Manolo says, here for your Sunday viewing pleasure is the magnificent platform sandal from the Christian Louboutin. Never has the color taupe looked so sexy.
Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s dear internet friends has asked him the question.
I have just received an invitation to present a paper in Helsinki this summer at a conference on the laws of war. This means that I shall be the only twenty-something-year-old female in a hall full of big, gruff, snarly, manlymen. Since genetic constitution and chromosomal make-up render it impossible for me to project an image of gruff, snarly, girlitude, I prefer to present myself as both a lover and a fighter. Could you please recommend a pair of show-stopping shoes that would convey this image?
(1) Price and heel altitude are distant seconds to superfantasticness.
(2) I think it’s time for me to buy my first Manolos.
If you decide to post this query, could you please leave my name out? Muchisimas gracias!
With warmest wishes from frosty NYC,
Manolo says, mucho-macho, snarly, gruffy-huffy, law-of-war manly men? In Finland?
Oy, to the Manolo this does not sound like fun. Indeed, it sounds as if the Manolo’s nameless friend is riding out to the annual Mongol Golden Horde company picnic, featuring all the roast badger and curdled mares’ milk you can eat, followed by the spirited game of “Kick the Head”.
In this case, she should do as the Manolo does when forced to participate in the strange native rites, behave as if you were the eccentric 19th century British explorer.
Be polite, be friendly, be sympathetic, but make it clear to the cannibalistic savages, through your dress and your comportment, that you represent the superior culture, one which offers these benighted souls the benefits of indoor plumbing and the afternoon tea.
Thus, when the lawyers of war offer you the drink of honeyed mead in the polished skull of their slain-in-battle senior partner, you must sip politely, and smilingly promise them, in your best Queen’s English, that you will return soon with the Royal Navy gunboat and destroy their God-forsaken way of life.
Of the course, in the meantime, the Manolo’s friend must dress in the manner that shows them that she is the powerful and important person in her own culture, one who must not be trifled with (or, at the least, one who must not be cut up and tossed into the bubbling cauldron of lunch.)
What better way to do this than with the aggressively beautiful shoes?
Here are two classic pairs of the Maestro Manolo Blahnik’s shoes that one should not live without.
Either in the mid-heel or the high-heel, in the dark brown or the black, these shoes are serious enough for the everyday work, and yet, kick-ass enough to quell the native insurrection.
If one truly wishes to leave the savages speachless, however, then the Manolo suggests these slightly less practical pumps from the Christian Louboutain.
Expected reaction: “Ooooooh, shiny! Lawyer Grog think pretty lady in glittery snake shoes have mighty mojo. Must listen attentively to presentation.”
Manolo says, for the Manolo nothing gets him through the middle of the cold winter week better than the pictures of the beautiful shoes, and few are more beautiful than this classic metallic peep-toe platform pump from the Christian Louboutin.
Manolo says, the unsinkable Suzy Menkes she has written the story about the inimitable Christian Louboutin!
On the shelves of his tiny store (21 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris) at the corner of a Belle Époque glassed-in gallery, Louboutin’s creations are on display: classic pumps scooping round the toes and poised on a thin 130-millimeter, or 5-inch, heel; sandals with playful pompoms where sturdy straps cross at the front; or operatic effects with lacy leather rings, echoing the years that the 13-year-old Louboutin went round Paris music halls showing his shoe sketches.
“Women don’t buy shoes – they look at themselves and their legs in silhouette – I saw that with the dancers,” says Louboutin, 41, whose nightclub subjects wore little beside their footwear.
There is a luxurious, oriental glamour to the boutique, where a curtain decorated with arabesques, mirrors with curlicue frames and a decorative screen bring a touch of the exotic. Born in Brittany but, he believes, with Tahitian blood in the family history, Louboutin has a penchant for the Middle East and has a vacation home in Egypt, on the Nile at Luxor.
How did Louboutin get from gawping at dancers to fitting his creations on classy beauties such as Princess Caroline of Monaco, Catherine Deneuve and Queen Rania of Jordan, not to mention Hollywood princesses Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow?
He passed through two iconic French houses, Charles Jourdan and Roger Vivier, where he helped organize a retrospective and handled shoes with a history of being created for Marlene Dietrich in performance, for the coronation of the shah of Iran and for Christian Dior haute couture.
“It was working with Jourdan and Roger Vivier that made me realize that shoe design was a real métier,” Louboutin says.
This it is exactly what the Manolo has been saying at his humble shoe blog, that the designing of the shoes, it is the craft, the art, one that is indeed most difficult to master. This it is why the shoes they are the objects worthy of our attention, because they can, in the hands of the master makers, truly be the art of the finest sort, the things that may bring us great joy through their beauty.
As for how one becomes first attuned to the beauty and potential of the shoes, it frequently has the genesis in the childhood, as it had with the Christian Louboutin
Louboutin can trace back his original creative “click.”
“As a child, I was taken to the musée des océans, and I saw a sign of a stiletto with two thick lines through it – and it haunted me,” says Louboutin, claiming that his schoolbooks were filled with drawings of the “no stiletto heels in here” sign. The images of Helmut Newton and the wild clubbing years in the 1980s at the Paris Le Palace cemented his fascination with shoes. Maybe it is significant that, apart from the splash of vermilion, the colors tend to be rich purples, smoky blues and moss greens, as if captured in Toulouse-Lautrec’s night world.
But Louboutin also makes daywear, from calf-hugging flat boots to platform-soled espadrilles that he encourages summer brides to wear, rather than spindly heels in which they cannot dance the night away.
“Luxury should not be anti-progress,” he says, referring to women’s freedom. “My idea of progress is to make shoes not higher, but ever finer.”
This it is why the Manolo the humble shoeblogger he adores the work of the Christian Louboutin, because he understands the shoe and the shoe-making perfectly.
Manolo says, here are the super fantastic boots from the Chirstian Louboutin. Think of the entrance you would make as you stepped from your sleigh directly into the office party!
Manolo says, just beacuse you need the serious shoes for your job of high-poweredness does not mean that they must be stodgy and stale. Here are two pairs of the Christian Louboutin that are both handsome and suitable for even the most serious of the occupations.
Even the better, they are on the sale at the Bluefly, 40% off the usual price.