Siamese Swamp Couture

Manolo says, look what is shambling down the runways this year.

Zina Eva Bags: When Public Relations Goes Wrong

Manolo says, the Manolo’s dear internet friends at the Bag Snob have reported the case of the public relations person who became abusive when the blogger did not do what was desired.

We weren’t going to do an editorial on this bag line but have received over a dozen crazy harassment emails from the PR girl representing them so we decided to put it out there so you can stay clear of this line of horribly made and very cheap bags. Kelly first received an email two months ago from Zina Eva’s rep asking to participate in our monthly bag giveaway but after receiving the samples this weekend we decided the bags were not up to Bag Snob par and we couldn’t possibly endorse it let alone give it to our readers. […]

We promptly contacted them and told them we’d return the bags and will not be able to include them in our monthly giveaway but the PR girl turned nasty and started sending us harassment emails with racist overtones. Let’s see, she accused us of using fake last names because our names are English/European yet we don’t look European (Basically non-white people are not allowed to have European surnames according to this genius PR girl) and then she accused us of trying to scam them of $150 (wholesale price) bags?!?!??! How is it a scam if we didn’t want to keep the hideous bags for our giveaway?

This is outrageous behavior, and as counter-productive as anything the Manolo has ever heard of. The P.R. person who sent these emails and her firm should be named and denounced publicly.

No blogger, no person, should ever have to tolerate this sort of abuse for giving his or her honest opinion about the shoddy product.

In fact, once this person and her firm are named, you may be certain that the Manolo will never, ever respond to any press release or email from this firm, and he would suggest that other fashion bloggers likewise boycott them, at least until the most public and groveling sort of apology is issued.


Dressing Up: Tarantino and Winehouse.

Manolo says, the Manolo’s friend Linda Grant illustrated her recent comments on the matter of appropriate clothing with the photo of the director Quentin Tarantino attending the London Fashion Week event.

Here above is the photo of Quentin Tarentino at the MOBO awards in London, the few days later. You will notice that he has at least changed his shirt, although unfortunately, to one that appears to have the stain on it.

As for poor Amy Winehouse, to say that this is the bottom of the barrel, is to suggest that this barrel has the bottom.

Linda Grant Replies

Manolo says, Manolo’s very good friend Linda Grant, author of the wonderful piece in the Guardian about the declining standards of dress and comportment, has returned to add more to our very vibrant discussion of this important topic.

I would like to thank those of you who responded so positively to my Guardian piece about declining standards of dress. I believe that dressing appropriately for the occasion is simply a question of good manners, as well as to give ourselves the pleasure of wearing whatever in our wardrobes is best, just as we vary our diet, adorn our homes with nice things, and enjoy a beautiful view. In the past, even the most impoverished families, had garments that they called their ‘Sunday best’ clothes which they wore for special occasions. The dumbing down of dress is in part a product of prosperity, for when a pair of jeans can cost as much as an evening gown, who knows who is expensively dressed?

The morning the article came out, a friend reminded me that at her brother’s wedding, a few years ago, one guest arrived at the reception in shorts. Now the bride and groom were theatre folk, not actors, but a writer and a director, and one sensed that this minor celeb simply felt that the happy couple were simply not important enough to get dressed up for. The true star among the guests, Hugh Laurie (of ‘House’) and his wife were dressed entirely appropriately for a July wedding, she in a hat. As someone in the comments remarked – class, you’ve got it or you haven’t.

Two people who have class are Tizzy and her husband, who, unable to celebrate their wedding anniversary at an expensive restaurant, went to an ordinary one and dressed up anyway, he in a tie and she in a cocktail dress bought on the clearance rack for $9.99. Mr and Mrs Tizzy understand the notion of a memorable occasion. I thought of them last night at a glittering event held here in London, the private view of the new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum on the Golden Age of Couture. For standing in front of me as we listened to a speech by Ines de la Fressange, once a Chanel model, was a woman who had chosen from her entire wardrobe to wear at this event – jeans and a t-shirt. Mr and Mrs Tizzy, despite their modest income, would, I know, have nonetheless found the prefect outfits to have attended such an occasion. To be well-dressed comes not from the bank balance, but what is inside your own head.

Dressing Down Those Who Dress Down

Manolo says, the Manolo’s good friend, the Linda Grant, has written the much needed piece in today’s Guardian about the sloppiness of the modern restaurant patron.

Forty or 50 years ago, when a couple went out to dine the men wore suits, ties (preferably regimental) and shined shoes, and the women would be in cocktail dresses, heels and even mink stoles. The dress code of an establishment was directly linked to the numbers of pieces of cutlery at each place setting. Judging by the films of the period, there might also be a small dancefloor, and a band.

There was always the suspicion that restaurants imposed dress codes so that oiks would be prevented from getting any further than the front door. Now you can wear anything you like. You can blame it on the fact that eating out is no longer classified as a special occasion. Or perhaps that the price of meals is so astronomical, in London at least, that diners can no longer afford expensive clothes. Or that the competition between proliferating numbers of restaurants is so intense that owners can’t afford to place restrictions on who can and can’t come in. And for celeb diners, who can always get a table at a full restaurant at 8pm, there are no rules.


This change extends beyond restaurant etiquette – no one goes to the theatre or opera in evening dress any more. The outfits photographed on the red carpet have no occasion except the red carpet. Apart from weddings, when are we allowed to dress up? What are all those clothes doing in the shops, if we have no place any more to wear them because of the relentless dumbing down of dress? It is a depressing experience to sit in a beautiful room eating delicious food and see at the next table a party dressed in beige fleeces and Cornish pasty shoes. Surely going out is all about dressing up, about making an effort, about suiting the clothes to the activity?

This is one of the more lamentable changes of the past three decades, this slow inexorable slide of the general population into sweat pants and crocs.

Yes, right now you are going out to eat at the fancy restaurant in the pressed bluejeans and polo shirt. He doesn't care how he looks, why should those who dine at his restaurants care?

“It is okay,” you say to yourself, “at least I am dressed better than this restaurant’s celebrity owner…” Who has just at that moment come shambling out of the kitchen wearing the scruffy beard, the orange crocs, the scarf made out of sausage, and what appears to be no pants, just the dirty apron.

And so, one more step toward the slippery slope has been taken.

Next thing you know, you have ditched the polo and pressed jeans for the tattered cutoffs and the stupid/ironic-ironic/stupid hipster t-shirt that you pulled from the dirty laundry hamper moments before leaving the house.

So what if you are the 45-year-old senior vice president at the bank, you only live once, eh? No reason to put on the old monkey suit, not when everyone else looks like orangutans.

The Linda Grant is so completely and terribly right, we are losing our occasions to dress up.


Good Lord!

Manolo says, it is the ghost of Idi Amin Dada!


Member’s Only

Manolo says, perhaps the single best commercial ever.


Plastic Armor is The New Black!

Manolo says, “First he girded his goodly greaves about his legs, making them fast with ankle clasps of silver; and upon his belly he set the cumberbund which Byblos had designed for him as the fashion frippery.”

White-on-Fright II

Manolo says, thanks to the YouTube and the cheap cell-phone camera one may now enjoy being frightened by the bad fashion via video.

The tip of the Manolo’s hat to his internet friend Ms. Place


Manolo says, the Manolo is not the easily frightened person, but occasionally he come across the fashion show that leaves him shaken.

Sometimes it is the models that scare the Manolo.

Sometimes it is the fashions

Occasionally, it is the designers.

Update: Ayyyyyyy, White-on-Fright II!!!


2007, The Year of the Fetish Shoe!


Manolo says, here from the Daily Mail is that saucy trollop the Victoria “Posh” Beckham wearing the ridiculous and dangerous looking spikey shoes.

And thus, with this picture, the Manolo now officially declares 2007,

The Year of the Fetish Shoe.

Forget for now the beautiful, elegant, and stylish shoes, and wear only those shoes which emphatically say to the public “the wearer of these shoes may be hired to satisfy your more outré desires.”

Five and the half inch stiletto heels? The height of fashion!

Weird dominatrix boots? Wear them to the red carpet!

Bizarre and clunky pony-play platforms ? Hottest shoe of the Fall!

It is all too much and too ridiculous, but do not worry, dear friends of the Manolo, this fashion moment shall pass.


Martha Stewart, Gothic Spacewoman

Manolo says, all she needs is the black gloves and the helmet.