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Princess Beatrice’s Hat

How much is that Beatrice in the window?

Manolo says, there is nothing sadder at the pet shop than the puppies who never get taken home.

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Xtina is First Gay Walk of Fame Inductee

Christina Gay Walk of Fame

Christina Aguilera got Dirrty last week as she was the first inductee for West Hollywood’s new Gay Walk of Fame. Forget her hands and feet, what should be covered in mud is this ensemble. Corsets and feathers and pleather, oh my! It’s like a 1920’s prostitute meets trashy 90’s lingerie (other stars who have tried this look include Rose Mcgowen and Dita Von Teese…thus this can be dubbed the “Marilyn Manson bait” look).

I know Christina has always pushed the class-less boundaries with her fashion sense (just Google “assless chaps”, you’ll find her) and therefore I shouldn’t even raise an eyebrow at this tragedy, but she is a mother now! I say she should just stick to ripping off Lady Gaga because then at least her scantily clad body would have a bit more art involved. Regardless, much like an awful car crash, she has captured my attention and I simply can’t look away.

Nickelodeon Understands Great Role Models

Johnny Deoo Kids Choice 2011

Johnny Depp was a presenter over the weekend at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and during his time on stage he proceeded to blow massive loads of green slime all over adoring children fans. Nothing wrong with that. Nope, not one bit. After all, it’s the innocence and naivety of children’s television shows and stars that make a rather suggestive act perfectly acceptable.

Right?

For example, take a look at teen star Taylor Momsen posing on the red carpet at the Kids Choice Awards:

Taylor Momsen Kids Choice 2011
The 17 year old starlet, also a presenter at the awards show, showed up looking appropriately bright eyed and innocent for the underage event. With her thick heavy black eyeliner, trashy extensions, and passive air of nonchalance, she is a prefect role model for today’s youth. The leather jacket and flimsy white tank work well with her black skinny jeans to construct a classic vampire-stripper-off-duty look. And the peeping fishnets that lead into those patent platforms are fit for a Suicide Girl.  Why, she’s a glowing gem that any pre-teen hunk would love to bring home to mom.

In all seriousness, I’m just pleased that she put on a pair of pants for once.

The typical Momsen ensemble almost always includes a garter belt, some sort of corset top and platform heels. The fact that this look is considered “classing it up” for her is simply disturbing. People are commending her for this “improvement” whereas I just think she needs to be grounded until she gets an attitude adjustment. She is 17! And her fans are probably younger!

It’s teen stars like this that make Rebecca Black seem like a very viable option for the spotlight.

Botas Exoticas: The Leningrad Cowboys

Manolo says, the Manolo’s internet friend, the Yum Yum, has pointed to high-spirited Finnish rock band known as the Leningrad Cowboys, who for the past twenty years have been wearing the pointy hair and the pointier shoes.

The Leningrad Cowboys and the Botas Exoticas

In 1993, they even did the concert with the Red Army Chorus, of which the video below is the amusing artifact.

To the Manolo, the pointy-toes and pompadours of the Leningrad Cowboys have more in common with the Japanese Rockabilly dancers as the obvious appropriation and exaggeration of the American rock iconography, while the sudden appearance of the botas exoticas of the baile tribal are more sui generis and mysterious.

But, the Manolo leaves it up to you to decide.

Signs That Things Are Not Well in the World

N.B. The Manolo’s friend, The Legatrix, who always makes the Manolo laugh, offers us nothing but portents of doom.

The Manolo has been gently scaring us straight with his series of blog posts, The Death of Civilization. In that spirit, I offer you a variation on a theme.

You see, I have a theory. Okay, I have several theories, but this is the one doesn’t involve Soviet vodka, rhesus monkeys, and Vaseline.

Certain fashion trends portend widespread cultural decline. I don’t care whether it comes riding in with the Visigoths or on a wave of Stagflation, nothing says “stock up on canned food and good books because the Kardashians are in charge” like bad fashion trends.

Case in point: the Bad Perm.

Julia Titi Flavia

Julia Titi Flavia

This is the kind of hair you have when your dad just sacked Jerusalem, shacked up with a Jewish Princess, and decided to fix you up with your uncle. Oh, and Rome has just been through four emperors in one year. (On the up side, none of them was Nero.)

And we all know that no good came of the Seventies except for Donna Summer. And fondue parties.

Barbara Streisand goes perm

Babs!!!!!

But lest you think the bad perm is a singularly female vice, consider Charles II of England. Sure, Chuck, you may primp that mane to make it more difficult for the executioner to find your neck, like he did your dad’s, but do you know what that coiffure really is? It’s a cry for help. London is burning, everybody is coming down with the Plague, and you’ve got more mistresses than you can possibly afford.

Charles II, By the Grace of God, King of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Jheri Curl

Odds fish what an ugly fellow I am.

At times like these, there’s only one thing to do: put on your tight pants and get a little Super Freaky.

I'm Rick James, Bitch.

Rick James has a Sexual Luv Affair for you.

Botas del Baile Tribal

Manolo says, according to the Univision the pointy toed boots have begun to appear in Dallas!

Here below, for your edification, are the photos of the evolutionary stages that preceded the current fluorescence.

First the diversity of the color and the lengthening of the silhouette…

Then the toes achieve the exaggerated state and begin to turn up…

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Botas Exóticas: Pointy-Toes, Poulaines, and Male Display

Chuntaros and their Botas Exoticas

Manolo says, from the Vice Magazine comes news of the hot fashion trend emanating from the rural backwaters of northern Mexico.

Last month we went to the dusty city of Matehuala, Mexico, in the northern state of San Luís Potosí on the high plateau of the Huasteca Potosina, in search of the pointiest long-toed cowboy boots ever made. Over the past year, the botas vaqueras exóticas phenomenon has overrun the rodeo dance floors and clubs of this area, much to the dissatisfaction of Mexicans who critique the fashions of their countrymen on hotly trafficked style blogs.

[…]

Participants in these dance contests spend the days and weeks prior choreographing intricate footwork routines and fabricating their own outfits with cheap paint and fabric. The grand prize, beyond the enthusiastic crowd’s affection, is either a bottle of whiskey or a few bucks.

A separate contest, we were pleased to discover, is held for the longest, most ornate and pointed boots, which are also spotlighted in public song-and-dance programs. The exotic boots are made by modifying boring normal ones with materials bought in local hardware and craft stores. The fanciest are adorned with LED lights or mirrors, while others incorporate paint and every color of sequins. They all get the glitter treatment no matter what. It was explained to us that some boots have measured upward of five feet in length.

Here is the video of the botas in action…

Are they not marvelous in their horrifying and ridiculous way?

Of the course, these exotic boots of the cowboys are nothing more than the happenstance revival of the medieval poulaine, the pointy-toed shoe favored by chivalrous swains who wished to make the not-so-subtle erotic display; “perhaps the most blatantly sexual and pornographic shoe style ever worn,” says the writer William Rossi.

Clearly, these young vaqueros are wearing their botas, and doing their peacock dances in the hopes of attracting attention and chicas, just as the medievals, we are told, would waggle their pointy toes at the pretty women.

And now, allow the Manolo to make one more cultural leap, and present to you the video of yet another subculture preparing for the display of dance. Please to pay attention to the boots, not the hair…

Japanese rockabilly dancers wearing winklepicker motorcycle boots secured with the electricians tape!

Do not ask the Manolo to explain, he cannot.

Malvolio’s Cross-Garter’d Yellow Stockings

N.B. Several of the Manolo’s internet friends have responded heroically to the Manolo’s plaintive call for help. This post, by the marvelously erudite and witty Sarah, is the first of the guest posts provided by these wonderful friends.

The Manolo is in the rut. The Manolo is filled with the ennui.

The Manolo has brought me such pleasure over the years that I have been reading his blogs, and has added so many touches of beauty to my life that I find this douleur completely unacceptable. It is true that March does have a tendency to bring in da funk, but the Manolo must not be permitted to suffer. I am compelled assist him in rediscovering his joie de blog.

And so, with no further ado , let’s talk about Shakespeare.

The great fashion joke in Shakespeare comes in his play Twelfth Night when a pair of wealthy party animals joins up with a clever maidservant to convince the uptight and unfashionable Malvolio that his beautiful young employer, Olivia, is in love with him. As a sign of his passion for her, he is told that he should wear yellow stockings and cross-garters. Our merry pranksters consider this to be as hilarious and humiliating as Charlie Sheen’s latest antics.

For those of us who aren’t living in the seventeenth century, however, the joke falls a little flat.

Here’s what’s going on. Sort of.

The truth is that even those of us who study this stuff aren’t entirely sure why yellow stockings and cross-garters are hilarious. So really, the most famous fashion joke in history is something of a mystery. But I can give you a few possibilities to bring up the next time Shakespeare comes up in conversation as he so often does.

First, yellow stockings and cross garters look like this:

Yellow Stockings and Cross Garters

So that's comedy gold right there.

Second, the flashiness of the cross-garters and yellow stockings is over the top, even for the excesses of men’s fashion in the Renaissance.

Here’s Henry VIII, who was no slouch as a sartorialist. Notice, though, how plain his stockings are.

Henry VIII

Hank 8, Rocking the Stockings and Garters

And he was King! Malvolio is just a steward (a high level servant/manager type).

So, they’re funny-looking, and they’re overly flashy.

It gets worse for Malvolio, though. In the Renaissance, great legs were one of the most enticing and macho things a man could put on display. The other, well….
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Aubrey O’Day has Good Taste

And here we see miss Aubrey O’Day at the premiere of her new Oxygen reality show All About Aubrey (a program I can only imagine is going to be both titillating and inspiring). 

Oh heavens, where to begin. First, I applaud her for the effort to draw attention away from her face ( made entirely out of fondant these days) with an “eye catching” outfit, something she tossed together at the very last minute by scrounging through a Frederick’s of Hollywood sales rack.

But those shoes…

Unless someone is planning on making a parody of the Spice Girl’s “Wannabe” music video, I feel that shoes this obscene and this pink should be banned for any feet that don’t plan on being wrapped around a pole for a few hours.

N.B. The Manolo has asked his friend Trisha Marie to help him from time to time.


Who to Avoid the Online Knock-Off

Manolo says, our friend, Miss Plumcake, has the wise advice about how to avoid the designer fakes and the luxury phonies that proliferate on the interwebs.

Luxury houses have very specific agreements as to where their merchandise can be sold. They take the exclusivity of their product very seriously, because they know you’re buying not just the product, but the prestige. If Manolo Blahnik won’t let his merchandise be sold at Net-a-Porter, arguably the poshest online-only luxury store, because it’s not prestigious enough, you can bet your suitably luscious bippy he’s not going to give a sweeter deal to TotallyNotFakeShoesReallyWePromise.com

But there is much, much more, so you must go read the whole thing.

The Tyrant Teeters

Colonel Qaddafis Umbrella

Ear Flaps? Oh Fortuna!

Manolo says, while few things would make the Manolo happier than to see the tyrant Qaddafi run out of Libya in ignominy, it is nonetheless somewhat disappointing to see him reduced to such dire sartorial straits.

It was only the few years ago that the Manolo was pointing out that Colonel Nutbar was the only despot who fully understood the value of costuming…

Young Qadaffi. 1969

Colonel Hawtness, 1969


Naturally there is the exception that proves the rule, the one dictator who knows how to rock the clothing. The man who in his prime was the movie-star handsome tyrant with the mythic fashion sense.

The Manolo is speaking, of the course, about the Mu’amar al-Qaddafi, who has eschewed the cheap gangster look, preferring in the stead to wear the flowing natural-fibers and earth-toned robes favored by both the Bedouins of the Sahara and the Jedi Knights of Tatooine.

And when he was not sporting the Bedouin robes, the Qaddafi he wears the kinte-cloth dashikis! And he had the personal bodyguard comprised entirely of the super hotty she-devils!

This […] is how the real tyrants do it, with flair and drama and color, and Amazons in the tight-fitting camouflage cat-suits!

Qaddafi and his Bodyguards

Who's the cat who won't cop out when there's danger all about? QADDAFI!

Qaddafi, he’s not just the despot, he is the Arab Superfly, White Shaft in Africa!

Let us hope that the people of Libya will soon be free from this clothing-aware lunatic.

Beauty, Changing the Game, Iconicity, and the Lady Gaga

Manolo says, the Manolo has been in the ferociously interesting conversation with his internet friend Eliza Wharton about the matters of beauty, style, and what makes someone the modern icon.

Over the course of this conversation, the Manolo has stated the few of his beliefs, which he will now deliver as the set of provocative Don Colacho style aphorisms:

1. Beauty is not negotiable.

2. If you are not blessed with beauty, change the game.

3. The best way to change the game is by being very different.

4. Great beauty can make you the icon, but beauty is neither necessary nor common among icons.

****
And now, for the explications:

Beauty is not negotiable

Elizabeth Taylor, Young and Old

'Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety'... ORLY?

The rules of feminine beauty cannot be changed, no matter how much we may wish that they could be. They are as immutable and as fixed as the stars in the heavens: youth, fecundity, symmetry, and the pleasing hip-to-waist ratio.

We may try to convince ourselves that there are other standards of beauty, but such attempts are pretty lies we tell ourselves to make us feel better about our relative lack of beauty.

As cruel as they seem, such statements say nothing about our worth as individuals, or our goodness, or our merit to our family or the world.

Physical beauty is the gift given without reference to merit.

Although, it is the strange gift that inevitably dissipates with age. And one may still be compelling even into oldest age, but one should not be confused: compelling and beautiful are not the same thing. Beauty is compelling, but often the compelling is not also beautiful.
.

Gloria Swanson, Young and Old

Gloria Swanson, First Beautiful, then Compelling


.

If you are not blessed with beauty, change the game.

Barbara Streisand Yearbook Picture

Voted Least Likely to Date James Brolin

As youthful beauty fades, or was perhaps never fully present, this is where the art and magic of contriving the desirable is found.

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