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Manolo the Columnist: Huntress Boot from Hunter

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

Dear Manolo,

Thanks to a recent unpleasant experience with a late-season hurricane which shall remain nameless, I have come to the realization that I need to upgrade my rain boots to something sturdier and less girlish. Please help.

Angela

Manolo says, it is true! The pink girly gum boots that were fine for skipping down the street to the patisserie in the light mist would likely prove unsuitable for wearing while chain-sawing into kindling the oak tree which has crushed your Prius.

But this is why the five-hundred square feet walk-in shoe closets were invented, no? Because you need many different sorts of the shoes for many different sorts of the occasions, including the various situations that arise during the natural and/or manmade disasters.

For the example, by the Manolo’s reckoning, to be properly dressed during the recent hurricane would have required at least five different pairs of the shoes, to include the it-won’t-be-so-bad-hurricane-party shoes, the ayyyy!-we-are-all-going-to-die-drunk shoes, the oy-it-was-worse-than-imagined-hangover shoes, the what-to-wear-to-the-Red-Cross-shelter shoes, and finally, and most importantly, the shoes of did-not-listen-to-the-warnings-remorsefulness.

As for what sturdy foul weather boots the Manolo would recommend for the young lady who vows to take matters more seriously next time, the Manolo is partial to the Hunter Huntress, the traditional tall wellington that has served generations of unflappable English ladies very well.

Huntress from Hunter

Manolo the Columnist: Park from Stuart Weitzman

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

Dear Manolo,

Can you please help me? I’m having a hard time deciding on my Halloween costume this year. It’s come down to a choice between Morticia Addams (with a very short skirt), a Sexy Librarian, or Sarah Palin. Which do you think would be the best? What sort of shoes should I wear with it?

Emmy

Manolo says, the Manolo remembers when the Halloween was a holiday for only the little kids, who dressed up like the balleina, or the cowboy, or the Superman, and took delight in the seasonal joys of carving the pumpkins, eating the candy, and “scaring” the neighbors.

But then, sometime around the 1995, the Halloween metamorphosed into the fully adult holiday, in which the little kids are almost the after thought. Now it has become our annual Brazen Festival of Hoochie Unbound, the Dionysian bacchanal in which even the most matronly soccer mom must, for the single evening, put on the micro-mini dress and halter-top and become the Sexy Nurse, or the Sexy Pirate Lady, or the Sexy Eleanor Roosevelt.

The Manolo suggests, this year, tossing out the old, exhausted Sexy Something Halloween template, and going with the more creative costuming. Instead of tarting up the mundane, (such as the Sexy Meter Maid), try to de-tart something naturally alluring, such as the Unsexy Stripper, the Unsexy Scarlet Johansson, or the Unsexy Librarian (which, at this point, would be the radical departure from the new Halloween tradition.)

Here is the Park tall boot from the Stuart Weitzman, something that would look great under the full-length, tweed skirt that is the centerpiece of your Unsexy Victorian Trollop outfit.

The Park from Stuart Weitzman

Manolo the Columnis: from La Canadienne

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

Dear Manolo,

Now that Fall is here, I find I need some new boots, something that will keep me warm and dry. Did I mention that I’m a poor working girl? I am, so can you please suggest something reasonably priced?

Lola

Manolo says, as always the Manolo’s advice is to save up your moneys and purchase the best quality, most super fantasticest shoes possible, as nothing can give as much satisfaction as wearing the pair of beautiful, well-made shoes.

However, the Manolo knows what it is like to be the poor person during the rainy cold season, the poor person who must fashion his own super fantastic winter boots out of plastic soda bottles and bits of home insulation that you have harvested from the abandoned building site near the cave where you keep your Madame Alexander doll collection.

Unfortunately, despite the Manolo’s boundless sympathy, when it comes to the weatherproof boots, unless you are the wizard with the duct tape and the fake fur, you will have to spend some money to get something that will both look good, keep out the weather, and last the long time.

This is why the Manolo is especially fond of the La Canadienne boots. They are made in Montreal, by the French Canadians; people who live in igloos but still care about what is appearing on the runways in Paris.

Here is the Mazy from La Canadienne. It is not cheap, but it is the solid long-term investment in comfort, the sort of handsome weatherproof boot that will be wearable for many winters to come.

Mazy from La Canadienne

The Diaz Leather Ankle Boot from the Maestro Manolo Blahnik for the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday, and you are back at your desk doing that thing that you do to make that money that you need to keep the wolves away from the door.

Wolves? Ha!

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!

Diaz Leather Ankle Boot from Manolo Blahnik

This is the Diaz Leather Ankle Boot from Maestro Manolo Blahnik, the sort of shoe that heralds the coming winter with style and seriousness.

Beautiful and Rare

 

…and each one is at least 70% off some seriously hefty (as in $1000+) price tags.

These five unique offerings are available in extremely limited sizes, but if they’re your size and your style, you’re in luck.


Salvatore Ferragamo Berg sculpted wedge sandal
The question is not are they too Bianca Jagger; it’s are they Bianca Jagger *enough*?

The sculpted precision of the cut-out keeps these bisque suede wedges from being just another pair of campy kicks. For an absolutely horrible variation on the curvilinear theme hop on over to the other blog to play Is It A Shoe? Hint: I don’t really think it’s a shoe.


Ralph Lauren Collection Hannie riding boot
I don’t know who’s doing the accessories behind good ol’ Ralphie Lipschitz these days, but they knocked this one out of the park. Ralph Lauren Goes Horsey is Ralph Lauren at his best. I’m also pretty sure it’s the name of a mail-order-only DVD that comes in discreet brown packaging.


Ralph Lauren Collection Jearra t-strap sandal
I love vachetta leather the way nicer, less interesting people love their kids. Traditionally you’d have to wait for time and the elements to give your vachetta its characteristic patina, but it looks like the clever calzolai in Lauren’s Italian workshop have not just tooled the quarter and the platform but treated it, too.

(more…)

Manolo the Columnist: York from Michael by Michael Kors

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


Dear Manolo,

I think I need a pair of new booties to go with my pink skinny jeans. What do you recommend?

Karis

Manolo says, yes, it is true, colorful panting— pink, green, yellow, red— is all the rage among the hipsters, fashionistas, and style setters. In fact the trend is so ubiquitous, that it is probably actually out, and we have just not gotten the news yet.

But such is always the way when one chases to the trends, no?

One minute, everyone in the world is laying down on their beds desperately trying to squeeze into the Gloria Vanderbilt, super-slim-fit designer disco jeans, and the next it is all “Come on Eileen”, and now you have to go down to the hardware store and buy the overalls and bandanas so as to achieve that sexy-retro-junky-hobo-gamine look that was so popular in the summer of 1983. But as soon as you button up your Big Smith’s and started to look for someone to teach you to play the penny whistle, it was time for the “Girls Just Wanted to Have Fun”, and, well frankly, that whole Lauper-based period is best forgotten. (Your hair has only recently recovered from what you did to it then.)

Manolo says, fashion is overrated. Style is underrated. Be your own style icon!

Look! Here is the York bootie from Michael by Michael Kors, the platform ankle bootie that is trendy-hot in the purple (which the Manolo loves) and more timeless in the conservative black version.

York from Micheal by Micheal Kors

Would You Wear It? Erdem Floral Print Ankle Boots from Nicholas Kirkwood

Nicholas Kirkwood Erdam Floral-Print Cotton Ankle Boots

Manolo says, here is the cotton, floral-print, ankle boots, the Erdem from Nicholas Kirkwood.

Here is the second angle, showing Lucite floating heel feature/thingy/whatzit.

Erdem Cotton Floral-Print Ankle Boot from Nicholas Kirkwood

On the one of the hands, it is like the modern architectural thought-experiment that has gone awry. (Lucite! Flowers! Block!) On the other of the hands, it is both arresting and fun, which is the difficult combination to manage.

So, dearest internet friend, if the money were not the objection…would you wear it?

Manolo the Columnist: Timberland Pro Titan Safety Toe Boot

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

Dear Manolo,

In September, my employer is sending me out to the North Dakota oil patch for two weeks of tours, meetings, and familiarization with this part of its business. I’m a city girl from New York, so what do I know from North Dakota? I’ve been told that I’ll need boots for the visits to the work sites. Please recommend something appropriate

Jennifer

Manolo says, asking the Manolo for advice on what to wear to the North Dakota oil rig is like asking the peacock how to fish for the herring. He might have the theoretical understanding of the process, but could offer no practical advice.

However, from what the Manolo has heard, the oil boom part of the North Dakota is currently the manliest place in the entire forty-eight lower states, filled to bursting with manly working men going about their oily business as truck drivers, roustabouts, toolpushers, and other assorted roughnecks.

And it is not just manly by occupation, but also because so many workingmen have poured into the region over the past two years that women are now greatly out numbered in that part of the state. Which means, of the course, that no matter what the Manolo’s friend wears she will be considered one of the most attractive and stylish women in town.

Here is the Timberland Pro-Titan 6” with the safety toe, which will look smart with your jeans as you tromp through the mud of North Dakota.

Timberland Pro Titan 6

Manolo the Columnist: Frye 12 R W Engineer Boots

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

Dear Manolo,

Yesterday, after five days of Derecho-induced darkness, the power in my neighborhood was finally restored. The first thing I did, after turning on the air conditioner, was boot up my computer, check my email, and look at your blog. My question is, after spending almost a week without power, what sort of shoes would you recommend for societal collapse?

Marcia

Manolo says, that is easy! Whatever you can loot from the burned out shell of Neiman Marcus!

In the post-apocalyptic future, the Manolo expects the survivors to be exceedingly well-shod for the first few years, after which, we will have to make do with old Birkenstocks and burlap bags. It will be like living in the Middle Ages again, only without the benefit of people who are handy with tools.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, much more likely than total collapse will be the sort of disaster that will cause localized damage, short-term panic, and disruption for the few days or weeks. Things like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornados, unexpected visits from Lindsay Lohan.

For this you will need to have the pair of kick-butt boots to protect your feets as you go about your business of rebuilding your neighborhood. (And, if the worst should happen, you need something to help you crawl over the burning wreckage to get at the Neiman Marcus shoe department.)

Here is are the classic Frye 12 R W Engineer Boots, the perfect thing to wear with your post-apocalypse, Mad-Max shoulder pads and leathers.

Frye 12RW Engineer Boots, Perfect Post-Disaster Boots

Shoemaker Saturday: Doc Martens

Manolo says, watching the craftsmanship in these videos is absolutely mesmerizing.

Dr. Martens 1460 8-eye Boot in Brown

The Doc Marten’s 1460, yet another classic boot, from the classic boot maker.

Manolo’s Late Night Bargain: Earthkeepers Chukka from Timberland

Timberland Earthkeepers Chukka Boots

Manolo says, it is no secret that the Manolo is the fan of the Earthkeepers from Timberland for the casual man wear, and so when he saw that this pair of chukka boots was selling at nearly 60% off, he could not but recommend them to his internet friends.

Shoemaker Saturday: How the Frye Boots are Made

Manolo says, the only problem with this video is that it is far too short to be fully satisfying.

Frye Smith Harness Boot

The Frye Harness boot, like the Levis, the motorcycle jacket, and the white crew neck t-shrt, is still one of the great American classics.

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