Manolo says, for those friends of the Manolo who still sometimes cry out in the night, “why are we no longer being shown the shoes of super fantasticness,” who occasionally in the odd moment wonder what is happening with their old internet friend the Manolo, well, here is update.
For the next few months, the Manolo has forsaken his usual haunts for the muy dramático landscapes and muy dinámico cityscapes of Santiago de Chile. And, sadly, he must again report that the Chilenos are no more stylish than the last time the Manolo was here. The Chilenos, they are increasing everyday in the prosperity and stability, but they have disastrously adopted the worst elements of the American People of the Wal-Mart fashions, with the grotesque tatuajes, strange piercings, and ill-fitting clothing made in places where the tailoring is done with the small hatchet and duct tape.
Still, there are many compensations for enduring such affronts, such as this…
The meal of the bife de chorizo and the caldillo de congrio, accompanied by the fine wine of Chile.
And soon, the Manolo will again pay the visit to the Museo de Moda, which he considers the best fashion museum in the world.
In the meantime, here is the pair of shoes that the Manolo would put onto the feet of the Chilean ladies, if only they would consent to the Manolo making them over.
It is summer in the Hemisphere of Southerness! What better way to celebrate the quirky excitement of the Santiago de Chile, than with the chunky platform sandals with the embroidered flowery details from the Prada!]]>
Manolo says, yes, this magnificent specimen of Park Avenue Prada-tude is the little bit old ladyish, but the Manolo should not have to remind you that, according to the Times of the New York, this is the year of the frump. Which means that if you cannot wear these handsome shoes now, when can you? When you are the dowager countess?
And look! They are on the sale, more than $470 off of the usual price!]]>
“When did it become so difficult,” you ask yourself, perhaps rhetorically, “to eke out the living?”
And then you feel sorry for yourself, because all of your first-world problems are weighing you down:
For the example, you need the new washer and dryer, because the old set is seven years old, and does not feature the latest next generation, electronic time-delay cycle technology, which means that you must physically be present to push the button that turns on the actual washing machine, instead of setting it so that the cycle starts later, thus ending when you are around to put the clothes into the dryer. Without this magical 21st Century feature, you have to be there in person when the cycle ends to immediately put the clothes into the dryer, lest they acquire that moldy smell from sitting in the washer, damp.
And frankly, this morning you find this intolerable, mainly because you are catching the strange whiff of moldiness from your hair, which you dried this morning with the towel that had sat in the washer tub much of yesterday afternoon while you were at brunch.
Meanwhile, somewhere in southeast Asia, the woman who is exactly your age, to the day, squats by the muddy brown river, beating her family’s clothing on the large rock.
And, ayyyy! Look at how toned her upper arms are!
You would have to spend many hours at the gym to get that sexy arm definition, being hectored by the blonde airhead who directs the SculptZumYogaBo class.
And this thought has made you even more dolorous.
Look! Beautiful shoes!
The leather Prada crisscross platform sandals from the Fall 2012 collection.]]>
Manolo says, Ayyyy! it is the hot-rodding Prada Tail Fin Wedge sandals! Clearly our muse Miuccia has had the very specific influence: the 1959 Cadillac, with the bullet taillights!
The Apotheosis of Tail Fin!]]>
I became intrigued by espadrilles when I visited Cuba, a number of years ago.
There to experience the island’s university system, I spent an evening at the Hotel Armadores de Santander, a grand hotel in old Havana. In the morning, I opened the French doors that led to a pink-tiled deck overlooking the Malecón.
A previous guest had forgotten—or left behind—her sky-blue espadrilles; they sat contentedly under a table, all sun-and-salt-water bleached beauty.
What was so appealing about this humble mix of cotton canvas and jute? Exactly that: the simplicity of design, the thoughtful color, and the fact that the espadrilles had been much loved (or much worn, at the least; they were abandoned).
This spring, designers have been in a flurry as they reimagine the classic espadrille, with looks that range from pretty to the truly eccentric.
Here’s the “Tahiti espadrille pump” from Dior, which seems to be a fancy drink umbrella and shoe all in one;
The “cage” espadrille by Yves Saint Laurent;
Lanvin’s ballet-inspired “French” espadrille, in satin;
Kate Spade’s “Lido,” which conjures happy visions of bathing huts at the beach, or perhaps the stripes on Tadzio’s sweater in Death in Venice;
Tory Burch’s version, with her ubiquitous logo. If I could coin a portmanteau, I might call it toobiquitous;
Ralph Lauren’s winning platform ankle wrap in a neutral tobacco;
a classic picnic-blanket version from Castaner, the Spanish company that has been making espadrilles since 1927;
the Tamariu tie espadrilles, worn to spectacular effect by Penelope Cruz in Volver (remember the from-the-beneath-the-bed shot?);
and this curious inclusion from Bergdorf Goodman’s website. Made by Prada, this “espadrille” reflects neither the traditional espadrille materials nor design. I call it the “ugly ’drille-ing.” (It’s more macaw than swan, though.)
My favorite espadrille remains the classic model, made in either Spain or France, without embellishment—the kind that can be kicked off at the beach or worn in town.
Which model would gentle readers choose as the winner of their “Espy” award?]]>
On the one of the hands, if you were the woman, these shoes would be the fun, funky, fabulous thing.
On the other of the hands, if you were the man, you would be better off investing your 500 Euros in the new combination Forever Lazy Home Brewing System.
P.S. Many thanks to the Manolo’s friend, the Nancy]]>
Love your column! I went to Starbucks for coffee today and the woman in front of me in line was wearing the perfect shoes. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them and memorized everything I could about them! A quick search on the internet brought them up – Prada, but apparently from long ago. The pair I found online is not my size. Is there any way to find something comparable? Are square toes completely gone? They really were gorgeous. It was the color that was particularly beautiful. Here is a picture:
Can you help??
The Manolo will allow François Villon to provide the reply…
Prince, n’enquerez de sepmaine
Où elles sont, ne de cest an,
Qu’à ce reffrain ne vous remaine:
Mais où sont les neiges d’antan!
Sadly, because of the considerations of commerce and the ephemeral nature of the trends and fashions, the shoes that we love the most are often taken out of production by the designers, and never return.
And like Villon thinking about the snows of yesteryear, we feel sad and nostalgic when we remember them, or when we are looking at the pictures of them in our shoe scrapbooks, or when, mirabile dictu, we see them on the feets of the stylish young person we have encountered in the coffee shop.
But, no matter how much we search the online places, such as the eBay, or the vintage stores, or even the thrift shops we cannot find what we desire.
And we are triste, tres triste.
Is there something comparable?
No. It is these exact Prada shoes which the Manolo’s friend desires, and nothing else will fully satisfy.
Are the square toes out?
Over the past few years, the Manolo has become less and less concerned with the trends and the fashion fads. He has become more concerned with the matter of personal style, the thing which rarely accords completely with what is “in” or “out” at the moment.
So, the Manolo’s answer is, square toes will be in if you wear them with enough confidence and panache. This will be true no matter how many peoples around you are wearing the pointy toed shoes.
Other than this, all the Manolo can do is sympathize with the soul-suffering of his internet friend.]]>
Last week, as you were enjoying the mug of brandy egg nog and gobbling the final bit of your Great Aunt Jemminy Cricket’s (née Jeanette Crick) most delicious and rum-intensive fruitcake, when you decided to write out the list of resolutions for the New Year.
By the time you were finished, following the third helping of the nog, your list had grown to nearly 200 items, and included such things as “write thank you notes that day,” and “a sock cannot go into a drawer until its match has been found.”
Strangely, you made it through January the 1st and the 2nd with your list intact, all the many resolutions unviolated.
But then, this morning, when you came into the office, you found that your bosses had used the last week to draw up their own list of resolutions, which included such things as “reorganize seating chart in cubicle farm,” and “require triplicate memos on TPS reports.” And, thus, within the first hour, you found your desk between to that of B.O. Bob (the nice man with the glandular problem) and the Chatty Cathy, the nattering nitwit niece of the company founder, to whom you must be polite because it is likely that she will eventually be promoted to the head of your division.
And then, just before the lunch, the second round of memos were delivered from the bosses, detailing changes in office procedure and individual work responsibilities.
Seconds later, you had violated your personal resolutions numbers 47 to 53, 72, 87, and 103, having to do principally with the taking of the Lord’s name in vain, the use of certain unpleasant words, the promise to think more kindly of various individuals, and to not email complaints about work to your husband, or post them to your facebook page.
Of the course, the two most important resolutions are still intact: the one to pay more attention to the humble blog of the Manolo, and the one to leave more comments on the beautiful shoes and funny pictures he shows you.
Look! Happy and practical patent leatherdriving moccasins from Prada!
The perfect sort of kicks to make the 2011 the happy and fun new year.]]>
Normally, Thanksgiving does not cause such excessive stress, but then, normally, you do the Thanksgiving at your home. Normally, you do not agree to get on the plane and travel to your in-laws on the other side of the country for the long weekend of family togetherness.
Of the course, you are not worried about the weekend, as it will undoubtedly be pleasant enough, filled with turkey, football, and the ordinary frictions of family visits.
No, what is worrying you is the strong potential for disaster as you pass through the security checkpoint at the airport, because your husband Gary, the normally level-headed person, has vowed that his junk shall go untouched.
“You’ve been listening to talk radio again, haven’t you?”
“Only Michael Savage,” he answers, the strange glint in his eye, “but I heard Amy Goodman say the same things this morning on Pacifica Radio.”
“You were listening to Pacifica Radio?”
“Fight the power, honey,” he says, as he gives you the clenched fist salute, whether ironically or not, you cannot tell.
And so now you are worried that your man will do something stupid at the TSA checkpoint, like making the offensive wisecracking about amateur proctology or not getting the romantic dinner before going to third base with the screener.
Worse, last night you woke up in the sweat picturing the airport crowds cheering as your husband is led away in handcuffs, wearing nothing but his underclothing, shouting loudly about the “intrusive fingers of the federal government”.
So this morning at breakfast, you confronted him over the cornflakes.
“Gary, promise me you won’t act up at the airport on Wednesday.”
“What do you mean by ‘act-up’?”
This evasiveness is not the good sign. What you need now are shoes…
Look! Elegant suede platform sandals from Prada!
Not even the knowledge that your husband might be intent on becoming the folk hero of resistance can reduce the sublime beauty of such shoes.]]>
Manolo says, the espadrilles they have returned to fashionability, and this one, the Prada Cutout Espadrille Wedge has the modern edge that lifts it beyond the usual espadrillic baggage (such as rum-based drinks, peasant skirts, and vacation trysts gone awry).]]>