Whose Shoes Wednesday!

Manolo asks, whose shoes?


FN ShoeStar, The Winner!

Manolo says, and now we come to the twentieth episode when the final judging is completed and the winner is announced.

And it is…Rachel!

This is the not unexpected outcome, as not only is Rachel the very competent designer of the shoes, but also she has the very well-developed commercial sense, which the judges, who were drawn from the ranks of the shoe selling professionals, seemed to appreciate very much.

Still, the Manolo could be considered Team Keena, for she was the more original and interesting designer of the pair, and her final strappy sandal was one of the best shoes made all season long.

And now the Manolo wishes to sit back and watch the careers of all of these six contestants develop. He suspects that Rachel will be very successful, and he hopes that the same will be said of Keena.


Gucci Inga Strappy Ankle Boots for the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back at your desk doing that thing that you do so as to earn that money that you need.

It is not that you dislike working for The Man, per se, for indeed your work is mostly not unpleasant, and the majorities of the peoples with whom you work are mostly somewhat not intolerable.

Yes, there are the exceptions, co-workers whom you believe need to be fired…out of the cannon…into the ocean, such as that officious and meddlesome woman in accounting, Harmony Voldemort, a.k.a. “She Who Must Not Be CC’d in Memos.”

It is strange, for although this dour woman, the mere “assistant clerk of accounting operations”, would appear to have no exalted title nor position, everyone in your office is deferential to her. Even your hard-charging, take-not-the-prisoners boss, Bob Gummidge, speaks to her in the most polite and civil tongue, occasionally even flirting with her(!), this despite the fact that she looks like the dyspeptic French bulldog, squat and jowly, with the half-lidded, vaguely mammalian eyes.

Of the course, this effort at forced civility always leaves Mr. Gummidge spent, you know this for the fact, because he locks himself in his office for the remainder of the day following one of Harmony’s visits.

Your own interactions with this bureaucratic gorgon have always been unpleasant: ranging from the simple elevator snubs, to brusquely offensive notes about picayune discrepancies on your expense reports, the wrangling over which can often delay the reimbursement for your business travel for the months and months.

And yet, throughout all of this, the actual source of this woman’s power remains mysterious.

“Oh, she’s in charge of something or other, expense accounts, I think,” says your best office pal, Julia.

“Yeah, but then why does Gummidge bow and scrape before her,” you reply, “I’ve been here nearly ten years, and as far as I can tell she’s never been promoted, she’s still in the same clerk’s job.”

“I heard that she was the one that got Jeff C. fired,” said Julia, referring to the cheerful and handsome young man who was briefly the best thing about going to the office. (Ahh, if only you had been twenty year younger, fifteen-pounds slimmer, and not married to Gary…but then, twenty years ago, Gary was not unlike Jeff C., all sunny and funny and young.)

“No way! Really? Why?”

“Sexual harassment,” interjects Deadpan Mike as he walks by your cubicle.

And you and Julia laugh and laugh at the idea! So ridiculous!

And then you both suddenly stop, as you realize that Harmony Voldemort has the very symmetrical features and the amazing bone structure underneath her middle-aged jowls, and as you both simultaneously recall those old rumors about the womanizing reputation of the ancient Old Man Jones, the Founder and CEO Emeritus, and how he supposedly had to give part of the company to some employee or other because of it.

Look! Gucci! Gucci!

Gucci Inga Strappy Ankle Boots

The Inga Strappy Leather Ankle Boots from Gucci


Manolo the Columnist: Henley II from Ralph Lauren

Manolo says, here is the newest column of the Manolo for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

Now that summer has arrived, I’ve been powerfully tempted to don a pair of airy mandals to wear with my summer weight suits. My wife advises me that this would be a very bad thing. What do you suggest?


Manolo says, yes it is true, not since the waning days of the Roman Empire have the toes of serious men been so conspicuously in evidence. Indeed, earlier this year, his Honorable Excellency, The President Barack H. Obama was photographed eating the parti-colored, Hawaiian snow cone while wearing the polo shirt, board shorts and the flip-flops, his presidential toes exposed for the entire world to see.

One cannot imagine the Dwight Eisenhower, or the Teddy Roosevelt, or even the Grover Cleveland appearing in the public place in mandals, much less the Wal-Mart flip-flops, but clearly, such bygone standards of dress a

nd comportment no longer apply in our informal age, to the point that the most powerful man in the world feels free to let his hairy toes breath glorious fresh air.

The Manolo says, do not be that man. Do not give in to the temptation to dress like the ten-year-old boy on the way to the comic book store. Do not be “That Man With the Toes”. Take pride in your appearance and cover your toes for the sake of humanity and the protection of your womenfolk.

Here is the Henley II from the Ralph Lauren Collection, the traditional two-tone oxford, the sort of shoe that has long been recognized as the gentlemanly response to the heat of summer.

Henley II from Ralph Lauren Collection

Whose Shoes Wednesday…The Answer!

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Liz Hurley Shoes

Manolo answers, it is the Liz Hurley!

Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friend, the always irrepressible, irreplaceable Rondi, who was the first to correctly identify this week’s personage of note.


Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?


FN Shoe Star, Episode 19

Manolo says, and now we are at the next to the last episode of the FN Shoe Star saga, in which the Keena and the Rachel present to the judges their final collection.

The Manolo thought that this episode was the best one yet, because the presentations of the two young women were so interesting and well done. Indeed, the final challenge was especially well thought out as the two designers were charged with not only producing the two pairs of the shoes, but also the entire justification and marketing plan for their potential collections.

The results were remarkably different. Keena’s collection stood out as the most original and true to her personality, but Rachel’s presentation was the most thorough and most professional, and her collection was more commercial.

But, watch this episode for yourself, especially the last half, as it is very good.

As for who the winner will be? The Manolo does not know. Both designers turned out to be very talented and very capable. The Manolo likes Keena’s sandal best of all the shoes, but dislikes her covered wedge worst of all the shoes (it is clunky, not at all “Ephemeral”). However, Rachel’s collection was consistent and very marketable, but not especially distinctive.

But, the Manolo must step out onto the limb and make the guess, so he says that the judges will pick Rachel, because she has thinks so much about the marketing and is the very commercial sort of designer.

Christian Louboutin Ana Strass Crystal Sandals for the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back at your desk wishing that you had managed to make the first two weeks of June your vacation, rather than the last two weeks of July.

You need the break, because a) it has been the powerfully awful month or so at your place of employment, what with the off-laying of various low-level employees and the added work which has been piled upon you as the result, and b) because the school year has ended for your children, and your 12-year-old son and your 15-year-old daughter are at the home, alone, unsupervised.

This should not really be the cause of worry, as not only are they the generally good children, but they are also plenty old enough to care for themselves. Indeed, your own grandfather held down the adult employment by that age, something he never failed to mention at the various family gatherings.

“On Friday afternoons, I’d hand your great-grandfather my pay envelope, and he’d hand me back two one-dollar bills. That was my money for the whole week. Lunch, Dinner, Sodey Pop. The whole shootin’ match. Fourteen years old, working a man’s job for two dollars a week.”

“Yes, Grandpap,” you’d answer, dutifully.

“A course, didn’t need that much money back then. A nickle’d get you a candy bar, a dime would do for a hotdog.”

“Yes, Grandpap.”

“Bought my first car for $94. People now-a-days don’t know the meaning of money. Think it grows on trees like persimmons, er pippin apples.”

Look! Beautiful shoes!

Christian Louboutin Ana Strass Crystal Sandals

The Ana Strass Crystal Sandals from the Christian Louboutin.

What would your Grandpappy say?

Manolo the Columnist: Willie from Diane von Furstenberg

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

Dear Manolo,

This summer I will be on a faculty fellowship at an Ivy League university, where an ambitious film actor is also pursuing one of his 11-or-so literary PhDs. What kind of footwear can I wear with my floaty dresses that will at once announce “serious academic” to my colleagues as well as “important ingenue” in case the actor’s looking for a fresh co-star?


Manolo says, to paraphrase the immortal Dorothy Parker: seldom cast as actresses, are the girls who wear glasseses.

Despite the unusual circumstances involving the pretty boy actor and the Ivy League fellowship, this is the variation of the old conundrum: how does the smarty-smart girl attract the admiring male gaze without feeling, self-consciously, that she is the gender-traitor for conforming to the traditional, heteronormative, patriarchal orthodoxy.

Although, the modern world, being infinitely more complicated than the 1980’s music videos, offers further difficulties that the acerbic Ms. Parker could never have imagined.

Or, to paraphrase the Thomas Dolby, “Good Heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You’ve filed harassment charges against me for noticing that you’re beautiful!”

Which is why the pretty boy actors tend to date the pretty girl actresses, because such academy-specific complications do not enter into the mathematics of Hollywood romance.

But, it never hurts to give it the old college try. Here is the Willie from Diane von Furstenberg, the sharp-looking wedge heel sandal with enough intellectual interest to maintain ones credibility in the faculty lounge.

Willie from Diane von Furstenberg


Snooki’s Fashion Accessory: Attention

Following her incident with an Italian police car yesterday, nugget sized Snooki of deplorable MTV Jersey Shore “fame” was photographed today wearing a neck brace to accompany her hideous ensemble and unfortunately she couldn’t find one big enough to cover her entire face and body.

Snookie neck brace

Snooki and her co-star Deena got into a minor traffic accident on the streets of Florence, which shockingly according to police reports involved no alcohol. Snookie was apparently driving a vehicle (sitting on what I can only assume was a child’s booster seat, seeing as I find it hard to believe she could see above the steering wheel) and rear ended a police car in front of them that was escorting the talented and fame worthy celebrities to their filming destination. While there was no arrests made and the two suffered no injuries, Snookie decided to play it up today with the addition of a neck brace. BUT only for the cameras. Snookie reportedly removed the neck brace between takes, because I can only assume when you fake an injury it’s annoying to wear  supportive medical supplies.

Snookie removes neck brace

But let’s face it, the real crime here (other than the fact Snooki is in the public eye at all) are her fuzzy Ugg boots. They make her look like some sort of pudgy show poodle that desperately needs to be put down. The fact that those things are allowed to be sold and worn in public is a true tragedy. Not to mention the function of providing warmth is completely null and void seeing as it is currently warm in Italy! Wearing them isn’t even practical, thus, there is no excuse. If she is going to get away with a fender bender and causing minor injuries to two police officers, she at least needs to be arrested or fined for committing rape against my eyes.