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!
I will soon be on my fabulous, romantic getaway in Italy. Yes, I’ll be there in the frigid and possibly wet days of February. Can you suggest an comfortable, stylish, and waterproof boot to keep my tootsies happy?
Manolo says, how wonderful to be going to the Bella Italia in the depths of the American winter, which by the time the Manolo’s friend arrives in Europe will be into its seventeenth straight month of below-freezing, snow-covering, icy-sidewalk-slip-and-falling fury.
Thus, the comparative warmth of Roma, albeit with the occasional rains, will be the welcome change.
Of the course, it is never the bad time to visit Italy, especially if your mind is set on amor. It is the perfect place to go with the loved one, what with the wine, and the food, and the heady atmosphere of antiquity, art and style. So romantic!
And, if you do not have the loved one, what better place to find the temporary loved one than Roma, where every handsome Silvio, Leonardo, and Tony stands ready to flatter you shamelessly, put you on the back of his Vespa and speed you around the Colosseum as if you were the seventeen-year-old exchange student who has slipped away from her chaperones.
Here is the Romana from Aquatalia by Marvin . the super stylish, weatherproof boot that would keep your feets dry while you tread the Via Appia. And look! They are made in Italy, so it will be like the homecoming for feets!
I feel left out. I seem to be the only woman in DC who is not wearing a pair of skinny jeans under riding-style/flat boots this winter. I have taken your lessons to heart and am no longer interested in buying cheap shoes, but I don’t want to invest in a trend that will look dated in two years. How can I buy a pair of boots that will be on trend right now but also classic enough to wear for years? (non-black is probably best.)
Manolo says, to quickly answer this question: the riding boots have never been out of the style, and will never go out of the style. They are the fashion perennial, and every woman should have the pair in her closet.
Yes, today, the girls are wearing them with the skinny hipster jeans tucked into the tops. And the day before yesterday it was the jodhpurs and hacking jackets. And the day after tomorrow, it may be the tie-dyed bubble skirts and tube tops. Who can say, except that the riding boot will still be the useful and attractive part of the wardrobe.
As for the matter of trendiness, the Manolo reminds you that personal style is not dependent upon trendiness. Historically, the most stylish peoples are those who have forged the distinctive and attractive personal look, which may or may not accord with the fads of the moment. And so, the Manolo would tell you to seek out your own personal style and not worry overly much about what the hipster girls are wearing this season, or the next.
Manolo says, not only do these boots, the Tahra from La Canadienne, have the virtue of being weatherproof (which is the important virtue, indeed, given the severity of this winter), but they also somewhat, if you squint, resemble the super fantastic Metropolitan Railway Boots about which the Manolo has recently blogged.
Manolo says, two years ago, when the Manolo was living in Argentina, he purchased the pair of these boots, the Timberland Earthkeepers 6″ in preparation for tramping about the wilds of Patagonia. He admits to having been somewhat dubious about them at the time…
“Yes,” the Manolo said to himself, while examining them in the Timberland store in the Patio Bullrich, “they look very good, but they are not terribly expensive. Will they last?”
And now, the Manolo is happy to report that they have given good service over many, many miles, and have become one of the preferred boots for stumbling through the trackless wilderness of the Farmers Market.
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…
This is not the big, flashy, glittery Louboutin platform, or the scheming-to-win-our-hearts Jimmy Choo pump. No, this is the subtle shoe, with the perfectly beautiful and restrained combination of colors and details. Look at the manner in which the buff color of the interior contrasts perfectly with the dove gray of the exterior!
This is that rarest of shoes, the one which can be worn profitably, to great effect, by the smart and stylish older woman, or the intelligent, young, sexy thing.
Manolo says, outside it is 206 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit), and the snow is piled fifteen feets deep on the sidewalks, drifting to twenty-seven feets in the places.
But you have to go out to the Duane Reed because you need the milk, the toilet paper, the cat food, and maybe some smoky taupe eye-liner, because you have just read something at one of the beauty blogs, and you only have the smoky bisque color on the hand.
But you are in the quandary, because your flimsy, unlined rain boots, in the pinkish color, will not keep your feets warm. And the only other suitable feetwear are the fugly moon-boots you brought with you from Wisconsin, and you need to look your best, because you have heard that many of the major banks are closed because of the blizzard, and you suspect that there will be the hunky young investment bankers on the streets, having the spirited snowball fights. (This is Manhattan, yes?)
Manolo says, you were struggling through the slush this morning to get to your place of employment, when suddenly it occurred to you that what you really needed was the sleigh, with the bob-tailed horse and the jingly bells,.
And then, as you were thinking this, your mind wandered, as it frequently does, to the costumery needed for the activity, at which point you realized that you had no boots suitable for the sleigh ride!
And then, this afternoon, you surf to the site of the Manolo, for your daily chuckle of shoe-based super fantasticness, and you see that the Shoeblogger is recommending these Oscar de la Renta Suede Lace-Up Ankle Booties for the sleigh riding.
“But, Manolo,” you might be saying, “these boots are not suitable for riding in the one-horse open sleigh.”
To which the Manolo would reply, “please, do not trouble the Manolo with your petty doubts.”
These boots are perfect for the sort of sleigh ride you would desire most. The sort where the strapping North Country Man, in the fur jacket and hand-knitted muffler, carries you straight from the front stoop of your building into the seat of his sleigh, without your feets touching the snow. Once properly seated, he would tuck you safely under the fur blanket (while perhaps stealing the most decorous kiss), take the reins and whirl you through the winter wonderland, laughing all the way.
So, of the course, these are the perfect boots for riding in the sleigh.
Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Mr. Manolo Blahnik. This website is not affiliated in any way with Mr. Manolo Blahnik, any products bearing the federally registered trademarks MANOLO®, BLAHNIK® or MANOLO BLAHNIK®, or any licensee of said federally registered trademarks. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the author.