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Manolo the Columnist: Natty by Stuart Weitzman

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

Thanks to the congressional schedule my annual vacation will be arriving shortly. This year, my husband and I are going on a cruise to the Bahamas. Please recommend a pair of fun sandals I can wear on board and on shore.

Chloe

Manolo says, August in the District of the Columbia is the best of the times and the worst of the times. On the one of the hands, all of the congress-beings are going “home” for the month, giving the residents of the District the brief respite from the antics of the elected class. On the other of the hands, it is August in the DC, with all of the climatological misery that implies. Thus, if one is able, running away to the sea voyage is the reasonable response.

Leave behind the sweltering heat of the nation’s capital and exchange it for the sweltering heat of the Caribbean! There, on board your pleasure barge, you will be plied with mountains of shrimp and buckets of rum-based drinks. Daily, you shall enjoy the touristic sights ashore, where you will be given the opportunity to purchase your weight in tchotchkes made from such exotic materials as coconut shells and coral beads. And, at night on the lido deck, your cruise director will bully you into participating in various “fun” events, such as the limbo contest and the pirate song sing-a-long.

Here is the Natty from the Stuart Weitzman, the raffia and leather sandal that will serve the needs of the most discriminating sailor.

Natty by Weitzman

Manolo the Columnist: Audrey Glitter Sandals from Christian Louboutin

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

In three weeks, I’m turning 40 years old. Oddly, I’m not yet upset about passing this major milestone. although, I am worried that it’ll feel bad
on the big day itself. To forestall that can you please suggest some party shoes for the big day. My husband is planning a evening dinner
with friends at a nice restaurant, so something that will go with my little black dress.

Stephanie

Manolo says, do not despair, it is true what everyone is saying, 40 is the new 36 and three-quarters!

Indeed, thanks to the miraculous medical advances and our comparatively easy lives, the average 40, 50, or 60 year-old person today is more youthful and energetic than ever before in the history of the world. Things that in the past that would have been the untreatable chronic problems, such as the hernias and the gimpy knees, are now fixed via the minor outpatient surgery

Of course, the downside for the society is that we have extended adolescence into the very-late 20s, which in some cases may be defined as 56, with angsty teenaged behavior continuing in some cases into dotage.

Better to be the 40-year-old adult thinks the Old Man Manolo, when one is free to behave in the enjoyably adult ways: grown up cocktails, black coffee, and delightful conversation about meaningful books and movies with witty persons of substance. Forty should always be the best year.

Here is the Audrey Glitter Strappy Sandals from the Christian Louboutin, the super sophisticated evening sandal that meets the definition of grown-up pleasure.

Audrey Glitter Sandals from Christian Louboutin

Manolo the Columnist: Bobolink from Stuart Weitzman

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo
I’m expecting a baby in September and although I’m planning on quitting my job after the baby arrives, I’m still obligated to look nice when I go
into the office every day. The problem is that my feet are swelling up like balloons. Do you have any suggestions for a good-looking, low-heeled
business shoe that will be comfortable enough for a pregnant woman?

Nicole

Manolo says, the Manolo has so much sympathy for the working ladies who are pregnant, those mighty Heroines of Fecundity who must suffer through
both the joys of child production and the woes of industrial production.

Often, while out strolling, the Manolo encounters these heavily gravid ladies struggling down the sidewalk through the summer heat toward their
places of employment. If only the Manolo could snap his fingers in the dramatic way, instantaneously producing the palanquin toted by the four
young Fabios, in which our pregnant ladies could then be carried to the office in luxury like the Cleopatra arriving in Rome.

But, sadly, the Manolo does not possess such super fantastic magical powers, and so all he can usually do is to suggest to these uncomfortable
ladies of pregnancy that they “take it easy, deary”, the same advice provided by generations of the elderly Jewish grandmothers.

As for the shoes, the Manolo thinks that what would be best is the classic loafer, such as this one, the Bobolink from the Stuart Weitzman, shown here in the “Milli Velour” finish, which is the sort of greeny color.

Bobolink loaft from Stuart Weitzman

Manolo the Columnist: Georgia from Sam Edelman

Manolo say, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

Now that the Fourth of July is over and my two weeks of vacation are finished, I need some snazzy sandals to cheer me up. Something not too costly. Please help.

Brianna

Manolo says, yes it is true, the saddest days of adulthood are those hot days of summer when your annual vacation has ended and you are stuck back inside at the place of the office, working for The Man. Your first morning back is tolerable because it is filled with the bustle of work and the entertainment of catching up on the office gossip. The second day, Tuesday, however, is when you realize the sadness begins.

For the first eighteen years of your existence your summers were filled with utopic months of freedom from responsibility and schoolwork. Your school and it’s disciplinarian, Mr. Wegnogson, the evil vice principal who was the bane of your youthful existence, and whom your current supervisor vaguely resembles, were weeks away in either direction.

Of the course, things were not so easy for your mother who, whenever the summers rolled around and you and your brothers were loosed from governmental supervision, seemed to always be pulling out the bottle of “cooking wine for pasta sauce”, usually just before she pushed all of you out into the backyard and locked the door, often for the full afternoon.

Look! Here is the Georgia from Sam Edelman. The snazzy golden sandals that are on the sale!

Georgia sandals from Sam Edelman

Manolo the Columnist: Cole Haan Air Bria Thong Sandals

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

For the afternoon of the Fourth of July, my husband and I are doing a big family-and-friends picnic in our backyard, followed by the obligatory trip down to see the fireworks. Given the amount of time I’ll be on my feet, I know I should probably be wearing sneakers, but I’d prefer sandals. Please help.

Marie

Manolo says, ayyyy! The Manolo loves the Fourth of the July, with the fireworks and the picnics, and the friends, and the warm potato salad and the cold beers, but especially the fireworks. Many cheers and “good-job-well-dones” to the peoples who have invented and perfected the things that explode in the air but do not kill us.

The Manolo regards the fireworks as one of the pinnacles of human achievement, right up next to the indoor plumbing and the safety pin. Such genius to take the substance designed for destruction and convert it into the article of beauty and delight. Indeed, the fireworks displays are the one conspicuous and universal occasion when the adults are encouraged to express the childlike amazement at the world, when we profoundly wish to be surprised and awed by what comes next. And, because the fireworks are rarely exploded, only the Fourth of the July and other occasions of great joy, they retain their ability to delight us when so many other pleasures have become mundane and common.

As for the summery sandals of comfort, the Manolo recommends the Air Bria Thong Sandal from the Cole Haan, in the perfectly appropriate color known as “gunsmoke”.

Cole Haan Air Bria Thong Sandal

Viktor & Rolf Sandals for the Tuesday

Manolo says, it is Tuesday and you are back at your desk furiously resenting the fact that you are not away from your desk…not away from your desk doing those thing that you do during your summer vacation.

Unfortunately, this year, yet again, you were out on the day that the vacation roster was passed around in your office, and when you returned the only days that were left were in late August, after the school had started. And when you complained about this to the the Big Boss Man, Mr. Slorthnig, you were offered the two weeks in early June, before the school had ended.

Happily, with the little jiggery-pokery involving swapping days with two other members of the staff, Ditzy Daisy and Jimbo Simpson, it all worked out in the end, and you were able to take off one week at the end of July and the part of the second at the beginning of October, the remainder of the days to be traded to the Cleveland office for the late round draft pick.

Still, such solutions do not make for the happy you, for now you must work until the late Thursday afternoon, and will thus be unable to make it upstate to the in-laws lake house in time for their giant, annual, Fourth of The July Spectacular, featuring the bootleg South Carolina fireworks and the homemade rum punch. (Your husband and son are especially unhappy, both having planned on this year blowing something up real good.)

Worse of all, you will now be forced to attend your local fireworks display, put on by the well-meaning but underfunded Kiwanis club, and attended by many peoples who would ordinarily be at home watching the Maury Povich Show and cooking meth in the 2-liter soda bottle. But, such are the sacrifices you are willing to make for colorful explosions and the smell of cordite.

What is clearly needed now are some fireworks for the frets, and so here are the beautiful, silver, strappy flat sandals from the Viktor and Rolf!

Strappy Sandals from Viktor and Rolf

And, look, they are on the sale! 50% off the usual price!

Manolo the Columnist: Varina from Salvatore Ferragamo

Manolo says, here is the recent column for the Express of the Washington Post.


Dear Manolo,

As I have matured (I am now in my 40s) I have developed foot problems that hinder me from wearing cute shoes (& I don’t mean just heels, but cute flats as well). I am hoping you can recommend/help me find a pair of cute ballet flats (in a neutral summery color; perhaps something metallic) that can accommodate wide feet that need a lot of support (think bunions & arthritis) & will go well with skirts & tapered pants.

DC Walker

Manolo says, it is the same sad story, as one grows into the age of maturity, the infirmities begin to pile up, leaving us less and less capable of doing the things that we once did so effortlessly. When you were 23, you thought nothing of stuffing your feets into the too-small, hot-pink, stiletto-heeled pumps and spending hours of getting down to the boogie sounds at the disco.

Yes, the next day there were blisters aplenty, but they were the small and temporary price to you gladly paid, so happy to be young and out on the town.

But now that you are 43, your nights on the town are considerably less rambunctious. Certainly, you would be more than willing to cut the rug, if the rug was not so insistent on cutting you back, and so, instead of the disco round, it is the Ground Round and the latest Adam Sandler movie with your date Larry, the actuary who lives with his mother in the two-bedroom brick duplex in Bethesda, and whom you met on the internet forum for cat fanciers.

Here is the Varina ballerina from Salvatore Ferragamo, in the dusky gold, and available in the wider widths. This is the classic, well-ade shoe with the good structure and excellent support.
Varina Ballerina from Salvatore Ferragamo

Manolo the Columnist: Adeena from B. Brian Atwood

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

After four long years, and countless thousands of dollars, I’ve almost managed to graduate from college. Now, with two weeks left until the big day, I don’t know what shoes I should wear. A lot of girls go for high heels, but I’m afraid of falling on my face. What do you recommend?

Jacqueline

Manolo says, ayyyyy! Many felicitous congratulations to all of the Manolo’s friends who are graduating this year from the various institutions (educational, religious, penal) in which they have been immured these many years.

To finally leave the school after so long is the alternately liberating and terrifying experience. Your days have been held captive to the calendar of education, your nights to the rituals of studying in the library and chugging from the kegs.

Now you must make your own way in the world, with nothing more than your double major in interpretive dance and French literature and the hearty good wishes of the people at the student loan guarantee agency to speed you on your way. But you are determined to succeed, and are certain that your internship at the Committee to Save the Himalayan Hummingbird has given you good experience in such in-demand fields as photocopying, envelope-stuffing, and frappuccino-fetching. Ayyyy! The world, it is indeed your oyster!

Look! Here is the Adeena from the B. Brian Atwood, the flat ankle-strap D’Orsay flat in the silver color with the perforated floral pattern which will help you stand out from the crowd.

Adeena from Brian Atwood

Manolo the Columnist: Lillit from Loeffler Randall

Manolo says, here is the recent column of the Manolo for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

After yet another disastrous romance with a handsome but loutish young man, I’ve decided to swear off dating for the next few weeks. To see me through this cleansing ordeal, and to prepare me for the eventual arrival of the next Prince Almost-Charming, can you please suggest some shoes that will cheer me up?

Alexis

Manolo says, yes it is true what they say, men are from Mars and women are from Neiman Marcus! For the man, the typical reaction to the romantic rejection is to go out with the backslapping buddies, have the beer or twelve, and try again with the next young woman who flounces into view.

For the typical woman, however, the best reaction is to go on the shopping spree, something of which the Manolo wholeheartedly approves. After all, is it not better to fall in love with the perfect pair of super fantastic new shoes, than to sit at home on the beanbag chair, chugging down the endless pints of Caramel-Choco-Chunk-Banana-Nut Buddy ice cream, while weeping into your Twitter account? (Not that there is anything wrong with the ice cream, but as with all mind-altering substances it is best used in moderation.)

As for what sort of shoes would be best for alleviating the pain of the chronic Disappointment in Love Syndrome, the Manolo thinks these bright blue kittenish heeled sandals, the Lillit from the Loeffler Randall will act as the mild anti-depressive antidote to what ails you.

Lillit Sandal from Loeffler Randall

Manolo the Columnist: Vagibu by Manolo Blahnik

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo

Spring has sprung and my thoughts are turning to a sexy-but-not-too-bare cage sandal (bootie). I’d like to find something in a bronze or gold, but would consider beige as well. The problem is, most have heels 4″ or more, and I can’t go over 3″. Help!

Kelly

Manolo says, ayyyy! This is one of those insoluble questions, of the sort that the Manolo occasionally receives from his many friends.

“Manolo, can you find me the pair of super-sexy, strappy comfort sandals in which I may climb the Mountain of Kilimanjaro? I should mention that afterwards there will be the reception at the Palace of Buckingham where my fiancé, whom I shall refer to by the initials Prince H., will introduce me to his grandparents, so it would be good if these shoes were made of the stain-resistant, micro-fiber unobtainium in the color such lavender or peach, as I will not have enough time in the helicopter to change. Also, I am somewhat budget conscious, so if it is possible, could we keep the price under $17?”

Actually, the question of the Kelly is not so bad. It is difficult because the cage sandals are the latest iteration of “the sexy ‘it’ shoe”, and the “sexy ‘it’ shoe” always requires the high heel. The cage sandals are not meant to be practical, they are meant to say “this women is so bursting with sexiness that her very feets must be constrained by her shoe, lest they wreak havoc on the unaccompanied PGA golfers and Silicon Valley billionaires.”

Here is the Vagibu Cage Sandals from the maestro Manolo Blahnik. It has the four-inch heel and is wildly expensive. But, even if you cannot wear it or afford it, it is still most beautiful to look at, no?

Blahnik Vagibu Cage Sandals

Manolo the Columnist: Red Carpet Kelli from E! Live

Manolo says, here is the latest column of the Manolo for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

My junior prom is coming up, and I’ve decided that rather than look like a Disney fairy princess or a high-class prostitute I want to try to be more elegant and restrained in a little black dress that’s not too short. I need some shoes that add color, and because I’m in high school so money is an issue.

Sophie

Manolo says, ayyyy! How well the Manolo remembers his own high school prom at the Our Lady of the Flaming Spleen Country Day School (whose motto remains “The wrathful word turneth away evil”). As expected the Manolo turned out in his finest finery, the frock coat, striped trousers, silken waistcoat, top hat, spats and his finest walking stick, which, the truth be told, was not that different from what he normally wore to school each day.

Because the Manolo was the fashion reporter for the school newspaper, it was his job to stand on the red carpet and interview the most splendiferous couples as they arrived in the rented limousines, dressed in the ill-fitting tuxedos and polyester hoochie-mama gowns.

“Ayyy! You look fabulous darling. Who is this you are wearing? Fernando of Tulsa? It is smashing, this combination of rhinestones and pink rayon!”

Here is the Red Carpet Kelli from the E! Live, in the gold metallic that will enliven the simple black dress in the exactly correct way to distinguish one from the crowd.

Red Carpet Kelli

Manolo the Columnist: Salsa from Badgley Mischka

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

I am getting married in four weeks and I would love to have my “something blue” be my shoes but have been unable to find anything. Do you have any suggestions? I should mention that I’m already way over budget, so something not overly expensive would be best.

Diana

Manolo says, frankly, the Manolo finds his friend Diana’s insouciance about her wedding shoes the refreshing change from the usual bridal missives the Manolo receives, many which begin, “Manolo, there are only thirteen months until the big day, and I am frantic…”

Too often the preparation for the wedding day has become like the military campaign, as the ravening hordes of planners, designers, decorators and their camp followers fan out across the countryside, stripping it bare of its resources and plundering the parental bank accounts. This is why, at their approach, the sensible peoples take refuge behind the stout walls and stiff drinks, fighting the defensive battle to keep control of one’s sanity and purse. But too often, the battlements are stormed, and the forces of moderation are overwhelmed by the silk taffeta dresses from the big name designers and the surf and turf at $95 the plate.

This is why the Manolo is always glad to hear from the people who are not caught in the grip of wedding war fever, baying for expensive blood from the turnip. And which is why the Manolo is happy to recommend the Salsa from the Badgley Mischka in the light blue satin color called “glacier”.

Salsa from Badgley Mischka

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