introduced and re-re-introduced to the contestants, now let us see how well they design the shoes.

Other than this, the Manolo has nothing to add, except that he is very much looking forward to seeing Rebecca Taylor provide the inspiration for the first challenge, which is certain to test the aspiring designers’ ability to craft the wearable and attractive shoe.

Soulman

Manolo says, here is the French-flavored, imitation Motown to brighten the winter’s day.

Christian Louboutin Balota Glitter Sandals for the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and you doing whatever it is you are doing on the Day of the American President, and frankly either way, you are feeling somewhat worn out.

Is it the spring yet?

This interminable winter of discontentment has been sapping you of your vital essence, and now you are in the danger of becoming the mere husk of your formerly robust and vibrant self.

What can get you through this depressing period of snow and seasonally affective disordering?

Shoes!

What else can lift our spirits so reliably when they are flagging?

Christian Louboutin Balota Glitter Strappy Sandals

Here is the Balota Glittery Leather Strappy Sandals from the Christian Louboutin, the sort of wonderfully luxurious shoe that would make even the darkest winter day as bright as the summer sun.

Manolo the Columnist: Isis from Pour la Victoire

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

Dear Manolo,

My high school reunion is coming up, and I am in dire need of your assistance in acquiring the beautiful shoes. I was in the band, dorky and very shy back in 1991, and some classmates even made fun of my Chuck Taylors! I’m much more strong and confident now, and I’d like a gorgeous and sexy shoe to help me project these new feelings. Thank you for being so superfantastic, Manolo!

Kim

Manolo shouts, by the power of the glockenspiel and the sousaphone! Band geeks unite!

After the unprecedented success of the Glee! the Manolo is now considering writing the pilot for the dramedy based on the band geekery.

In the Manolo version, to be entitled Marching! the protagonist will be the boy who plays the tenor sax, because that is the coolest of the high school marching band instruments. (Yes, it is sort of like saying that Chief Justice John Roberts is the Tiger-Beat dreamiest of all the Supreme Court judges; the competition for the title is not stiff.)

And so, this Adonis-like saxophonist, who will also be and the student body president and the quarterback of the varsity football team (many funny scenes at halftime as he changes uniforms) will each week interact with the diverse crew of angsty teenaged musicians, who will express their complicated and angsty teenaged feelings through show-stopping flute solos and tuba concertos.

Here is the Isis from Pour la Victoire, the black evening sandals that would rock any reunion. Ayyy! And it is on the sale!

Isis from Pour la Victoire

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