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The Face of Villainy

Manolo says, the English archeological nabobs have made the facial reconstruction of the newly found bones of the Richard the 3, and not surprisingly he has the very shifty eyes….

Richard III

Richard III, shown without the hump.

Here is the close-up of the artist’s reconstruction.

Lord Farquaad

Definitely not the Lord Farquaad

The Continental

People say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. False. The road to Hell is paved in cobblestones, which means you can’t wear heels. That’s what makes it Hell.

When I first expatriated, I lived in a little village paved with the Devil’s bunions and it was a two mile walk to the restaurant that provided most of my sustenance. I walked eight miles a day that car-less summer. Heels were out of the question. I used bronze Roman sandals instead. After all, a girl must have some glamor.

Even when I had wheels, I still refused to risk a broken ankle –or worse, a scuffed heel– by wearing stilettos unless someone agreed to carry me bodily to my vehicle; a daunting task, especially if you’re not set up with the appropriate winches, pulleys and hydraulic jacks.

As luck would have it, I was the only woman in the village young enough not to know a time when mammoth was a nutritious part of your complete breakfast and I struck up a friendship with an enormous (and enormously smitten) former Golden Gloves boxer who bore a striking resemblance to Zeus, assuming Zeus was Latino and spent most of his life getting punched in the head for money.

Now I know I’m in a committed relationship and all, but seriously, if you’ve never tried Greek God as a mode of transportation, I highly commend it.

However, if you can’t find your own punch-drunk Olympian to haul you around your town like a sack of well-shod potatoes, never fear. The Continental heel is making a slow but steady return to fashion.

So wait, what is a Continental heel?

The Continental heel –pictured above lending its graceful curve to a pair of Robert Clergerie booties– is closely related and thus often confused with the Louis heel. Of course it doesn’t help that half the shoes labeled as a Louis heel are actually Continentals.

They’re both flared heels, that much is true.

However, a Louis heel has a height limit –a true Louis can’t be more than 3″ high.

See, good ol’ King Louis XIV of France was one of those pocket monarchs, so he took to wearing heels to give himself a 3″ boost. Then he forbade anyone to wear heels higher than his, because apparently that’s what you do when you’re king.

King Louis XIV of France, fresh off his fabulous Las Vegas revue, sporting a pair of Louis heels

A Louis heel also traditionally has a curved breast, meaning the front part of the heel –the part that faces the toe– tapers and flares the echo the back part. Continental heels have the same curved or tapered back, but the breast is flat or nearly so.

I think we’re due for a comeback of a thicker heel.

We had a few seasons where Prada was showing banana heels everywhere but it didn’t last. I’d really like to see a serious return to one of the original sculptural heels. They’re pretty, fresh-looking and –for my purposes anyway– infinitely easier to deploy on cobblestones. Not that I’ll be telling Zeus Golden Gloves that.


Fit Note:
Robert Clergerie runs pretty true to size for length, but designs for women with banana feet. If you’ve got narrow feet, you’re in luck. Everyone else, size up and pray.

What Miss Plumcake is…

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

(more…)

Washed Out = Washed Up

Manolo says, the other day, on the Facebook, the Manolo was complaining about the samey-sameness of most of the stylebloggers.

The Manolo must have looked at 20,000 style blogs over the past few days, some of them exceedingly popular, and all of them featuring the same clothes, the same poses, the same washed-out, overexposed style of photography.

Time for the change!

The Manolo decrees: the washed-out style photos are all washed up. Color is the new black!

Out = Identical style bloggers all obsessed with being part of the in crowd
In = Crazy girls who throw on the clothes they love and dare you to criticize them!

Above all else, what agitated the Manolo was the ubiquity of the washed-out, vintage-looking photos, photos that use the Instagram filter to excess, in every possible case.

To which the Manolo says, Death to the Instagram filter!

Happily, however, the trend appears to be abating. How does the Manolo know this? The latest Madonna video, “Turn Up The Radio,” …

P.S. No need to watch the entire tiresome affair. You will get the idea after the first ten seconds: Madonna suffers from soul-wrenching ennui, which she cures with random casual sex and bad pop music played loudly.

TED Conferences: Night School for the Self-Satisfied Rich

Manolo says, the Manolo recently learned that the tickets for the TED Conferences–which produce the YouTubes of the obscure middle-brow “thinkers” and pop-media savants flattering the ricos–cost $7,500 per person!

Thus, upon learning this, the Manolo put together this Venn diagram of the average TED Conference attendee…

Venn Diagram for the Average TED Conference Attendee

The intersection of wealth, self-satisfaction and inanity.

Things that Confuse the Manolo: Competitive Yoga

Unclear on the Concept: World Championship Yoga

Can you smell what the Downward Dog is cooking?

Manolo says, wah?

This international competition has made the noise of momentum, too, but just where it is heading is hard to predict. Will it become a sport recognized on the Olympic stage as Rajashree Choudhury, the founder of USA Yoga and the International Yoga Sports Federation, hopes? Or is it destined to remain a quirky transplant from India practiced by an exclusive set of Bikram yogis?

[...]

The event was held at the LAX Radisson, where the mirrored ballroom became a competitive yoga stadium and runway-like hallways morphed into warm-up rooms for yogis. Onstage, a garland-draped image of Bishnu Ghosh, Bikram’s guru, looked on while seven judges sat with pencils raised, critiquing the routines.

“The quality of the athletes has evolved tremendously,” said Jon Gans, an organizer and former judge of the event. “Postures, like peacock, that seemed to be a pinnacle pose the first year would now seem normal.”

Perhaps the Manolo, who would rather be run over by the Anna Wintour’s town car than put on the yoga pants, is unclear on the concept, but is not the yoga supposed to be the somewhat meditative practice?

Query: If yoga is now the competitive sport, what is the only proper way to introduce the contestants?

Answer….