N.B. In honor of the Manolo’s eight years of shoeblogging, here is one of the Manolo’s most favorite posts from the past, from October 20, 2008.
Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back in your office wrestling with the copy machine, and the fax machine, and your computer, and the mail machine, all of which are attempting to sabotage–with persistent paper jams and inexplicable malfunctions–your effort to complete one of the most important projects of your career. .
And now, the stapler on your desk (Swingline, 747 Classic in red) is looking funny at you, and you are wondering “What did I do to deserve this?” And so you call the tech support guys.
Oh, gosh darn it, you got Creepy Greg, the one everybody is wary of, not Nice Greg, the one everyone trusts. But, what can you do? You are desperate and need help right now, and so you tell Creepy Greg about the problems, and he replies with something unexpected.
“You have to propitiate the God of Office Machines.”
“Photocopicus, he demands an offering.”
“Photocopicus, dammit! Photocopicus! He needs a sacrifice. Grab some paperclips and go to the storage closet in the copier room. We’ve got a small altar there. Bow your head, state your desires, and leave the paperclips as an offering.”
“What? Can you have the other Greg call me?”
“He’ll tell you the same thing, dammit. Just do it, alright? Just do it. Trust me it’ll work.” And then he hangs up.
And now you are certain that you are part of the elaborate practical joke, but you are desperate, very, very desperate. And so, even though you are the Methodist, you grab the box of paperclips from your desk drawer and you go to the copier room, and there, in the closet, just as Creepy Greg said, there is the tiny gilded bronze replica of the photocopier, the Canon 330d, with the words “Photocopicus, God of Office Machines” engraved on the base. Around the idol are scattered paper clips, erasers, rollerball pens, and elaborately-folded origami sticky notes, colored in fanciful ways with highlighters.
Following instructions, and feeling more than the little ridiculous, you bow your head and ask Photocopicus to aid you in the completion of your presentation. And then you leave six paperclips, hoping that it is the correct number.
Two hours later, after you have successfully finished your presentation without incident, the phone rings, and it is Nice Greg, the tech guy everyone likes.
“So, did it work?”
“Um, yes, I think so.”
“Good.” And then he hangs up, leaving you feeling like you’re living in the middle of the Charlie Kaufman movie.
You know what you need now to erase that feeling of unheimlichkeit? Shoes, good old dependable, concrete, wonderful, never-let-us-down shoes.
Look, here are the marvelously real, wonderfully pretty Sigerson Morrison suede skimmers.
Manolo says, on this day eight years ago, October 16th, 2004, the Manolo began his earthly mission of bringing the beauty and magic of the shoes to the internets.
And now, nearly the decade later, the world has changed, and beautiful shoes are everywhere, all over of the internets, the shops, the runways, and the streets. Shoes have been finally and universally recognized as the greatest and bestest fashion accessory of all time.
To put it more plainly: We are living in the Golden Ages of Shoes.
What joy it gives the Manolo to know that he has done his small, tiny part in helping bring to about this apotheosis.
Most of all, however, on this happy day, the anniversary of the shoeblogging, what joy it gives the Manolo to know that he has made so many dear internet friends over the years, friends who have provided him with their attention and affection and support.
The Manolo, who could never fully express the deep gratitude he feels, can only say, dear readers, you are indeed most super fantastic!
Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
Can you recommend a shoe that’s comfortable enough for my half-hour metro ride and fifteen minute walk to work, but still classy enough to wear in the office?
Manolo says, ayyy! It is the eternal working girl question: the shoes in which you will strut around the place of employment in your semi-offical role as the Office Fashion Plate are not comfortable enough for the commuting back and forth from your home on the public transportation.
It is ture, that for as long as the women have gone to the place of work outside the home, this problem has been with us.
Indeed, the Melanie Griffith’s hit movie Working Girl, which appeared more than 25 years ago, prominently featured scenes of our heroine commuting back and forth from the Staten Island in tennis shoes, with socks wore over her pantyhose.
But, the Manolo actually suspects that if one looked into the ancient fashion records one would find that the 1920s secretaries complained about not finding shoes that were suitable for both riding on the omnibus and taking stenography from that young Victrola salesman who looked like Rudy Valleé.
Happily, the Manolo can report that shoe technology seems to have advanced moderately from the days of the Thoroughly Modern Millie. Here is the Moscow, the attractive stacked heel pump from Ecco, the company that specializes in making comfortable shoes that do not look as if they were meant for Thoroughly Ancient Millie.
Manolo says, the Manolo’s smarty-smart friend the Virginia Postrel has posted at her Deep Glamour blog the interview the Manolo did with her the few months back, talking about the transformative magic inherent in the shoes.
Here is the excerpt to whet your appetite.
Q: Why are people so interested in shoes?
Because shoes have magic in them. Our fairy tales are filled with stories of fantasy shoes: glass slippers, hundred league boots, ruby slippers, shoes in which old women reside, boots for sword fighting cats, shoes made by elvish cobblers at night, red ballet shoes which cause the wearer to dance incessantly, and on, and on.
Every child knows that shoes are magic. It is one of the first things you learn. Shoes are magic.
To be barefeeted in literature and in life is to be the pitiable creature. To have the shoes, even the most humble, is to be the person of some substance. When you put on the pair of the beautiful, well-made shoes that fit, you are filled with satisfaction and contentment; you look better, you stand taller, and you are more confident. Thus shoes work transformative magic. We all know this to be true, because we have all experienced it ourselves.
Even our modern shoes, in which the magic is usually latent, can be frequently beautiful. And when we buy beautiful shoes we believe we can imbue ourselves with some of this beauty. Pants are pants. Dresses are dresses. But it is only with the shoes on our feet that we are fully dressed. The ball gown, no matter how beautiful, is not complete until the dancing shoes have been put on.
Manolo says, it is not the ball gown, no matter how beautiful, nor the pumpkin coach that makes Cinderella the princess, it is the magic shoes.
Shoes are magic.
But, now you must go read the whole interview.
Manolo says, it is Monday, and you are back at your desk doing that thing that you do to make that money that you need to keep the wolves away from the door.
Would that the rampaging wolf packs were your main concern.
Yes, if you live in the Montana, or the Wyoming, the wolf might occasionally, maybe, snatch up the unguarded toy poodle, or the haughty house cat (who probably had it coming), but even there the danger to your nuclear family and home is negligible. Although, certainly, most 21st century husbands, now reduced to the largely supernumerary functions, such as 3,000 mile oil changes and ordering new aluminum siding, would relish the chance to reassert their Viking bona fides by driving off the pack of wolves while armed with nothing more than the large stick and the AR-15.
Ayyy! Such is the stuff of suburban male fantasy! But, thanks to modern high-powered cartridges and infrared scopes, our ancient and noble canine vermin are easily kept at bay.
Unfortunately, modern vermin are not so easily dissuaded from their depredations. Indeed, between the tax collector, the bank, the politician, and the nice man at the gas station who, where this 18th century, would be standing the the side of the road wearing the mask and holding the brace of pistols, you have never been more beset on all sides.
And this says nothing about the various indignities foisted upon you at the place of the work, where your immediate supervisor, Mr. Potiphar, has earned the well deserved reputation as the slave driver.
But, what can you do? When has life not been the struggle? When have the metaphoric wolves not been at the non-metaphoric door?
Look! Beautiful and sophisticated booties!
This is the Diaz Leather Ankle Boot from Maestro Manolo Blahnik, the sort of shoe that heralds the coming winter with style and seriousness.
Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
I have a trip coming up in November to New York! I will be singing with a number of choirs in the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center and after our performance we have a gala to attend. I am planning on finding a little black dress to wear for the event, but I could really use some advice on some great heels to go with it. Any suggestions!
Manolo says, how do you get to the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center? Practice, practice, practice.
Yes, it is the old joke, but it is funny because being the good chorister is the difficult thing to master, relying as it does upon both the hours and the hours of practice, and the unusual combination of the personal traits.
Firstly, you have to be the good enough singer to qualify to carry the tune. Unless you are exceptional, it is unlikely that your famous rendition of “The Unchained Melody”, in which you hit all of the high notes flawlessly, will sound quite as good when not accompanied by water shooting out of your showerhead.
Secondly, your ego must not be overweening, making you think that every solo should be yours. Indeed, you must be humble enough to recognize that, during certain times of the year, your entire vocal repertoire will consist of the word “Hallelujah” sung repeatedly until you are forever sick of it. (“Curse you George Frideric Handel!”)
Look! Here is the Jodi from Diane von Furstenberg, the suede platform sandal with just the right amount of celebratory gold.
Manolo asked, whose shoes?
Manolo answers, it is the Kate Moss!
Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friend, the Laura K, who was the first to correctly identify this week’s celebrity model person of note.
And now, please allow the Manolo to say that he has never really “gotten” the whole Kate Mossy thing.