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The Season of Neon

The Celebrities Love the Cobolt Blue

Manolo says, the Manolo’s friends at the Designer Desirables have declared this to be the Season of Neon.

Neon is rocking for Summer 2013 and it’s the perfect antidote to the sickly sweet sorbets that are all over the place. We’re talking luminous greens, yellow, pinks and oranges. It takes balls to wear neon; you won’t go unnoticed, you’ll be ousted for the fashion loving creature that you are! Oh yes neon is for victims (the fashion kind) so you better be prepared to stand behind it.

The Manolo loves the neon, and he especially loves the current trend toward the electric cobalt blues. And how stunning would you look in something like this…

Cobalt Blue Pencil Dress

The cobalt blue, draped, pencil dress from Vesper. This is how to do the neon colors correctly, with the classic shape and reserved presentation, so that the bright color can be the star of the show.

Nostalgia for the 1990s? Already?

Manolo says, according to the blog posting at the website of the Intro, the hot menswear trends of the summer of 2013 are the varsity letterman’s jackets, nautical-inspired clothing, and the 1990s nostalgia.

Get ready for a blast from the past! 90s fashion is back, as seen on the catwalks at Topman Design and Shaun Sampson summer 2013 is seeing a big 90s revival. Key trends like double denim, neon brights, acid wash, all over prints, grunge style beanie hats and loose fitting fabrics are all must haves for this season. Now I’ll admit that the 90s look may seem difficult to pull off but when styled correctly you can make sure you don’t end up looking like the fresh prince.

Please to make this go back to the future.

Ayyyy! The 1990 have returned! Only without the roaring economy that made the execrable styles (such as the drop crotch jeans) seem tolerable.

Nostalgia for the 1990s? Why are we condemned to relive the era of grunge?

Why can we not have the nostalgia for the 1890s? That was the real decade of style. Cut-away coats and top hats, high button shoes with spats.

How to Dress in Umbria?

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends, the Rondi, has asked the Manolo the question.

Happy Sunday to the Manolo!

I have a serious question for you. I have won a scholarship to study in Italy and will be spending time in Umbria in September. Naturally, I would like to avoid looking like a dorky tourist and having Italians mock me. Can you give me some advice on what to pack? I am planning to bring a good deal of black

Umbria

Umbria Bella

(including black ballerina flats) but I also would like to bring my white jeans. Italians celebrate their Labour Day on May 1st, I believe, so I doubt they have a “no white after Labour Day” hang-up as do North Americans. That said, I am concerned they might look down their Roman noses at white jeans in September, or that said white jeans will cause the locals to shun me.
Please advise, both on the matter of the white jeans and in regards what to bring in general.

Your loyal fan and friend from the internets,

Rondi

It has been the while since the Manolo has been in Umbria, so he turned to another of his internet friends, the Judith who lives in Umbria, for help with this question.

Here is her most informative and helpful answer.

Italians wear white everything all year if they please. I do have reservations about the jeans. It is often too hot to wear jeans until Octoberish. In addition, jeans take forever to dry and of course white jeans would need a lot of washing.

My younger friends will be wearing light dresses with added cardigans for evening and the ballet flats would look terrific with that, but may not protect your feet adequately from the relentless stone and cobble pavements. You can be sure that many Italian girls will be wearing ludicrously high heels and walking along the stone like little donkeys. It’s genetic. Those of us with a little more maturity on our bones will be wearing light weight linen pants, often black in autumn, sometimes with drawstring waists. Heat and pasta do require a bit of flexibility at least in attitude and sometimes in waist bands. Those of a lower rung on the ladder of aspirations may very well be wearing polyester knit trousers, but you won’t notice that much unless they are too tight, which is a reach in this land of the painted-on pant.

Italian girls accessorize, so doing layers works for the look and for the awkward difference between Hades at noon and Scotland at night. Scarves, gauzey sweaters, netted vests, all help disguise the fact that years of financial crisis have made cheap clothes common and necessary. When the right girls get them on and adjusted and knotted just right, they look splendid.

Cowboy boots have not died the death they deserved as summer shoes. They do look cute with summer dresses but whew!

More than anything, a confidence, a swish and an eye for the dramatic really work here. Carrie Bradshaw learned everything she knew from Italian girls.

And now you must go visit the Judith’s website, she will teach you how to cook like the real Italian

As for the shoes, the Manolo is at the moment partial to the Maria Sharipova’s Bacara Ballet Flats from the Cole Haan.

Maria Sharipova Air Bacara Ballet Flats for Cole Haan

They are available in six colors, and are reportedly comfortable for the walking, practical, and sufficiently good looking so as to satisfy the Rondi’s Umbrian needs.

The Edwardian Bill Cunningham

Edwardian Street Fashion

Manolo says, from the Best Newspaper in the World, comes the remarkable series of photographs, taken by Edward Linley Sambourne, the turn of the last century photographer who seems to have pioneered street fashion photography.

Street blogging may be considered to be a modern phenomenon, but a series of images unearthed by Kensington and Chelsea Libraries prove that the practice may date as far back as the early 1900’s.

The Library service has published several wonderful images by the late amateur photographer Edward Linley Sambourne, who was also the chief cartoonist for Punch, which give an amazing insight into the street style of the woman of London and Paris over a century ago.

Sambourne’s beautiful street photography captures the casual side of Edwardian fashion in a manner which is rarely seen

As the Manolo says, the photographs, taken in London and Paris in the first decade of the 20th Century are remarkable in their unstudied candor and casualness.

Edwardian Street Fashion

Look, she has the bicycle, just like in the Sartorialist!

(more…)

Manolo’s Thursday Miscellany

Manolo says, here are the few things which may help you past the idle moment…

They’re a bit Advanced Fashion so potentially not for the average user, although I honestly don’t think they’re as tough to pull off as most people think.

There are some written medieval sources on possible female breast support, but they are rather vague on the topic.

The manifestation of that may change from day to day, but the elements of joyful dressing for me are Movement, Color (not necessarily *vivid* color), Harmony, and just a bit of Edge.

The Chinese Fashion Police

Manolo says, wearers of mandals and Crocs, beware!

P’Trique and the Fashion Girls

Manolo says, “Her life is only as fabulous as her Facebook photos make it look.”

Four Seymour Troy Shoes

Manolo says, At the Manolo’s Pinterest, he has been pinning many pictures of the historical shoes, and so now he wishes to share with you some of the things that have caught his fancy, in this case, the shoes of the Seymour Troy, one of the first famous America fashion shoe designers, famous starting in the 1920s and continuing on through the early 1960s.

Seymour Troy Button Strape Suede Pump

The first shoe, above, is this dramatic Seymour Troy button-strap suede pump, dated to the circa 1929. To the Manolo, this shoe looks totally wearable in the present day, and is probably more comfortable than you would imagine.

Seymour Troy Rhinestone Sandal

Here is the Seymour Troy rhinestone pump from 1933, ayyyy! Super fantastic!

(more…)

Things that Manolo the Manolo Laugh: Bright Nude Illusion Gown from Paula Raia

Paula Raia Bright Nude Illusion Gown

Nutley High School, Class of 2012: Voted Most Likely to Be Mob Goomah

Manolo says, to be more specific, the $5,000, orange-colored, hoochie-mama prom dress of your nightmares. Presumably, the “illusion” in the name of the dress is the reference to the belief on the part of the wearer that she is the person of stylishness.

From the Archives of the Manolo: Metropolitan Railway Boots, 1916

N.B. Unfortunately, the interwebs at the Casa Manolo were not working for much the morning, and thus your humble shoeblogger got the late start on the day, and so, by way of entertainment, here is something good from his archives, originally posted on the January 7, 2011. Be certain to visit the original post and read the spirited discussion in the comments.

Female Conductor on the Metropolitan Railway, 1916

The Female Guard on the Metropolitan Railway in 1916

Manolo says, the Manolo loves these boots on the English railway guard lady, so feminine and flattering, indeed, the entire costume is most super fantastic!

From the site of London Transport Museum

During the First World War, the Metropolitan Railway, like other services serving the City, was effectively taken over by the government. Its trains were extensively used to transport troops from London to the Channel ports. To replace its employees who left to fight, the Met began employing women for the first time in positions such as porters, ticket inspectors, and guards.

Here is another picture of these boots and uniform on the different woman…

Female Guard on the Metropolitan Railway, During World War One

Female Guard on the Metropolitan Railway

Those boots!

And now, the modern comparison….

And here is where the century of progress has left us: women who are doing the jobs perceived as masculine are forced to cross dress in the masculine costumes, as if one cannot be both womanly and the railway conductor at the same time.

André Perugia Pumps

Andre Perugia Shoes from the 1920s

Manolo says, here for your midday shoe-viewing enjoyment are the embroidered red and black pumps from the master shoe maestro, André Perugia, shoes which currently reside in the Kyoto Costume Institute.

Gorgeous!

P.S. If you like looking at the historic clothing you should go to this blog, OMG That Dress, from which this photo comes, and follow the Manolo on the Pinterest.

Marc Jacobs, Spring 2011: Who Wore it Better?

Anna Wintour in Marc Jacobs at Wimbeldon Finals

It is the tossup, really

Manolo asks, who wore it better? Malevolent crone, or freakish-scary doll girl?

P.S. From the Red Carpet Fashion Awards

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