Archive - October, 2011

Manolo the Columnist: Nalanni from Ted Baker

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


Dear Manolo,

I am planning on showing solidarity with Occupy Wall Street this weekend and I am looking for a shoe that shows I am “of” the 99%, yet is stylish to be worn later in the evening to a casual cocktail party. What could you recommend?

Briana

Manolo says, ayyyy! This is the sort of question the Manolo dreads, in which the petitioner hopes to find the single pair of the shoes suitable for wearing to the two wildly different events.

For the example, “Dear Manolo, my new boyfriend, Clem, has finally agreed to go to see La Traviata, on the condition that we stop by his father’s shack on the way to the opera house to witness a traditional rural event known as a “hog killin’”. What would you recommend?”

The Manolo would recommend the new boyfriend, but, if such is not possible, then he would recommend packing your good clothing and nice shoes in the double-thickness plastic bags and changing into them later in the Stop-n-Go restroom.

In this case, however, given the reports of the poor sanitation at the OWS encampments and the possibility of rioting, the Manolo would recommend the wearing of the sturdy, thick-soled boots, but since his friend is going to the cocktail party afterward, she will have to take your chances with something slightly more refined. Here is the Nalanni from Ted Baker, the platform lace-up bootie that will keep you both radically chic and out of the muck.

Nalanni from Ted Baker

Whose Shoes Wednesday…The Answer!

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Angie Dickinson on a Vespa

Manolo answers, it is the Angie Dickinson.

Congratulations to our dear friend, the Mr. Henry, who was the first to correctly identify this week’s celebrity hottie of note.

Here, for your amusement, is Angie Dickinson in the 1977, when she was 46 years of age, looking as if she has taken her Geritol…

Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?

Happy Sts. Crispin and Crispian Day!

Sts Crispin and Crispian

Manolo says, today is the feast day of the dual patrons of this blog, the Saints Crispin and Crispian, the saintly shoemakers, and the Manolo’s own objects of personal devotion, as recounted in the Manolo’s brief work, the Consolation of the Shoes.

And now, after the lighting of the devotional candles, it is time for our annual recitation of The Shoemakers, the greatest of the poems of John Greenleaf Whittier (himself, briefly the shoemaker).

Ho! workers of the old time styled
The Gentle Craft of Leather
Young brothers of the ancient guild,
Stand forth once more together!
Call out again your long array,
In the olden merry manner
Once more, on gay St. Crispin’s day,
Fling out your blazoned banner!

Rap, rap! upon the well-worn stone
How falls the polished hammer
Rap, rap! the measured sound has grown
A quick and merry clamor.
Now shape the sole! now deftly curl
The glossy vamp around it,
And bless the while the bright-eyed girl
Whose gentle fingers bound it!

For you, along the Spanish main
A hundred keels are ploughing;
For you, the Indian on the plain
His lasso-coil is throwing;
For you, deep glens with hemlock dark
The woodman’s fire is lighting;
For you, upon the oak’s gray bark,
The woodman’s axe is smiting.

For you, from Carolina’s pine
The rosin-gum is stealing;
For you, the dark-eyed Florentine
Her silken skein is reeling;
For you, the dizzy goatherd roams
His rugged Alpine ledges;
For you, round all her shepherd homes,
Bloom England’s thorny hedges.

The foremost still, by day or night,
On moated mound or heather,
Where’er the need of trampled right
Brought toiling men together;
Where the free burghers from the wall
Defied the mail-clad master,
Than yours, at Freedom’s trumpet-call,
No craftsmen rallied faster.

Let foplings sneer, let fools deride,
Ye heed no idle scorner;
Free hands and hearts are still your pride,
And duty done, your honor.
Ye dare to trust, for honest fame,
The jury Time empanels,
And leave to truth each noble name
Which glorifies your annals.

Thy songs, Hans Sachs, are living yet,
In strong and hearty German;
And Bloomfield’s lay, and Gifford’s wit,
And patriot fame of Sherman;
Still from his book, a mystic seer,
The soul of Behmen teaches,
And England’s priestcraft shakes to hear
Of Fox’s leathern breeches.

The foot is yours; where’er it falls,
It treads your well-wrought leather,
On earthen floor, in marble halls,
On carpet, or on heather.
Still there the sweetest charm is found
Of matron grace or vestal’s,
As Hebe’s foot bore nectar round
Among the old celestials.

Rap, rap!–your stout and bluff brogan,
With footsteps slow and weary,
May wander where the sky’s blue span
Shuts down upon the prairie.
On Beauty’s foot your slippers glance,
By Saratoga’s fountains,
Or twinkle down the summer dance
Beneath the Crystal Mountains!

The red brick to the mason’s hand,
The brown earth to the tiller’s,
The shoe in yours shall wealth command,
Like fairy Cinderella’s!
As they who shunned the household maid
Beheld the crown upon her,
So all shall see your toil repaid
With hearth and home and honor.

Then let the toast be freely quaffed,
In water cool and brimming,–
“All honor to the good old Craft,
Its merry men and women!”
Call out again your long array,
In the old time’s pleasant manner
Once more, on gay St. Crispin’s day,
Fling out his blazoned banner!

Finally, scenes of the Gentle Craft, as practiced at the atelier of Louis Vuitton.

46 Is Not What It Used to Be…

46 Years Old

Manolo says, and for that we should be thankful.

Perhaps it is the power of the modern multivitamins, or has the makeup gotten so much better over the past 40 years? Maybe it is the old-lady hairdos, or are we taking better care of ourselves?

Whatever it is, most of the 46-year-old ladies of the Manolo’s current acquaintance look much, much better than this.

Manolo the Columnist: Tennis Elastique from Bensimon

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

Dear Manolo,

I would like to find some black sneakers that I can walk and do tai chi in, yet still convey a modicum of chic. Is it possible to be chic in sneakers?

Katie

Manolo says, the Manolo tried the tai chi once, and indeed and found it to be pleasantly revivifying, what with the sugar, and the milk, and the cardamom.

Oh, wait. Perhaps that was the chai tea.

Well, whatever. The healthful cup of tea and the brisk strolling along the boulevards of the city are about as far as the Manolo is willing to go in the way of the exotic health regimes. Certainly, he would never spend the hour in the park moving ponderously from the “Distended Crane” to the
“Perturbed Ostrich” pose, and back again.

But, to each her own, yes? And if the Manolo’s friend, and millions of Chinese grannies, find such things to be helpful, than who is the Manolo to object to them?

As for the sneaker chic, the Manolo would send his friend to the country that invented the chic, or at least the word “chic”, France.

Here in black is the Tennis Elastique from Bensimon, the classic tennis shoe of French ladies, now available in the United States from the Bensimon website. There you will find the lace-up version, and the much wider range of colors.

Bensimon Elastique Tennis Flats

Whose Shoes Wednesday…The Answer

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Janet Leigh shoes

Manolo answers, it is the Janet Leigh!

This week, none of the Manolo’s internet friends was able to identify the famous celebrity personage of note.

Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?

Seven Years of Shoeblogging: The Anniversary of the Manolo

Manolo says, on this day, in year 2004, the Manolo started his humble shoe blog.

Manolo Blahnik Carolyne Pump

Seven years? Who could have imagined that the Manolo would still be here after all these years?

So much has changed since the beginning, from the growth of the fashion blogosphere, to the democratization of the fashion reportage and criticism, to the commercial triumph of the corporate blogs, all of it visible from this odd little quarter of the interwebs.

And yet, here is the Manolo, still sharing his love of the shoes, still trying to make his friends laugh.

And through it all, this has been the Manolo’s greatest reward, to know that he has been able to bring the small measure of pleasure to to his internet friends, and that they have responded to him with love. And for this the Manolo will always be most grateful.

You are most super fantastic, indeed, dear internet friends!

Manolo the Columnist: Aprelle from Ugg

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

Dear Manolo,

In mid-November, I’m attending a wedding in Montreal. I’ve already got my shoes for the ceremony and the reception picked out, however, I need something both stylish and warm to wear around town, while I’m there. What do you suggest?

Meryl

Manolo says, the last time the Manolo visited Quebec, it was the few years ago, in the February, when the weather was clear, beautiful and freezingly cold, with the outside temperature hovering somewhere around seven thousand degrees below zero.

Of the course, this did not dissuade the Quebecois from racing their mobiles of snow through the woods at all hours of the day, wide-open throttle in one hand, semi-frozen Molsen beer in the other.

But such hardy outdoor pastimes are not for the Manolo. who, like the iguana, is the warm weather creature, one which prefers basking himself on the rock in the sun to having parts of his nose fall off from the icy bite of Señor Jack Frost.

But, to each his own, eh? Far be it from the Manolo to suggest that people who race snowmobiles and voluntarily eat the cheese-curd-gravy-and-french-fried dish known as poutine may in some way be slightly off.

Here is the Aprelle from Ugg, the wedge-heeled shearling boot that will keep you looking good and feeling warm until spring.

Aprelle from Ugg

Whose Shoes Wednesday…The Answer!

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Annie Lennox Shoes

Manolo answers, it is the Annie Lennox!

Sadly, this week, none of the Manolo’s internet friends were able to identify this chameleonic personage of note.

Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?

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