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Manolo on the Go

Manolo says, the Manolo apologies to his internet friends for the paucity of posts. He has been traveling this weekend, enjoying the Southern hospitality in the most pleasant (although very humid and full of cicadas) city of Nashville.

While you are waiting for the Manolo to return, here is the pair of Stuart Weitzman platform sandals the Manolo saw on the feets of the Southern lady yesterday.

Stuart Weitzman Root

The preppy Southern espadrille, perfect for the Belle Meade ladies!

Manolo the Columnist: D Marine 1 from Geox

Dear Manolo-

I’ve been searching for a good airport shoe. Something that I can walk far in, that slips on and off easily, and one that I can wear socks with – shoe stores can pretend all they want, I know that panty hose do NOT form an impenetrable barrier against bacteria/fungi/gross foot stuff. It seems impossible to find a chic non-sneaker candidate. I either end up barefoot in the airport (ew) or wearing some incredibly ugly clog-type things (also ew) Can you help?

Jen

Manolo says, gone are the days of the Orient Express, when the travelers were politely ushered into luxurious accommodations and conveyed to distant and exotic lands at the leisurely pace,

Now, we are herded down the abattoir chutes like cattle headed for the slaughter, jammed into the metal tubes and flung aloft at tremendous speed, our lives forfeit to the technical competency of peoples we have never met.

In the modern world, being forced to take off the shoes is the least of the indignities we must endure, paling in comparison to the gross indignities of having the federal employees who are paid to do nothing but look at our nudie pictures and touch us in uncomfortable places.

Here is the D Marine 1 from Geox, the ballet flat that is exactly what is required, something comfortable, stylish, and easily removed when the authorities demand to see your toes. Available in black, dark beige, old rose, and the Manolo’s favorite color, smoke grey.

D Marine 1 from Geox

My 5 Best Songs About Shoes

Perhaps I’m addicted to list making (much like my strange addictions to vintage glasses frames and coconut water) but after compiling a list of my favorite movies about shoes, I felt compelled to build a follow up! Music, much like shoes, is a very important facet in my life, so why not combine the two into something acoustically pleasing inspired by that of aesthetic greatness? Shoe songs! What a concept. While there have been many, I have whittled my list down to 5 of what I consider to be the very best songs about shoes.

 

Kenny Loggins - Footloose
5. Kenny Loggins – “Footloose”

This may just be my affinity for young Kevin Bacon talking, but this is a classic shoe tune. It’s a quintessential 80′s song that can’t help but bring a smile to your face, but ultimately it is a serious ditty about a man’s inner struggle to combat his absolute need to dance with his need to fit into a strict society where dancing is not allowed. Oh the inner turmoil and torture! So dark, such overwhelming angst! Kidding.The title track from the wonderfully cheesy 80′s flick Footloose, thing song is fun, great for dancing and an absolute wedding reception staple. This song even got Grandma Joan tapping her toes when it played at my last cousins reception. Not to mention, Sarah Jessica Parker stars in this flick pre Carrie Bradshaw! Those are some serious shoe roots. So kick off those Sunday shoes (or don’t, if they are cute and you can dance in them) and enjoy.

The Beatles - Old Brown Shoe
4. The Beatles – “Old Brown Shoe”

Ahhh, The Beatles. While not everyone is a fan, it is hard to find a person who doesn’t enjoy at least one song. With such a diverse catalog, these gents covered quite a span of music tastes. This song, which features George Harrison on vocals, was originally released as a B-side to “The Ballad of John and Yoko” and displays those four blokes in all of their “we are going through a weird drug phase” glory. Plus it’s one of those tracks with George Harrison on vocals, a bit of a rarity for Beatles hits (obviously not as rare as a Ringo song…poor Ringo), which makes it even more wonderful.

KC and the Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes

3. KC and the Sunshine Band – “Boogie Shoes”

This playfully suggestive disco hit (are they really talking about dancing?) was featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and is undoubtedly a song to shake your hips to (in whatever fashion you’d prefer). This tune takes me back when John Travolta was a dreamy blue eyed babe (granted I wasn’t alive at the time, but I’ve seen photos) before he got all bald and starting sporting a weird goatee for Battlefield Earth. Yowch. It just makes me want to throw on my pair of highwaisted bell bottom jeans, which I do in fact own and are wonderful, with some far too tall heels and attempt to dance the night away. Boogie. Shoes. Yes please.

Carl Perkins - Blue Suede Shoes

2. Carl Perkins – “Blue Suede Shoes”

While this song was made popular by the late great Elvis Presley, it was originally written and first performed by Mr. Perkins himself. A fantastic tune of it’s time, if I was a mother when this was released I would have certainly been scared of the hip shaking it induced! This song is not only fun, catchy and made of toe tapping greatness but it also stresses the importance of shoes. Shoes over everything! The lyrics state “you can do anything, but lay off of my blue suede shoes”. And he literally means anything. Arson, theft, slander, enacting violence on his FACE, but when it comes to the shoes you better back the hell off. Well put Perkins, well put.

Nancy Sinatra - These Boots are Made for Walking
1. Nancy Sinatra – “These Boots Are Made for Walking”

This song is sexy. Play it in your room while trying on a pair of boots and try not to feel like a vixen. I dare you. This addictive 60′s hit is the perfect song about shoes: sexy, fun, flirtatious, catchy and it let’s the shoes do all the work. The boots are the star of the song! They own the song, and some day they will own you. I don’t know about you, but I find a bit of truth in these lyrics (serious debt to a shoe addiction?). Interestingly enough, after it’s release this song was widely considered a disappointment after the career legacy of her father Frank. Admittedly, those are some rather big shoes to fill (pun definitely intended), but later on it became one of the most addictive songs of the 60′s. While she never had another hit, this iconic song lives on today as a fantastically sexy ballad to the one we call shoe. Play it again!

I know I left out plenty of greats. What are you favorites?

 

Botas Picuadas

Mexican Botas Picuadas, Pointy Toes!

Manolo says, many of the Manolo’s internet friends have been emailing him, asking him to comment on the article in the Daily Mail concerning the Mexican botas picuadas, the crazy pointy-toed boots worn by the peoples from the San Luis Potosi.

To which the Manolo answers, he has already considered this topic in depth, two months ago.

Here are the links:

Botas Exóticas: Pointy-Toes, Poulaines, and Male Display

Botas del Baile Tribal

Botas Exóticas: Mexican Vaquero Elves!

Botas Exoticas: The Leningrad Cowboys

However, to recap, here is the Manolo’s opinion: the key to understanding the trend of the botas picuadas is that it is confined mostly to the teenaged boys, who being the teenaged boys are suffering from the dual curse of excessive testosterone and low common sense.

What more needs to be said?

Miu Miu Patent Leather Mary Jane Pump for the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back at your desk, and today you are ready to go! You woke up early, the fire for success in your belly, rumbling like the spicy burrito of accomplishment to come, pushing you forward to success.

Coffee! Coffee! Shower! Coffee! Clothes! Coffee! Go!

Must get to office to do that thing that will get you that promotion that will result in worldly success!

“Get out of the way,” you shout to the cars that are impeding you on the turnpike, “I have places to go, dammit!”

You arrive fifteen minutes early to the office, the testament to your diligence and can-do-it attitude. You leap from the automobile and race through the lobby, past the Ed the Security Guard.

“You go, missy!” he says genially to your back as you hit the elevator at the run.

“No time to talk, Ed,” You shout over your shoulder.

Up to the 6th floor, into your seat, boot up the computer, ignore the emails, and buckle down for the meaningful session of work. Ten minutes later the boss arrives, he nods his head, clearly happy to see you there at your desk.

Mission accomplished!

And now, you can click over to the real internet, to enjoy the first day of the week as is customary, by looking at gossip sites and beautiful shoes.

Miu Miu Patent Leather Mary Jane Pump

Look! Miu Miu Patent Leather Platform Mary Jane Pumps, with the bow!

Manolo the Columnist: The Mojito from Bernardo

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

Dear Manolo,

I’m going to spend Memorial Day Weekend with my loveable, but slightly déclassé parents at, yes, the Jersey Shore. What I need is a pair of flat sandals, something fun that I can wear in a variety of situations. Please help.

Tina

Manolo says, the Jersey Shore! Thanks to the notorious television show of the same name, the Manolo imagines this mythical place where all of the men are comically muscled egoists, and all of the women surgically-enhanced bimbettes, and everyone is strangely tangerine-colored

And yet, the few times the Manolo, himself, has visited the Jersey Shore, he found it to be the mostly pleasant, family-oriented destination of Victorian homes and mini-golf courses.

But, such is the power of reality television, and its need to generate the dramatic situations by putting ambitious and energetically dysfunctional peoples into the close proximity, so as to watch the sparking fly. Which, now that the Manolo thinks about it, is pretty much exactly what happens in the Congress, which begs the question, why does the C-SPAN not have the better ratings?

Perhaps, as part of the Sweeps Week ratings stunt, if Snooki and the Situation swapped places with Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner.

If you consider it, does it seem so unlikely?

Look! Here is the Mojito from Bernardo in the platinum color. Shiny enough for J-Wow, but sophisticated enough for Madame Speaker!

Mojito from Bernardo

Extraterrestrial Freindly Fashion from United Nude

It’s important to have a nice repertoire of shoes in order to assure you are ready for any occasion: a casual day with friends, a night out on the town, a summer picnic, a snow day, a work day…but what about a trip to the moon? Well not to worry,  because the folks at United Nude have got you covered.

United Nude Build Your Own Platform

The creatively contemporary and boundary pushing footwear line has teamed up with Spanish performance artist Alicia Framis to come up with a shoe for the Moon Life Project, a conceptual project based on the belief that humans will one day live in outer-space. Behold the build-your-own platform shoe! This carbon-fiber shoe comes to you boxed in pieces along with assembly instructions and interchangeable parts to allow for a more personalized and custom look.

United Nude Shoe PartsWhile you cannot deny the shoes are certainly an intriguing concept, to me they look a bit like a Bowflex machine designed by Tim Burton.  It’s a good thing the moon has very little gravity, because I can envision myself falling constantly in these things. Call me a luddite, but if this is the future in shoe technology, I don’t know if I will be able to adapt! I think I’ll stick to my pre-assembled shoes on my first planet of origin.

Giuseppe Zanotti for the Tuesday

Giuseppe Zanotti High Heel Sandal

Manolo says, the Manolo is in the air over this unlikely shoe from the Guiseppe Zanotti.

This is decidedly not what the Manolo thinks of when he thinks of the Giuseppe Zanotti sandal. (Where is the blingtastical bling?) Although, it strikes the Manolo as the honorable attempt at something new for the Zanotti, and thus earns the “A” for the effort.

And yet, on the other of the hands, it is not exactly correct. Perhaps it is the proportions of the straps which seems slightly too big.

Still…

And now the Manolo asks, would you wear it?

Reed Krakoff Asymmetrical Mirrored Sandals 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 stave off the ravages of the modern world (such as having only the basic cable and eating the Helper of the Hamburger).

Yes, you must trade one third of each working day for the monthly notice that some electronic bits representing the medium of exchange known as “dollars” (or “pounds”) have been deposited into your account at the regional mega bank.

It is not like back in the day, when each Friday afternoon your grandfather trooped down to the pay office, lunch bucket in hand, to receive the actual physical monies, the fraction of which he would then spend on the glass of beer and the onion sandwich, shared with his friends on their way home (their reward for the week of hard physical labor).

And now, our labor mostly consists of electronically wrangling with peoples in distant parts of the world over niggling matters punctilious nonsense. We are less likely than our grandfathers to lose our fingers in the machinery of production, but the price we pay is that our Friday afternoon onion sandwiches are less flavorful, and our relationships more attenuated.

How unusual to think that we “know” hundreds of peoples we have never even spoken to on the telephone, much less met in person. It is the situation beyond imagining for our ancestors, to live and work in such majestic comfort and safety, and yet be so distant from others.

Sigh.

Life is joy and sorrow, work and play, doubt and faith, jumbled together in the most vexing and glorious stew. Eat and live!

Your cellphone buzzes with the continual text messages, y

Here is the Lizard and Mirrored Asymmetrical Sandal from Reed Krakoff, something that should make even the grimmest days more bearable.

Manolo the Columnist: Dachen from Isola

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

Dear Manolo,

I have a dilemma. On the first three weekends of June, I’m supposed to attend three separate weddings, which will mean at least two separate outfits, if not three. My problem is that I can only really afford one decent pair of shoes, hopefully priced below $200. Can you help me?

Chelsea

Manolo says, frankly, after the Giant, Royal, Big Deal, Fairy Tale Wedding of the Prince William the Balding and his not-royal bride, Kate Middleton the Skinny, who cares about the shoes anymore?

The shoes are the news of yesterday. Today, Manolo loves the hats!

Hats! Hats! Hats! In all their splendid multifarious fabulousity! Who can forget the sight of all those horsey upper-class English women wearing the most incredible creations on top of their pinched and sour faces?

Swooping birds of prey in teal, with feathers of gold! Mauve life rafts bedecked with the garden of flowers! Frank Gehry fascinators with compound curves and silver scales! Artful stacks of fluorescent forest twigs with multicolored wind chimes! Almost all courtesy of the The Mad Irish Hatter, Phillip Treacy, the sly genius who has convinced the entire generation of titled women that looking silly is chic.

Yes, the modern monarchy may be the sad and greatly diminished affair, most often seen at supermarket grand openings and the covers of the tabloids, but in the matter of hats, they still reign supreme.

Here are the beige platform pumps, the Dachen from Isola, that will, in the words of Larry the Guy of Cable, “get’er done.”

Dachen from Isola

My Top 5 Movies About Shoes

Ahh the cinema. Who doesn’t love curling up on the couch, perhaps with a loved one, a good friend, or simply a snuggie, and getting lost in the magical world of movie-dom? Regardless of what your interest, chances are pretty high that you will be able to find a film that suits your fancy. Be it romance, action, comedy, horror, or a true to life documentary, there is always a title out there to titillate your mind and stimulate your senses. “But what about shoes?” you ask? No worries, I’ve got you covered. While there is no cinematic “shoe” genre, in many of these films shoes are centric and crucial to the storyline, or at least the presence of shoes is so strong throughout the production that they deserve a spot in the credits…

Tom Hanks One Red Shoe

5. The Man with One Red Shoe (1985): The ultimate movie about a friendly prank going terribly wrong, this adorable comedy follows Tom Hanks as he accidentally get’s followed by the CIA because he is wearing mismatched shoes (one of the shoes being red). Why was he wearing mismatched shoes? Because his so called buddy hid all of his shoes except for one mismatched pair. And why did the CIA begin to follow him? A terrible coincidence orchestrated by a crooked and desperate agent. Thus, comedy ensues! Plus this is “Big” and “Splash” Tom Hanks, when he is all fresh faced and adorable, not the puffy and serious Tom Hanks we know now. Enjoy him and his youth-like hilarity.

 

Marie Antoinette Manolo

4. Marie Antoinette (2006): Ok, this movie is not about shoes. However, Sophia Coppola’s imaginative take on the historical character did involve a mouth watering montage of whimsical Manolo Blahnik shoes (which were said to be visually inspired by a package of macaroons). The sequence, set to the song “I Want Candy” displays the sheer overindulgence of royalty in this time period with women playing games, eating delectable desserts, trying on gowns, wigs, jewels and of course…shoes. It will make you cringe with jealousy and drool in awe. Either way, I dare you to walk away from the scene without being green eyed and satisfied.

The Red Shoes

3. The Red Shoes (1948): This one works on many levels. A tumultuous tale of love triangles, bright red ballet shoes, and the inner struggle between the true love of a companion and the true passion of stardom, this film is exciting, romantic and filled with dancing. Not to mention, in the film the young ballerina is cast in a ballet production called “The Red Shoes” which is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale of the same title. The fairytale is about a young girl who becomes so obsessed with her red shoes that they take hold of her and force her body to dance day and night without her control. Here’s the kicker (pun intended), the shoes are stuck to her feet so she can’t take them off to stop the dancing. Sounds like a great workout plan, if you ask me. (Note: there is also a great Japanese horror film by the same name about a cursed pair of red heels that when seen cause instant obsession and an overwhelming need to steal/obtain them. The problem is, side effects of obtaining and wearing the shoes include: death).

The Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers

2.The Wizard of OZ (1939): All you have to do is put on a pair of Ruby red slippers and you can be transported into a world of Technicolor and flying monkeys? Count me in! This film is the ultimate in childhood fantasy. What young girl hasn’t been Dorothy for Halloween? (I was…twice). Not the mention the beauty, elegance and desirability of shimmering Ruby red slippers that enable one to travel to different dimensions! You won’t find those on sale at Nordstroms. This movie is timeless, and while it has been re-done in many shapes and fashions, in my mind nothing beats the original.

 

Cinderella Glass Slipper

1. Cinderella (1950): Romantic and magical, I think the ultimate shoe movie has to be the Disney classic Cinderella. Again, this film has been done time and time again in different styles and mediums, but all in all the story remains the same. It’s all about that beautiful glass slipper. While there is no way a glass shoe could be comfortable, and god knows if I was ballroom dancing in one I would shatter the poor thing all over the floor, this glass slipper is not only Cinderella’s ticket to her one true love, but it is also her ticket out of slavery and poverty! Now that my friends is a shoe worth keeping. Especially if you get a fairy god mother included in the original price of the shoe, because New York car services and cabs are expensive and I would love my own personal stage coach to cart me from a to b.

P.S. Probably the only type of shoes there might not be a movie about it is Timberland work boots. Although, if you look closely, I’m sure you’ll see them in plenty of recent movies.

Manolo the Columnist: Decima from Donald J. Pliner

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

Dear Manolo,

My mother, a wonderful woman of a certain age, buys all of her shoes from discount outlets, like Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Unfortunately, in conversation she alternates between crowing about her frugality and complaining about her foot pain. I’d like to buy her a pair of decent shoes for Mother’s Day, a mid-heel sandal, something suitable for summer, but not dowdy. What do you recommend?

Victoria

Manolo says, ayyy, your mother, she is pennywise and footsore!

As the Manolo has long noted, inexpensive shoes of shoddy construction are the false economy. Yes, your mother saved the seventy-three dollars by purchasing her pleather-and-plastic pumps from the General Dollar Mart, but look at how she suffers! And worst, eventually, she will spend many times that amount on her feet surgeries.

But, now is not the weekend to complain about the mother and her habits of cheapness. Now is the weekend to celebrate your mother and her many good qualities, such as her ability to find perfectly serviceable birthday presents from the items left along the side the road.

“Honey, it’s a coffee table. I can fix that leg and paint it pink, and you can put it in your room, for your HiFi.”

“Britney, what do you say to Grandma for the gift?”

“Daaaaaaaaad!”

Truly, your mother is the woman to be reckoned with!

Here is the Decima from Donald J. Pliner, the elegant thong sandal with the zip up back, and the cork heel for motherly comfort.

Decima from Donald J. Pliner