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!
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?
Manolo says, on this day, seventy years ago, our maestro di tutti maestri Manolo Blahnik graced the world with his presence!
In honor of this historic event, and in honor of our Maestro’s glorious day, the humble Manolo the Shoeblogger gives to you this link to the most recent interview.
Actually, I know what he means. It is strange to think, now, that there was a time not so long ago when shoes were just shoes, rather than the magical totems of success and femininity they have become. Expensive high heels have become a motif in our popular culture for Stuff Women Want. They are how Olympians reward themselves for success, and the default shorthand of every chick-lit book cover. And the origin of this idea of the shoe as a magical object stems, in large part, from the way Manolo designs them. His sketches of shoes are extraordinary: not inanimate line-drawings but character portraits, sensual and suggestive. Richard Avedon’s fashion photography showed us how clothes can lend charisma and attitude to the wearer, by teasing out and emphasising the posture and silhouette of the body. Manolo did the same with footwear. With his sketches, Manolo has done more to open the eyes of the world to the transformative power of the right shoe than anyone since Cinderella.
And yet, Manolo has never really cashed in on the phenomenon he helped create. He has never sold his company. He still personally designs every pair of shoes that bears his name, rather than delegate to a studio. Key roles in the company are held by members of his family, and he has never done a lucrative mass-market collaboration, along the lines of Jimmy Choo for H&M. He is a wealthy man with an enviable lifestyle, but perhaps not as wildly rich as one might expect. He lives in Bath, in an 18th-century townhouse that he adores; he says he moved there in the 1980s because he “could not possibly afford” such a house in London. “But who cares? I couldn’t care less about business,” he says cheerfully.
As always, he is revealed as the most delightful person, and our model in all things.]]>
Would that the rampaging wolf packs were your main concern.
Yes, if you live in the Montana, or the Wyoming, the wolf might occasionally, maybe, snatch up the unguarded toy poodle, or the haughty house cat (who probably had it coming), but even there the danger to your nuclear family and home is negligible. Although, certainly, most 21st century husbands, now reduced to the largely supernumerary functions, such as 3,000 mile oil changes and ordering new aluminum siding, would relish the chance to reassert their Viking bona fides by driving off the pack of wolves while armed with nothing more than the large stick and the AR-15.
Ayyy! Such is the stuff of suburban male fantasy! But, thanks to modern high-powered cartridges and infrared scopes, our ancient and noble canine vermin are easily kept at bay.
Unfortunately, modern vermin are not so easily dissuaded from their depredations. Indeed, between the tax collector, the bank, the politician, and the nice man at the gas station who, where this 18th century, would be standing the the side of the road wearing the mask and holding the brace of pistols, you have never been more beset on all sides.
And this says nothing about the various indignities foisted upon you at the place of the work, where your immediate supervisor, Mr. Potiphar, has earned the well deserved reputation as the slave driver.
But, what can you do? When has life not been the struggle? When have the metaphoric wolves not been at the non-metaphoric door?
Look! Beautiful and sophisticated booties!
This is the Diaz Leather Ankle Boot from Maestro Manolo Blahnik, the sort of shoe that heralds the coming winter with style and seriousness.]]>
I am a tax attorney in an exceedingly formal office. I work with a number of charming, albeit elderly gentlemen who might well drop dead on the floor if they encounter a naked toe in the work place. However, spring is quickly passing towards summer here in New Orleans, and even my affection for my colleagues cannot compel me to wear pantyhose during the summer in this climate. Can you direct me towards an office-appropriate shoe that is not too warm for summer wear but does not reveal my lower digits?
Manolo says, the Manolo has often noted that, strangely, even the most staid lawyer can be driven mad by the glimpse of succulent toe flesh, which is why sandals have never been considered to be the proper business attire.
And yet, our young tax attorney, who is undoubtedly slaving away in the corporate salty-tear mines as the countdown to the infernal April 15th nears, will soon be needing something truly glorious — high-heeled, bejeweled, and open-toed — to celebrate her temporary release from bondage.
In the meantime, she must concentrate on rendering unto Caesar and the senior partners that which is due them, to be defined as 3000 billable hours the year. Because of this, she deserves the most beautiful, beautiful office shoes, so as to be the tiny daily consolation for her mighty labors.
Here is the Pargata Buckle-Toe Rafia Pump from the Maestro Manolo Blahnik, the perfect, super-sophisticated, summery shoe!
Manolo says, it is Monday, and you are NOT back at your desk, NOT slaving away for the man.
You were supposed to be back in the office this morning, as surely as the sun rises in the Easterly direction, doing your bit to increase the bottom line of MarScro International, the privately held company with interests in the manufacturing, importation and marketing of such diverse products as the lead-based Chinese toys, powdered Sudanese baby formula, and Liberian-made cellphones.
You were supposed to be back at the work, but on Christmas Day, shortly after nine in the morning, you received the strangest phone call from the CEO, Mr. S., himself, the eccentric billionaire famous in the financial press for driving the 1962 Nash Rambler (which he purchased new), and for chasing business reporters away from his decrepit three-bedroom home with the walking stick.
It was the strangest call, because the perpetually sour, old Mr. S. sounded giddy, perhaps even drunk, shouting “Merry Christmas”, and weepily thanking you for being such the faithful employee. And then he gave you the week off, followed by the big raise.
At that point, you became certain that the phone call was some lame practical joke, that this was not really the CEO, but rather some co-worker playing the cruel trick upon you.
“No, no, my dear lady. I assure you it is I.”
“But, sir, it may sound like you, but…but….”
“But, it is not my usual behavior? Not my custom to give raises to valued employees?”
“Yes, sir. Not your usual behavior.”
“Well, let us just say that I am a changed man, that from this day forth, I shall know how to keep Christmas well.”
And then he asked about your son.
“And how is little Tom?”
“He’s fine, sir.”
“Is he? The last I saw of the boy he was in a leg brace, so pathetic.”
“No, sir, he’s fine now. He’s a sophomore at Johns Hopkins, on a lacrosse scholarship.”
And then you remember that Tommy had come into the office the few years ago, on crutches, right after he had hyperextended his knee in the scrimmage against the varsity team.
When you finally hung up, “Merry Christmas!” and headed back into the family room to finish the opening of the presents, you were still not sure it had really been him.
But this morning, while you were sitting in the kitchen, drinking the coffee and debating whether or not you should get dressed and go into the office, the doorbell rang.
You pulled your housecoat tight around you, and went to the door, where you discovered the courier standing on the front step. He said your name. You signed the receipt. And then he handed you the thirty-five pound turkey, together with the envelope containing the fancy Christmas card and the substantial, year-end bonus check, with the words “Merry Christmas!” scrawled in the spidery script on the subject line.
And now, you are sitting at your computer thinking about getting some new shoes…
Something like these Maestro Manolo Blahnik Clausado D’Orsay Pumps in this rich blue color…. You have certainly earned them.
As always, the Maestro Manolo Blahnik delights and amuses.
And, just in time for the Christmas, he has produced (with Camilla Morton) the seasonally appropriate fantasy picture book…Manolo Blahnik and the Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker
Ayyyy! He does not know who is Suri Cruise AND he has the new book. That is not one, but two reasons to love the maestro!]]>
Pulchritudo non habet rationem appetibilis nisi inquantum induit rationem boni: Sic enim et verum appetibile est: Sed secundum rationem propriam habet claritatem
Our friend Eco says that this is Aquinas’s proof that beauty, goodness, and truth are “equivalent and convertible”.
But, the Manolo does not need the Aquinas, nor the Eco, to know this.
All the humble shoeblogger must do to understand that truth and beauty and goodness are the same is gaze upon this…
The pointy-toed suede snkle boot from the Maestro Manolo Blahnik.]]>
Yesterday you were saying to yourself, “what gives with the Manolo, he’s usually posted one of his Monday stories by now.”
To which the Manolo would reply, of the course the Manolo was not available! Yesterday was the International Talk Like the Pirate Day!
The Manolo began the celebrations early, and by the time he thought to post his Monday story, the spirits of the day (both abstract pirate good cheer and concrete rum) had already begun to possess the Manolo. Frankly, the phrase, “You arrrrgggh indeed most super fantastic, matey,” does not trip lightly off of the tongue, and so the Manolo decided to retire to his cabin early to recover.
But, today, to make up for it, the Manolo will show you something wonderful….
The suede and raccoon fur boots from the Maestro Manolo Blahnik!
Beautiful pirate boots for beautiful sophisticated womens!]]>
Sadly, most of these weekends are not even worth remembering, given over as they are to the demands of the lawn care, and the house care, and the car care, and the laundry care, and all of the niggling little cares that weigh down the suburban homeowner.
It was not always thus. Once, when you and Gary were first married, you had the romantic dreams of walk-up flats in Paris and long trips to the Greek isles, where you would squeeze the juice out of life together.
Now, on the Saturdays, it is up early and off to the garden store, where you spend several hours shopping for the new edge-trimmers, and the pesticides, and the black spot resistant roses, which is sad because neither of you really enjoy the gardening.
Then, as you are heading out, you notice that Gary has gotten busy loading hundred-pound bags of colored stone (mostly reds and blues) onto your shopping cart.
“What are you doing,” you ask.
“Xeriscape!” shouts Gary, “We need to xeriscape the whole damn thing. Front yard, back yard, side yards. Hell, xeriscape the living room.”
“What are you talking about?’
“Low-maintenance, low-water landscaping. Xeriscaping. Saw it is Sunset while I was waiting at the oil change place. Tear up the whole yard, lay down colored stone and plant cactuses. Prickly pears, and barrel cactuses, and maybe some giant saguaro.”
“Gary, honey,” when he gets like this you have to gently talk him down, “we live in Ohio.”
It is moments like this that make you realize that shoes are nature’s own Prozac.
Look, what could be more soothing and satisfying than strappy suede sandals from the Maestro Manolo Blahnik?
You know, maybe some colored rocks in the side yard aren’t such the bad idea.]]>
For those suffering from the low energy, the Cerreto Buckle Snakeskin d’Orsay Pumps from the Maestro Manolo Blahnik is perhaps restorative of vigor….
And if, like the Manolo, you are experiencing the surfeit of black bile, which to the person of normally sanguine temperament is quite distressing, then perhaps the Arsenia Metallic Leather Peep-Toe Pumps will put your humours back into balance.
Simple but effective cures from that most honored of physicians, Manolo Blahnik.]]>