Archive for the 'Fashion' Category


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

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

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.

(more…)


Masculinity Redefined: The Ex-Girlfriend Jean

Friday, February 11th, 2011
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Levis Ex-Girlfriend Jean

Manolo says, from Levis

Remember the girlfriend with the great style? Here’s a tribute to her — a fit that’s super-snug allover, an update of the five-pocket classic that’s as skinny as it gets.

The bad news is that she dumped you for the manly man who looks like the lumberjack and wears the classic 501s.

The good news is that the Levi-Strauss Company feels your pain, Emo Boy.

You know who would like these ridiculous pantaloons?

This person…

Via.


The Longing for Transcendence

Thursday, January 27th, 2011
By Manolo the Shoeblogger
Christian Dior, 2011 Spring Couture

Transcendent

Manolo says, not all fashion is impelled by our nostalgia for the mud, indeed, the best and most enduring fashion is inspired by our longings for transcendence.

Transcendence. We wish to move beyond ourselves, to leave behind the mundanity of our lives and be carried aloft to the higher plane, to the place where we are more beautiful, more charming, more alluring, and where we are dressed only and forever in Christian Dior, 2011 Spring Couture Collection.

Christian Dior, Spring Couture 2011

Transcendent

There is such the thing as transcendent nostalgia, the longing for the golden past, for the specific Periclean circumstances that would allow us to be more than ourselves, to be better than we are, to achieve the apotheosis of our essential humanity.

Dior Couture, Spring 2011

Transcendent

Beautiful clothing allows us to touch the hem of transcendence. What it gives is more than utility, more than adornment, more than fashion. Its true gift is the glimpse of perfection.

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”


The Nostalgia for the Mud

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

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

Dear Sir,

I’m working on a small academic paper about fashion, for presenting at the Association of Private Enterprise in Education (APEE) meeting this coming April. Virginia Postrel, who is both your friend and mine, has told me that you’re quite nice and quite classical liberal in your inclinations, so I wondered if I might ask you if you have a brief comment or two on the perennial fashion trend of extremely costly clothing made to look like garbage.

I am thinking, for example, of the Vivienne Westwood Fall 2010 Menswear collection:

Vivienne Westwood Menswear Fall 2010 Collection

Vivienne Westwood presents Derelicte!

The destroyed cotton Balmain t-shirt that you blogged on Ayyyy!

Balmain Destroyed Cotton T-Shirt

Balmain Destroyed Cotton T-Shirt; yours for only $1624!

And the Louis Vuitton trashbag purse:

Louis Vuitton Trash Bag

Louis Vuitton Trash-bag-tastic! $1960

There’s something very interesting going on here with ideas of wealth, price, value, appearance…

At any rate, if you have time to think about it a little, I’d love to know what thoughts you have.

All the best,

Sarah

Briefly laying aside the matters economic, what is going on here is what the French writer Émile Augier called La nostalgie de la boue, or the “longing for the mud”.

It is the commonplace notion that the primitive, the well-worn and tattered, even the debased are superior in essence to the refined and civilized.

This idea and emotion, as far as the Manolo knows, has been present in all societies and all places, undoubtedly since the humans first left the trees, and then longed to build the treehouse in which they could retreat on the weekends to express their inner australopithecus.

In the other words, “Keepin it real, yo.”

Nostalgie de la boue in its various guises has figured prominently in the philosophies and writings of Rousseau, Sigmund Freud, Jean Braudillard, and Tupac Shakur, among many others.

And, as fashion is the art form reflective of society and its traumas, and as it is also the business, it is only natural that the fashion houses would eagerly seek to reflect upon and profit from this universal human desire.

Of the course, the fashionistas, with the few notable exceptions, are not the deep thinkers, and so you will not find complex thoughts expressed about this idea in regards to society, history and authenticity, only variations of the phrase “I think it looks cool”.

And now, let us mock them…

Derelicte!

And, lest you think such mockery unwarranted…the Manolo gives you the Brother Sharp.

Brother Sharp

Brother Sharp, Chinese Fashion Icon

But Mr Cheng’s life changed dramatically after an amateur photographer posted pictures of him walking the streets onto the Chinese internet.

His prominent cheekbones and bohemian clothes quickly won him a legion of fans who called him “China’s Sexiest Tramp” and, most often, “Brother Sharp”.

[…]

Meanwhile, offers have poured in for him to appear in advertisements and he even did a stint as a catwalk model in the southern city of Foshan.

And now that we have established that we universally long for the mud, especially when the people who are wallowing in it are photogenic, how can we make the money from it?

This is where the Manolo must take you back to Ur, by making the reference to the work of Thorstein Veblen, and his notions of conspicuous consumption and conspicuous waste.

Throughout the entire evolution of conspicuous expenditure, whether of goods or of services or human life, runs the obvious implication that in order to effectually mend the consumer’s good fame it must be an expenditure of superfluities. In order to be reputable it must be wasteful.

Thus, if one feels the desire to wallow, and yet must maintain or build one’s reputation for being the right sort of fashionable person, one must be prepared to spend serious cash on something whose price cannot be justified by utility alone.

The fashion houses and designers know this and profit from it.

The example of the Louis Vuitton trash bag that costs $1960 for what is essentially the wan joke is prima facie evidence. It is not attractive, nor does it appear to be well made, and yet the person who has purchased it makes the undeniable statement about her status, economic resources, and knowledgeable hipness.

And now, the Manolo asks you to consider one more item

Louis Vuitton Urban Satchel

Louis Vuitton Urban Satchel, Real or Clever Joke?

If it were real, would you carry it?


The Worst of the Globes of Gold!

Monday, January 17th, 2011
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, in general, it was hard to find much serious fault with the outfits that this year graced the carpet of red at the Globes of Gold.

However…

Katey Sagal at the Golden Globes in Douglas Hannant

Ayyyy! She just got the new sewing machine!

Did the Peg Bundy sew this herself?

.

Sandra Bullock at the Golden Globes in Jenny Packham

Shaggy Do!

No one wishes to say anything bad about America’s Most Wronged Sweetheart, but all the Manolo can think is, where is Sonny, 1967 Cher?

.

Christina Aguilera at the Golden Globes in Zuhair Murad

Salaciously Trashy.

It is the elderly Mae West!

No, it is just Christina Aguilera, fallen from the great height and landing with the splat in early drag-queen middle age.

.
(more…)


Forever Lazy

Thursday, January 13th, 2011
By Manolo the Shoeblogger
Forever Lazy Pajamas

Pair With Crocs for Evening Wear Look.

Manolo says, yes, it has come to this. For the people who believe that readjusting the Snuggie when you move from the Barcolounger to the mobility scooter is too much work, comes the Forever Lazy, described as :”the one piece, lie around, lounge around, full body lazy wear!” (Please note that the exclamation mark is in the original, apparently the punctuational celebration of sloth rewarded.)

Put on the Crocs, and head out for the night on the town…Walmart, Applebys, Chuck E. Cheese. The world is your oyster!

Or, stay in and make the sloppy joes! Recline in front of the fire with the one you love; the romantic evening, just the two of you. When the Budweiserly nectar you have been sipping puts you and your partner in the mood, you shall really appreciate the front-and-back, double-zippered hatches!

The Forever Lazy Hatches

For Those Times When You Feel Romantic

Ayyyy! The guarantee of money back? Perfect! It is like the investment, even!

And now the Manolo must go back to bed, as it is raining and the Vandals are approaching Hippo.

P.S. Many thanks to the Manolo’s internet friend Anne for alerting him to this.

P.P.S. Please consider following the Manolo on Twitter and befriending him on the Facebook.


Museo de la Moda

Sunday, January 9th, 2011
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Museo de la Moda

Manolo says, today in the New York Times there is the annotated list of the 41 Places to Go in 2011, which was, as such things usually are, mostly the exercise in status-conscious, Bobo one-upmanship.

Naturally, because the Manolo is both the bohemian and bourgeois, the Manolo was pleased to see that he had recently been to several of the places on the list, including the number one choice, Santiago, Chile.

And, he was extremely happy to see that there was the entire paragraph in the NY Times Santiago entry devoted to the Museo de la Moda

Perhaps the most remarkable cultural space to open in the last few years is the Museo de la Moda, a privately financed fashion museum inside a revamped 1960s Modernist mansion. It has a permanent collection of nearly 10,000 pieces of couture and memorabilia (of which 800 are typically on display), including a light-blue jacket worn in 1966 by John Lennon and a black strapless gown worn in 1981 by Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Manolo felt that the museum was strongest in the clothing of the mid-20th century, undoubtedly the result of the founder Jorge Yarur’s unusual filial devotion, which has preserved not only the family’s modernist mansion, but his mother’s clothing collection. Indeed, it is the clothing of the mother which forms the heart of this collection, lovingly displayed in cases in the darkened, converted bedrooms and family rooms of the mansion, as if they were the religious objects in glass reliquaries. (As one internet wag said, Jorge Yarur, The Most Fashionable Mama’s Boy Ever.)

Beyond the mother’s clothing, which is good but not great, however, there is the extensive collection of important and historical pieces, including several major Paul Poiret gowns, along with the Diors, the Chanels, and many older items of interest.

The shoe collection was likewise well done, although the Manolo did have the very sniffy pleasure of pointing out that two pairs of the boots had been misidentified, their cards transposed (undoubtedly the error of the inattentive curator).

Of the course, there many more reasons to go to Santiago, but for the Manolo, it was the Museo de la Moda that made the trip.


Metropolitan Railway Boots, 1916

Friday, January 7th, 2011
By Manolo the Shoeblogger
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…

(more…)


Great Moments in Presidential History

Friday, January 7th, 2011
By Manolo the Shoeblogger
President Barack Obama wearing flip-flops

'Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.' ~ George Washington

Manolo says, ayyyy! The President Dude is showing us his toes!

Historians agreed it was the first time they could remember seeing the leader of the free world snapped in a public setting, wearing nothing more than a flimsy strip of rubber on his feet.

[…]

Capping off his Hawaiian vacation, President Obama earlier this week sports an uber-casual look finished with a pair of flipflops, favored by his core demographic: college kids.

“I can’t say I’ve seen a president’s toes before. This could be a very usual thing,” said presidential historian Jane Hampton Cook, author of an upcoming children’s book “What Does the President Look Like?”

“But I don’t think this is a big deal. Your footwear belongs to the occasion. If you’re on the beach buying your daughter snow cones, I don’t think you can beat him up for this. Now if he’s wearing flip-flops to the State of the Union, that’d be different.”

Presidential historian Doug Wead concurred.

“In public, no. I haven’t seen the president’s toes,” he deadpanned.

And while most historians couldn’t think of an example of presidential appendages being on such display, most agreed it wasn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world.

Unless you one of those old-fashioned, fuddy-duddy persons who seeks to uphold the standards of dress and decorum.

P.S. If you are the new visitor to the humble blog of the Manolo, please consider following the Manolo on the Twitter, or befriending him on the Facebook.


Matthäus Schwarz, Renaisance Sartorialist

Monday, January 3rd, 2011
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, thanks to the interesting article about the birth of European “fashion” at the History Today, the Manolo has been introduced to the chief accountant to the family Fugger, Matthäus Schwarz, who was apparently the sort of Renaissance Sartorialist.

Matthäus Schwarz by Hans Maler zu Schwaz

Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers / And they've been known to pick a song or two

In July 1526 Matthäus Schwarz, a 29-year-old chief accountant for the mighty Fugger family of merchants from Augsburg, commissioned a naked image of himself as fashionably slim and precisely noted his waist measurements. He worried about gaining weight, which to him signalled ageing and diminished attractiveness. Over the course of his life, from his twenties to his old age, Schwarz commissioned 135 watercolour paintings showing his dressed self, which he eventually compiled into a remarkable album, the Klaidungsbüchlein (Book of Clothes), which is housed today in a small museum in Brunswick. From the many fascinating details the album reveals we know that, while he was courting women, Schwarz carried heart-shaped leather bags in green, the colour of hope.

This mania for the clothing reaches its peak at the Imperial Diet in Augsberg.

Matthäus Schwarz had three expensive outfits tailored for himself to please Archduke Ferdinand I of Austria, whom he met twice during the Imperial Diet of Augsburg of 1530, presided over by the archduke and his brother, the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. […] Schwarz, who had slimmed in advance and had grown a beard like Ferdinand himself, used fashion to produce an image of himself which made the archduke like and trust him. In 1541 Schwarz himself received a particularly special reward from the emperor, whom he had also had a chance to impress in person; he was ennobled.

Ayyy! Matthäus Schwarz dieted for the Diet!

But, thanks to the age and the marriage, things did not end well for our foppish friend…

(more…)


Web Snob Friday

Friday, December 24th, 2010
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, here are the few fashionable links from the Manolo’s web snob friends

Stiletto Jungle is loving trouser sweatpants for a refined, casual winter look.

Zooey Deschanel is suing Steve Madden. Allie is Wired has the details.

The Fendi Peekaboo bag at Bag Snob is a nice choice for a busy mom; on one side you can store your bills and Blackberry and, on the other, your baby’s bottle and toys.

Are you neglecting your feet because it’s winter and they’re hidden in boots? One of the most moisturizing is the Foot Care Cream from Barielle at Beauty Snob.

Coquette is gearing up for the Rebecca Minkoff After Christmas Sale.

KRISTOPHER DUKES is wanting Hermès “So Black” Kelly Double Tour Bracelet.

Second City Style will ring in the new year with the most festive of colors: Fall/Winter Trends 2010. Silver Bells.

Shopping and Info loves the gray cowl neck dressby Alexander Wang that Kim Kardashian wore in New York City recently.

The StyleBakery editors pick the worst trends of 2010, see if you agree!

The Beauty Stop is getting festive with OPI Only Gold for Me Top Coat.


Fashion That Helps You Stand Out In the Crowd

Friday, December 17th, 2010
By Manolo the Shoeblogger
Maison Martin Margiela Giant Fur Hat

'Art always serves beauty, and beauty is the joy of possessing form, and form is the key to organic life since no living thing can exist without it.' ~ Boris Pasternak

Manolo says, and now the Manolo asks you to reimagine the movie Dr. Zhivago

P.S. The price is right for Christmas giving!












Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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