Archive for September, 2012


Manolo the Columnist: Angelfish from Sperry

Friday, September 14th, 2012
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

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

Dear Manolo,

I have been invited to spend a weekend on a yacht off the coast of South Florida at the end of September, with my boss, my boss’ boss, a senior figure at a key client, and their spouses/significant others. I am the most junior of the group at age 26. Please help me find a Sperry-esque shoe that meets the rules of the boat (must have non-marking soles, preferably with some grip), and will demonstrate that I am a serious professional, yet still celebrates my (relative) youth.

Lu

Manolo say, thanks to the steady diet of popular entertainment, this sounds to the Manolo like the set up to either the sinister thriller, involving volcanic island lairs and jump-suited henchmen, or the slapstick comedy of errors in which our heroine must conceal that she has accidentally dropped the big shot client’s wife’s obnoxious Chihuahua-poo over the side of the boat, thus endangering the important contract. And now, for the rest of the movie, she has to make up the increasingly elaborate excuses for the missing dog, while her wacky coworker (and best friend) hides in the cabin making the yapping noises.

Of the course, if your imagination is set at the expert level, this is actually the set up for the sinister comedy action thriller of errors, in which it is the dog belongs to the evil super villain who owns the super luxury yacht on which you are vacationing.

Here is the Anglefish from Sperry, the feminized version of the classic boat shoe in the platinum gold metallic finish. (If you feel this is too bold for Dr. Morbo’s yacht, The Yersinia Pestis, it is available in twenty other finishes, including the handsome linen and oat.)

Angelfish from Sperry


Beautiful and Rare

Thursday, September 13th, 2012
By Miss Plumcake

 

…and each one is at least 70% off some seriously hefty (as in $1000+) price tags.

These five unique offerings are available in extremely limited sizes, but if they’re your size and your style, you’re in luck.


Salvatore Ferragamo Berg sculpted wedge sandal
The question is not are they too Bianca Jagger; it’s are they Bianca Jagger *enough*?

The sculpted precision of the cut-out keeps these bisque suede wedges from being just another pair of campy kicks. For an absolutely horrible variation on the curvilinear theme hop on over to the other blog to play Is It A Shoe? Hint: I don’t really think it’s a shoe.


Ralph Lauren Collection Hannie riding boot
I don’t know who’s doing the accessories behind good ol’ Ralphie Lipschitz these days, but they knocked this one out of the park. Ralph Lauren Goes Horsey is Ralph Lauren at his best. I’m also pretty sure it’s the name of a mail-order-only DVD that comes in discreet brown packaging.


Ralph Lauren Collection Jearra t-strap sandal
I love vachetta leather the way nicer, less interesting people love their kids. Traditionally you’d have to wait for time and the elements to give your vachetta its characteristic patina, but it looks like the clever calzolai in Lauren’s Italian workshop have not just tooled the quarter and the platform but treated it, too.

(more…)


Whose Shoes Wednesday…The Answer!

Thursday, September 13th, 2012
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo asked, whose shoe?

Kristen Chenoweth Shoes

Manolo answers, it is the Kristin Chenoweth!

Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friend, the Carole, who was the first to correctly guess this week’s celebrity personage of note.


Whose Shoes Wednesday

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo asks, whose shoes?


What Miss Plumcake is…

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
By Miss Plumcake

It’s Tuesday, time to find out What Miss Plumcake is…

(more…)


Manolo’s Monday Miscellany

Monday, September 10th, 2012
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, here are the few amusing things…

Bell Polisher = A young man addicted to lingering in the vestibule at 1 a.m.
.
They concern themselves entirely too much with making a huge splash, and not enough about the feelings of the person they wish to propose marriage to.
.
Women with larger busts and long or short torsos may find that high waistlines emphasize these features. Some will love that, some will hate it, some will be neutral …


Manolo the Columnist: York from Michael by Michael Kors

Friday, September 7th, 2012
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

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


Dear Manolo,

I think I need a pair of new booties to go with my pink skinny jeans. What do you recommend?

Karis

Manolo says, yes, it is true, colorful panting— pink, green, yellow, red— is all the rage among the hipsters, fashionistas, and style setters. In fact the trend is so ubiquitous, that it is probably actually out, and we have just not gotten the news yet.

But such is always the way when one chases to the trends, no?

One minute, everyone in the world is laying down on their beds desperately trying to squeeze into the Gloria Vanderbilt, super-slim-fit designer disco jeans, and the next it is all “Come on Eileen”, and now you have to go down to the hardware store and buy the overalls and bandanas so as to achieve that sexy-retro-junky-hobo-gamine look that was so popular in the summer of 1983. But as soon as you button up your Big Smith’s and started to look for someone to teach you to play the penny whistle, it was time for the “Girls Just Wanted to Have Fun”, and, well frankly, that whole Lauper-based period is best forgotten. (Your hair has only recently recovered from what you did to it then.)

Manolo says, fashion is overrated. Style is underrated. Be your own style icon!

Look! Here is the York bootie from Michael by Michael Kors, the platform ankle bootie that is trendy-hot in the purple (which the Manolo loves) and more timeless in the conservative black version.

York from Micheal by Micheal Kors


Fab Four: Green Suede Shoes (and how to clean them)

Thursday, September 6th, 2012
By Miss Plumcake

In the spirit of full disclosure, the Venn Diagram of “People Who Think Spangled and Be-Caped Polyester Jumpsuits Are a Good Idea” and “People from Whom Miss Plumcake Takes Sartorial Advice” does not see a great deal of overlapping.

Still, as both Elvis and Carl Perkins –the artist responsible for writing the seminal rockabilly classic– know, there’s just something about a good pair of suede shoes.

Blue is fine if a little expected, but greens from dusky olive to deep viridian are having a major moment this fall. Plus, green suede ages better blue does, where a bit of dirt and scuffing add to the character.

A little Annie Hall, a little Jules et Jim, these immaculate oxfords from Gravati (seriously, look at the soles, they are works of art) are the exact sort of shoe you didn’t know you needed until you find yourself wearing them for thirty years. Style it with rolled up jeans and a bateau-neck top for the kooky naif look, or go elegant with wide tailored trousers and a mercilessly chic cashmere sweater to channel Marlene Dietrich at her deadliest.

The iconic Alexander McQueen skull pump rarely goes on sale and this iteration is among the more elegant (the shark, I’m afraid, was jumped a good while ago with some of the late designer’s other iconic designs. See also, Marc Jacobs’ mouse shoe). Sizing is extremely limited, but if it fits your foot, you can get a signature shoe for over 50% off.

For something just as sexy but a little more sly, Robert Clergerie’s curvaceous Quatro in Basil is a lovely sample of a desk-to-dinner heel. The t-strap makes it perfect for dancing. In my experience, Clergerie cuts on a narrow last –it’s truth universally acknowledged that French women have skinny little banana feet– so size accordingly.

What do you wear to transition summer’s favorite maxi dresses into fall? A summer cut in an autumnal fabrication. The wallet-friendly Primrose from Seychelles fits the bill perfectly with a strong design element at the vamp that ascends higher up the throatline for a slightly less summery look. Even better, they’re on sale for 25% off.

Finally, I know people avoid suede because of the staining. I wouldn’t.

With use, suede develops a patina every bit as elegant as the crumpled lines of a linen pant. Buy them in neutrals and do your best to keep them away from oils –basically don’t fry chicken or perform automotive maintenance in them– and you’ll be good to go.

Oh, and as for maintenance: Ignore pretty much everything you’ve read on the internet on how to clean suede and listen to the advice from London custom shoemakers James Taylor and Son. They’ve been making bespoke footwear since 1857 and wouldn’t steer you wrong.


The Hillary Clinton Pantsuit Rainbow

Thursday, September 6th, 2012
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

The Hillary Clinton Pantsuit Rainbow

Manolo says, it is the the kandy-kolored tangerine-flake streamline Secretary of State!


Whose Shoes Wednesday…The Answer!

Thursday, September 6th, 2012
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Hillary Clintons Shoes

Manolo answers, it is the Hillary Clinton!

Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friend, the Lanzarote, who was the first to correctly identify this week’s bepantsuited celebrity politician of note.


Whose Shoes Wednesday

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo asks, whose shoes?


Meet Miss Plumcake

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
By Miss Plumcake

To begin at the beginning.

Wait, no, that’s a little too much Dylan Thomas for the first day back after a long weekend, but it’s as good a place as any to start. Like Dylan Thomas, I am a writer full of whisky and Welsh blood, though not in such high concentrations. Unlike Dylan Thomas, I am both alive and sober, though it’s not quite noon and I’ve yet to make plans for the day.

I’m Miss Plumcake, writer, editor and long-suffering troll starvation expert at Manolo for the Big Girl.

Lured by the siren songs of lithe footballers, cheap wine and easily-obtained pharmaceuticals, I left my newspaper job in Austin, Texas for the hidden beaches of Mexico where I reside in occasionally sunburned splendor with my dog and my boyfriend.

The Manolo, in his infinite kindness and unerring good taste, has invited me to post here twice a week, and I –not being half so dumb as I look– hastily accepted.

That leaves me with the problem of introducing myself.

I think most introductions are a mistake because they start too well.

If you start out with “This is Miss Plumcake, she won the Nobel Prize in Physics” (which I haven’t, although I did pack for two weeks in Ireland using nothing but my Birkin and a cream alligator overnight bag) the bar is set prohibitively high.

On the other hand, if you start out with “This is Miss Plumcake, she was dropped on her head repeatedly as a child” people will be impressed and amazed at my ability to tie my shoes and conjugate verbs. Everybody wins.

With that in mind, here is an extremely abbreviated history of my questionable decisions:

  • I wore Wet n’ Wild screaming purple lipstick all through 8th grade. Mrs Cheeseman told me it didn’t go with my complexion. Mrs Cheeseman also made us wrap masking tape around our fingers and pick lint off her skirt, so it’s not like her judgement was flawless either.

not going to happen

  • I was much older than I’d like to admit before I realized my first crush –that freckled cartoon Norwegian from A-Ha’s Take On Me video– would probably not come to fruition. See Also: getting to marry Axl Rose in a mullet wedding gown a la Stephanie Seymour (filed under Bullet, Dodged)
  • I not only bought, but unironically wore a gold lamé toreador outfit, complete with black satin stretch capris and bugle beads. The nineties were a dark time. A dark, dark, glittery time.
  • I accidentally set the oldest Episcopal church west of the Mississippi on fire ten days before Christmas (it’s okay now.)
  • I just bought a pair of white shoes…AFTER Labor Day

(the oddly-named Stuart Weitzman “Geek” available for almost 40% off)












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