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Manolo the Columnist: Jodi from Diane von Furstenberg

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

Dear Manolo,

I have a trip coming up in November to New York! I will be singing with a number of choirs in the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center and after our performance we have a gala to attend. I am planning on finding a little black dress to wear for the event, but I could really use some advice on some great heels to go with it. Any suggestions!

Heidi

Manolo says, how do you get to the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center? Practice, practice, practice.

Yes, it is the old joke, but it is funny because being the good chorister is the difficult thing to master, relying as it does upon both the hours and the hours of practice, and the unusual combination of the personal traits.

Firstly, you have to be the good enough singer to qualify to carry the tune. Unless you are exceptional, it is unlikely that your famous rendition of “The Unchained Melody”, in which you hit all of the high notes flawlessly, will sound quite as good when not accompanied by water shooting out of your showerhead.

Secondly, your ego must not be overweening, making you think that every solo should be yours. Indeed, you must be humble enough to recognize that, during certain times of the year, your entire vocal repertoire will consist of the word “Hallelujah” sung repeatedly until you are forever sick of it. (“Curse you George Frideric Handel!”)

Look! Here is the Jodi from Diane von Furstenberg, the suede platform sandal with just the right amount of celebratory gold.

Jodi from Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg for the Spring

Manolo says, it is wet and gloomy today where the Manolo is, but that has not stopped him from thinking about the imminent arrival of the spring. Soon, soon, soon, the weather will break and we will be plunged into the most clement of all seasons, when the birds bloom and the flowers sing, when the young lady’s fancy turns to thoughts of shoes!

Here are three shoes from the Diane von Furstenberg which will help you usher in the new season.

Klee from Diane von Furstenberg

If you are especially brave, maybe you will break out the shorts, in which case you will need the The Klee, the fun toe-ring flat sandal perfect for helping you shiver through until the real spring arrives.

Opal from Diane von Furstenberg

Although, maybe your desire to to show off your wintery legs to good advantage is not as absolute as you first thought, or, perhaps you want to distract viewers downward, away from your holiday remnant thighs, either way the Opal is the sort of snazzy-juicy platform that would look super-fantastic on the first day of the new season.

Botswana from Diane von Furstenberg

Maybe, on careful reconsideration, your legs would be better covered with the seasonalish capri pants, in which case The Botswana, available in eight safari-themed finishes.

Manolo the Columnist: Willie from Diane von Furstenberg

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

Dear Manolo,

This summer I will be on a faculty fellowship at an Ivy League university, where an ambitious film actor is also pursuing one of his 11-or-so literary PhDs. What kind of footwear can I wear with my floaty dresses that will at once announce “serious academic” to my colleagues as well as “important ingenue” in case the actor’s looking for a fresh co-star?

Kate

Manolo says, to paraphrase the immortal Dorothy Parker: seldom cast as actresses, are the girls who wear glasseses.

Despite the unusual circumstances involving the pretty boy actor and the Ivy League fellowship, this is the variation of the old conundrum: how does the smarty-smart girl attract the admiring male gaze without feeling, self-consciously, that she is the gender-traitor for conforming to the traditional, heteronormative, patriarchal orthodoxy.

Although, the modern world, being infinitely more complicated than the 1980’s music videos, offers further difficulties that the acerbic Ms. Parker could never have imagined.

Or, to paraphrase the Thomas Dolby, “Good Heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You’ve filed harassment charges against me for noticing that you’re beautiful!”

Which is why the pretty boy actors tend to date the pretty girl actresses, because such academy-specific complications do not enter into the mathematics of Hollywood romance.

But, it never hurts to give it the old college try. Here is the Willie from Diane von Furstenberg, the sharp-looking wedge heel sandal with enough intellectual interest to maintain ones credibility in the faculty lounge.

Willie from Diane von Furstenberg

Manolo the Columnist: Irene from Diane von Furstenberg

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

Dear Manolo,

In a few weeks I’ll be turning fifty, and I’ve decided that I’m desperately in need of a makeover. I see all these women my age and older who look really great in youthful outfits, so I’d like to try something new, but I’m afraid of looking like I’m trying too hard. What would you recommend?

Marilynn

Manolo says, Danger, Wilhelmina Robinson! Danger! One minute, you are the perfectly lovely 49-year-old woman who needs the new hairstyle, the good makeup, and the slight updating of her wardrobe, and the next you are the cougar hoochie-mama in the micro-mini skirt, cropped-top, and lucite platform heels standing in the tattoo parlor pointing at the picture of the dragon.

Better, thinks the Manolo, to do the candid self-assessment. What is your body type and who are the prominent women of the certain age you admire? It would be hard to pull off the Carine Roitfeld, aging-French-rocker look if you are zaftig, or have the retiring personality.

The Manolo’s best advice is to start slowly, with the new hair do and the new shoes. That may be all that is needed.

Here is the Irene from the Diane von Furstenberg (the potential role model!) which would be perfect for the vintage woman with the decent ankles.

Irene from Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg on the Sale!

Manolo says, for your Recession Thursday window shopping pleasure, here are the Diane von Furstenberg shoes on the sale, which have the stamp of the Manolo’s approval.

Alexandria Ankel Bootie by Diane von Furstenberg

This is the Alexandria from Diane von Furstenberg, the cut-out, peep-toe, ankle bootie that would be just the thing for the late summer evening, especially as it is selling for more than $200 off of the original price!

Lady from Diane von Furstenberg

The Manolo recommended these shoes back in January, (when he discussed that book Eat, Pray Love), the Lady from Diane von Furstenberg, at the full price. Imagine, then, his joy to see that they are now selling at the $125 discount!

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Jaya Jelly Sandals from Diane Von Furstenberg

Jaya Jelly Sandal from Diane von Furstenburg

Manolo says, the weekend approaches, and like any sensible person you have already begun to plan your wardrobe.

White stiff linen pants with the rolled legs? Definitely, yes!

But it is supposed to rain, which means you cannot be wearing your latest super fantastic gladiator-esque-ish-y sandals because the water will destroy them.

And yet, you have need of shoes. You cannot go to the farmers market to look for hunky farm boys barefeeted.

Diane von Furstenberg to the rescue, with her Jaya Jelly Sandals. The Manolo loves the clear ones, but they are available in many, many water defying colors.

Diane von Furstenberg Iris

Iris from Diane von Furstenberg

Manolo says, here for your Tuesday afternoon viewing pleasure is the Iris from Diane von Furstenberg the versatile platform sandal made from the rich Corinthian leather*, just like the seats of the 1975 Chrysler Cordoba.

And which is, just like the 1975 Chrysler Cordoba, guaranteed to attract suavely handsome foreign men of dubious character and shady associations, which may perhaps be just what you are looking for as this fine spring afternoon drifts into the warmly sensuous evening.

*Actual shoes may contain no Corinthians.

Manolo the Columnist: Kula from Diane von Furstenberg

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

Dear Manolo,

Thanks to the onrush of time, I’ve decided, Hillary-like, that henceforth I must begin to cover my legs. Unlike Hillary, however, I have decided that the maxi-dress, not the pantsuit, is to be my concealer of choice. I’ve found one I really like from J. Crew, a sort of draped, Grecian number in a color they call “abyss blue”. Please suggest some fantastic sandals to go with it.

Laura

Manolo says, whenever one of the Posse Manolo announces that she will henceforth, forever and the day, be covering her legs, the Manolo has two thoughts.

The first is that the Manolo wishes more middle-aged men would cover their legs, not middle-aged women.

Every spring the sudden appearance of the knobby man knees below the khaki shorts makes the Manolo pine for the fashions of Victorian England. (And this is before considering the toe-based destruction wrought by those in “mandals”.)

Secondly, the Manolo laments the demise of the pantyhose. Yes, it is wonderful we live in the age of freedom and inappropriate casualness, where everyone is able to wander about in sweat pants and tube tops.

Sadly, however, it is the ladies of the certain age who have paid the price for these relaxed standards. When your grandmother discovered she had the spider veins and the tiny belly bulge, she simply changed her hosiery color from “nude” to “opaque”, and cinched up her girdle one more notch. Problem solved just in time for canasta!

Look! Here is the Kula from Diane von Furstenberg, the golden Greek sandal that will leave you looking like Aphrodite.

Kula from Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg Gladiator Love-Knot Sandals for the Tuesday

Manolo says, it is Tuesday and you are back at your desk, following the long weekend in which you did little more than complain about the weather and your husband Gary’s loutish insensitivity.

But, who could have predicted, back in October when you offered to host your Sunday afternoon book club, that the Jets of New Jersey were going to advance so far in the playoffs of the National League of Football?

Certainly not Gary. He claimed to be as surprised as anyone, just as he claimed to have forgotten all about your previously scheduled book club afternoon. Which is why he felt free to invited his drinking buddies over to watch the game on the big screen TV down in the Gary Cave.

And so, while you and the ladies were up the stairs discussing Eat, Pray, Love — which you found to be deeply, annoyingly, monumentally narcissistic, in that whiny way that only well-educated, bourgeois women can manage, but, of the course, you did not say this directly, as most of the other, less-perceptive members of the book club loved, LOVED!!! this tedious piece of Bovary-ism — Gary and his friends were down the stairs in the basement hooting and hollering at the football game.

And what made you so angry with Gary was that while you were listening to these women drone on about this awful book, written by this awful woman (who, it must be admitted, writes beautifully), you realized that you would much rather be down in the basement with Gary and his friends, shouting at the television, enjoying this convivial and unpretentious fellowship.

Sigh…the things we do so that others will think well of us.

“Hey, Babe,” said Gary when he finally emerged from the basement, looking somewhat disheveled and happy, “How was the book club?”

“Shut up,” you explained, giant glass of chardonnay in hand.

Look! It is the Gladiator Love Knot Sandals from Diane von Furstenberg. the antidote to all that angsty self-absorption.

Diane von Furstenberg Gladiator Love Knot Sandals  Manolo Likes!  Click!

Gladiator…Love…Knot.

The perfect description of the happy marriage!

Diane von Furstenberg Dahlia Feathered Flat Sandals For the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back at your desk, having slogged through the snow and the sleet and the arctic-freezing-the-polar-bear weather to make it to work.

And now you wish it was summer already–come on, hurry up and get here–so you could wear these Dian Von Furstenberg Dahlia Feathered Sandals

Diane Von Furstenberg Dahlia Feathered Sandals   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Fun, flirty, summery!

Project Runway, Season Five, Episode 8

Many apologies from the Manolo for the delay in posting this recapping of the most recent episode. The Manolo is travelling this week, and next, and the next, all of it in preparation for his big move at the end of the month to this place.

Manolo say, ayyyyy! The Diane von Furstenberg is the challenge and the guest judge! The Manolo loves her, and her flirty patterned dresses. so cool, and stylish, and feminine!

Oh, and thus we have yet another first rate challenge with the big payoff from the producers. They are truly going out of their way to make this season the best yet in terms of challenges.

Of the course, it is too bad that this week the designers were not cooperating with this attempt at excellence, as the outfits they offered up could be considered barely competent knockoffs of the DvF, the sort of things one might expect to find on the shelves at T.J. Maxx under the brand name “Sassy von Theilberg”, or “Misty von Richtoffen,” although no one would buy them.

It was not that they didn’t try mightily to turn out something worthy of the wearing, it is just that for the most part their aesthetic senses and styles did not comport well with those of DvF.

For the example, it is hard to imagine anyone further from the DvF world than this week’s loser Stella. She did the best she could, but the final result was the messy ugly pantsuit that was neither fish nor fowl, neither DvF, nor Stella Zoltis.

Likewise, Retro Girl Kenley, who is the mistress of kitsch, seized upon the Shanghai reference to produce the floral World of Suzy Wong dress that was cute, in the sort of Masque of the Red Monkey Hand, 1930′s B-movie, Charlie Chan way, but looked nothing like DvF.

Query: Has DvF ever done floral patterns? The Manolo associates her with geometric prints, not reddish flower prints.

As for the others, Terri did yet another of her pantsuits, which are looking increasingly tired. Look for her to be sent away soon if she does not start producing something better.

And Blayne continues to survive, barely. The Manolo had some hope that his artificially constructed “wacky” persona would provide much needed drama this season, but he has turned out to be the sweet character, one filled with honorable intentions and good wishes.

It is hard to wish him ill, or root against him, even when he produces something as laughable as this week’s knickerbockers and jacket set. They were only marginally worse than Joe, Suede and Jarrel’s outfits (and what is up with the stupid little cap, Miss J?).

As for the winner, Leanne, her dress did not especially impress the Manolo either with it’s awkward proportions or with the limp jacket. But props for the purple color.

And this leaves Korto, who again should have won the challenge, but this time only by default. Her choice of material and her skirt were both spot on. Unfortunately, the yellow did nothing to enhance the piece.

Still, for the Manolo, Korto is becoming the standout talent of this season, the most original of the bunch. She will certainly be in Bryant Park.

Shoes for the DvF Dress

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s many internet friends has asked the Manolo the question.

I’ve bought a fabulous black wrap dress. dvfdress.jpgI wear it with stilettos for an evening dinner, but I’d like to dress it down a bit with boots. I want to wear that super fantastic dress at work too!

What type of boots would you suggest ? High boots ? Mid-calf ? Leather ? Suede ?

Thank you very much,

Julie

First the Manolo must compliment the Julie on her marvelous taste. Every super fantastic girl must have at least one of the Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses in her closet. They are the very definition of the word “classic”.

Beacuse the shilouette and fit of the DvF wrap is very soft and feminine and pretty and because it is also the very practical garment, the Manolo would recommend that the feetwear should have these same qualities of softness, practicality, and femininity.

Thus he would suggest this black knee-high suede boot from the Michael Kors.

Dallas by Michael Kors     Manolo Likes!  Click!

Normally, the Manolo is not the fan of the chunky chains on the boots, but in this case, because of the black-on-black combination of the boots and the dress, the chain adds the needed flash to the ensemble.

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