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Manolo the Columnist: Varina from Salvatore Ferragamo

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


Dear Manolo,

As I have matured (I am now in my 40s) I have developed foot problems that hinder me from wearing cute shoes (& I don’t mean just heels, but cute flats as well). I am hoping you can recommend/help me find a pair of cute ballet flats (in a neutral summery color; perhaps something metallic) that can accommodate wide feet that need a lot of support (think bunions & arthritis) & will go well with skirts & tapered pants.

DC Walker

Manolo says, it is the same sad story, as one grows into the age of maturity, the infirmities begin to pile up, leaving us less and less capable of doing the things that we once did so effortlessly. When you were 23, you thought nothing of stuffing your feets into the too-small, hot-pink, stiletto-heeled pumps and spending hours of getting down to the boogie sounds at the disco.

Yes, the next day there were blisters aplenty, but they were the small and temporary price to you gladly paid, so happy to be young and out on the town.

But now that you are 43, your nights on the town are considerably less rambunctious. Certainly, you would be more than willing to cut the rug, if the rug was not so insistent on cutting you back, and so, instead of the disco round, it is the Ground Round and the latest Adam Sandler movie with your date Larry, the actuary who lives with his mother in the two-bedroom brick duplex in Bethesda, and whom you met on the internet forum for cat fanciers.

Here is the Varina ballerina from Salvatore Ferragamo, in the dusky gold, and available in the wider widths. This is the classic, well-ade shoe with the good structure and excellent support.
Varina Ballerina from Salvatore Ferragamo

Manolo the Columnist: Adeena from B. Brian Atwood

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

Dear Manolo,

After four long years, and countless thousands of dollars, I’ve almost managed to graduate from college. Now, with two weeks left until the big day, I don’t know what shoes I should wear. A lot of girls go for high heels, but I’m afraid of falling on my face. What do you recommend?

Jacqueline

Manolo says, ayyyyy! Many felicitous congratulations to all of the Manolo’s friends who are graduating this year from the various institutions (educational, religious, penal) in which they have been immured these many years.

To finally leave the school after so long is the alternately liberating and terrifying experience. Your days have been held captive to the calendar of education, your nights to the rituals of studying in the library and chugging from the kegs.

Now you must make your own way in the world, with nothing more than your double major in interpretive dance and French literature and the hearty good wishes of the people at the student loan guarantee agency to speed you on your way. But you are determined to succeed, and are certain that your internship at the Committee to Save the Himalayan Hummingbird has given you good experience in such in-demand fields as photocopying, envelope-stuffing, and frappuccino-fetching. Ayyyy! The world, it is indeed your oyster!

Look! Here is the Adeena from the B. Brian Atwood, the flat ankle-strap D’Orsay flat in the silver color with the perforated floral pattern which will help you stand out from the crowd.

Adeena from Brian Atwood

Manolo the Columnist: Lillit from Loeffler Randall

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

Dear Manolo,

After yet another disastrous romance with a handsome but loutish young man, I’ve decided to swear off dating for the next few weeks. To see me through this cleansing ordeal, and to prepare me for the eventual arrival of the next Prince Almost-Charming, can you please suggest some shoes that will cheer me up?

Alexis

Manolo says, yes it is true what they say, men are from Mars and women are from Neiman Marcus! For the man, the typical reaction to the romantic rejection is to go out with the backslapping buddies, have the beer or twelve, and try again with the next young woman who flounces into view.

For the typical woman, however, the best reaction is to go on the shopping spree, something of which the Manolo wholeheartedly approves. After all, is it not better to fall in love with the perfect pair of super fantastic new shoes, than to sit at home on the beanbag chair, chugging down the endless pints of Caramel-Choco-Chunk-Banana-Nut Buddy ice cream, while weeping into your Twitter account? (Not that there is anything wrong with the ice cream, but as with all mind-altering substances it is best used in moderation.)

As for what sort of shoes would be best for alleviating the pain of the chronic Disappointment in Love Syndrome, the Manolo thinks these bright blue kittenish heeled sandals, the Lillit from the Loeffler Randall will act as the mild anti-depressive antidote to what ails you.

Lillit Sandal from Loeffler Randall

Manolo the Columnist: Vagibu by Manolo Blahnik

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

Dear Manolo

Spring has sprung and my thoughts are turning to a sexy-but-not-too-bare cage sandal (bootie). I’d like to find something in a bronze or gold, but would consider beige as well. The problem is, most have heels 4″ or more, and I can’t go over 3″. Help!

Kelly

Manolo says, ayyyy! This is one of those insoluble questions, of the sort that the Manolo occasionally receives from his many friends.

“Manolo, can you find me the pair of super-sexy, strappy comfort sandals in which I may climb the Mountain of Kilimanjaro? I should mention that afterwards there will be the reception at the Palace of Buckingham where my fiancé, whom I shall refer to by the initials Prince H., will introduce me to his grandparents, so it would be good if these shoes were made of the stain-resistant, micro-fiber unobtainium in the color such lavender or peach, as I will not have enough time in the helicopter to change. Also, I am somewhat budget conscious, so if it is possible, could we keep the price under $17?”

Actually, the question of the Kelly is not so bad. It is difficult because the cage sandals are the latest iteration of “the sexy ‘it’ shoe”, and the “sexy ‘it’ shoe” always requires the high heel. The cage sandals are not meant to be practical, they are meant to say “this women is so bursting with sexiness that her very feets must be constrained by her shoe, lest they wreak havoc on the unaccompanied PGA golfers and Silicon Valley billionaires.”

Here is the Vagibu Cage Sandals from the maestro Manolo Blahnik. It has the four-inch heel and is wildly expensive. But, even if you cannot wear it or afford it, it is still most beautiful to look at, no?

Blahnik Vagibu Cage Sandals

Manolo the Columnist: Red Carpet Kelli from E! Live

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

Dear Manolo,

My junior prom is coming up, and I’ve decided that rather than look like a Disney fairy princess or a high-class prostitute I want to try to be more elegant and restrained in a little black dress that’s not too short. I need some shoes that add color, and because I’m in high school so money is an issue.

Sophie

Manolo says, ayyyy! How well the Manolo remembers his own high school prom at the Our Lady of the Flaming Spleen Country Day School (whose motto remains “The wrathful word turneth away evil”). As expected the Manolo turned out in his finest finery, the frock coat, striped trousers, silken waistcoat, top hat, spats and his finest walking stick, which, the truth be told, was not that different from what he normally wore to school each day.

Because the Manolo was the fashion reporter for the school newspaper, it was his job to stand on the red carpet and interview the most splendiferous couples as they arrived in the rented limousines, dressed in the ill-fitting tuxedos and polyester hoochie-mama gowns.

“Ayyy! You look fabulous darling. Who is this you are wearing? Fernando of Tulsa? It is smashing, this combination of rhinestones and pink rayon!”

Here is the Red Carpet Kelli from the E! Live, in the gold metallic that will enliven the simple black dress in the exactly correct way to distinguish one from the crowd.

Red Carpet Kelli

Up All Night to Get Lucky

Manolo says, because, sometimes, even the Russians are amusing.

Manolo the Columnist: Salsa from Badgley Mischka

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

Dear Manolo,

I am getting married in four weeks and I would love to have my “something blue” be my shoes but have been unable to find anything. Do you have any suggestions? I should mention that I’m already way over budget, so something not overly expensive would be best.

Diana

Manolo says, frankly, the Manolo finds his friend Diana’s insouciance about her wedding shoes the refreshing change from the usual bridal missives the Manolo receives, many which begin, “Manolo, there are only thirteen months until the big day, and I am frantic…”

Too often the preparation for the wedding day has become like the military campaign, as the ravening hordes of planners, designers, decorators and their camp followers fan out across the countryside, stripping it bare of its resources and plundering the parental bank accounts. This is why, at their approach, the sensible peoples take refuge behind the stout walls and stiff drinks, fighting the defensive battle to keep control of one’s sanity and purse. But too often, the battlements are stormed, and the forces of moderation are overwhelmed by the silk taffeta dresses from the big name designers and the surf and turf at $95 the plate.

This is why the Manolo is always glad to hear from the people who are not caught in the grip of wedding war fever, baying for expensive blood from the turnip. And which is why the Manolo is happy to recommend the Salsa from the Badgley Mischka in the light blue satin color called “glacier”.

Salsa from Badgley Mischka

Manolo the Columnist: Carina from Castañer

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

Dear Manolo,

I’ve got a destination beach wedding to go to soonish, and I was wondering if you could recommend any close-toed, preferably close-heeled, wedge espadrilles that aren’t too expensive and could be worn to a company picnic or a night on the town? Or, in the alternative, any other close-toed, close-heeled shoe that can survive a couple hours of sand and seawater and isn’t a Croc? Because I just don’t do sandals, and I refuse to let the sand ruin my nice work shoes.

Mary

Manolo says, ayyy! It is the same old dilemma! Soonish, the beach wedding at the destination will be upon us, and we shall be compelled by convention and custom to uncover our unsightly toes — toes that look as if they should be attended to by the emergency team of large animal veterinarians, armed with the stout rasps and the industrial hedge clippers—the uncovering of which will cause the other guests, such as the teeny flower girls and the elderly aunts, to cry out and recoil in horror, and after which we shall be forever known as the guests who, quote, “ruined Madison and Kyle’s wedding in Panama City with their toes.”

But, we have devised the clever plan to avoid that embarrassing eventuality. We shall locate the espadrilles with the wedge heel which will cover our gnarly secret shame and render their power to destroy the random social events inert.

It is foolproof!

Look! Here, from the Spanish company Castañer is the Carina, the simple and attractive wedge-heel espadrille. It is available in the variety of happy colors at their website. The Manolo prefer the yellow for the beach.

Carina from Castaner

Have A Nice Day

Manolo says, because the Japanese are amusing!

Manolo the Columnist: Macee from Sigerson Morrison

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

Dear Manolo,

Over the past fourteen months I’ve lost nearly 90 pounds, and have finally reached my goal weight. I’m going to reward myself now with a new sexier wardrobe, and, of course, a new pair of shoes. Please help me find something suitable for the new me.

Erin

Manolo says, ayyyy! Congratulations on this significant achievement. The Manolo indeed knows how difficult it is to fight (and lose) the Battle of the Bulging Spare Tire Around the Middle Parts of The Body.

Sadly, the Manolo has not only been genetically cursed with the un-svelte body of Falstaffian proportions, but he has long had the robust and epicurean appetites, meaning that he enjoys the double helpings of his stuffed doormouses and honeyed hummingbird tongues, often with the cream sauce. Worse, far worse, the Manolo’s idea of exercise is the languorous stroll around the farmer’s market, and the vigorous sipping of Kir Royales at the sidewalk café, followed by the afternoon nap, the set of activities he refers to as “crosstraining”.

This is why when the Manolo has gone on the diet, he has often sought out the role models, the person whose body the Manolo wishes he had. Of course, the Manolo will never be as thin, or as buff as the Hollywood star. Thus, at moment, his current “thinspiration” is Henry VIII, whom the Manolo considers to have the achievable body type.

Here is the Macee from the Sigerson Morrison, the sexy, cutout suede peep-toe booty in the black, perfect for the new you!
Macee-Sigerson-Morrison

Manolo the Columnist: Demi from Coach

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

Dear Manolo,

Can you recommend a pair of office-suitable flats for the impoverished working girl who’s just started her first job?

Erika

Manolo says, as always the Manolo gives the same advice, to not purchase the cheap shoes of suffering and pain, made from the dubious petroleum-and-asbestos-based products that is advertised as being “leather-like”, but to save the moneys and invest them in the high quality shoes of great comfort and super fantasticness. For it is the well-known fact that beautiful shoes that are well-made and fit properly will make you stand up straighter and feel more confident, which will, in the turn, make your bosses recognize you as someone with whom to be reckoned.

And yet, how well the Manolo knows what it is like to be the impoverished young working person. Indeed, when the Manolo began his career in the shoe industry, so many years ago, as the eleven-year-old Second Assistant Shoeshine Boy in the shop of the Mercurio Albornoz y Bahamonde, he was paid in empty aluminum cans, lunchroom leftovers, and whatever spare change fell from the pockets of the customers. (Oh, you should have seen the magnificent scramble whenever the 100-peseta coin struck the ground!)

Thus, the Manolo sympathizes with his friends who find themselves working for The Man for wages that would not support the pigeon who lived rough in the park. Here is the Demi from Coach, the two-toned ballet flat which is on the sale for $99!

demi-from-coach

Manolo the Columnist: Laurance Cage Sandals from Christians Louboutin

Dear Manolo,

Not only is weather here abominable, but worse my boyfriend won’t be able to get back from Atlanta in time for Valentine’s Day. Can you please, please suggest some shoes that will cheer me up.

Monica

Manolo says, just the mere two weeks ago, the Manolo was mocking the apocalyptic prognostications of the weather people, and now, ayyyyy! The real Snowpocalypse his finally here! And now, the Manolo is regretting his insouciance.

Although, one must admit that it that the current situation is very much like the fairy tale of the Weatherboy who cried Winter Storm Wolf. If every little flurry of flakes is greeted with the shouts of panicked trepidation, then when the real storms of ice arrive we all be out on the roads, where we will encounter the fellow drivers who have only recently arrived from exotic places such as Equatorial Guinea and Miami, where ice is merely theoretical.

At that point, after you have abandoned your car in the ditch along side the road and are trudging home through three miles of ice and snow in your flip-flops, because you had rushed out at the last minute to buy the extra feathers for your down comforter, you will be drawing up elaborate plans of revenge on the entire class of weather people, involving ice floes, arctic seas and the hungry, hungry polar bears.

Look! Here is the Laurence leather cage, lace-up sandals from the Christian Louboutin, in the beautiful riviera blue, because, of the course, the French Riviera is where you would rather be.

Laurance Cage Sandals from Louboutin

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