Manolo says, many happy returns for the Día de San Valentín! May your day be filled with joy and chocolate hearts and trinkets made of pure love (and diamonds)!
And now, let us not forget the reason for the season…
Yes, those are indeed the boney remains of the San Valentín, or at the least one of the many relics that are claimed to exist.
This nearly complete set of bones, which is one of the lesser known, is in the Real Iglesia de San Anton, on the Calle Horteleza, very near to the place where the tiny Manolo first found employment, many decades ago, in the shoe shop of the Mercurio Albornoz y Bahmonde. Often were the times when the little Manolo would go into the church for mass, only to discover the lovers who bore the cross of stars kneeling in supplication before this reliquary.
As you may see in the picture above, however, the bones of the Saint Valentine are the not especially big deal to the priests who run parish of San Anton. When the Manolo last paid the visit, the reliquary was covered with the dust, sitting alone in the rarely-visited side chapel. (Please to make your own metaphor, personal or global, about the state of modern love.)
And, now, because the Manolo is the beneficent dictator, the shoes suitable for the day of San Valentine!
Here from the super fantastic Christin Louboutin is the Iriza Strass Crystal Pump, the most fabulous sort of shoe to wear to the mass of devotion to the Saint Valentine. And then, afterwards, to the muy romantico dinner tête-à-tête with that certain someone who has your heart locked up in their reliquary of love.]]>
It is hard to believe that it is already the year 2015! Who knew we would still be here after all of these many years?
And now, the Manolo hopes that this new year may for you be filed with the most super fantastic developments and the most super fantastic-est of the shoes!]]>
I am getting married in four weeks and I would love to have my “something blue” be my shoes but have been unable to find anything. Do you have any suggestions? I should mention that I’m already way over budget, so something not overly expensive would be best.
Manolo says, frankly, the Manolo finds his friend Diana’s insouciance about her wedding shoes the refreshing change from the usual bridal missives the Manolo receives, many which begin, “Manolo, there are only thirteen months until the big day, and I am frantic…”
Too often the preparation for the wedding day has become like the military campaign, as the ravening hordes of planners, designers, decorators and their camp followers fan out across the countryside, stripping it bare of its resources and plundering the parental bank accounts. This is why, at their approach, the sensible peoples take refuge behind the stout walls and stiff drinks, fighting the defensive battle to keep control of one’s sanity and purse. But too often, the battlements are stormed, and the forces of moderation are overwhelmed by the silk taffeta dresses from the big name designers and the surf and turf at $95 the plate.
This is why the Manolo is always glad to hear from the people who are not caught in the grip of wedding war fever, baying for expensive blood from the turnip. And which is why the Manolo is happy to recommend the Salsa from the Badgley Mischka in the light blue satin color called “glacier”.
I’m a junior in college, and for the past few weeks I’ve been interning at a high school counseling office. The problem is that my supervisor just told me that I have to look like a “professional adult, and not like a high school senior.” I’m on a really tight budget, can you help?
Manolo says, oh, that the worst of the Manolo’s problems were that he looked too much like the high school senior. Indeed, the Manolo has always had the opposite problem, that even when he was in the junior high school, at the Our Lady of the Flaming Spleen Country Day School, he looked like the little old man.
Perhaps it was not the wisest decision to always wear the three-piece suit and the fedora while others were wearing the blue jeans, puffer vests and puka shells, but tossed about on the stormy sea of pubescence, the formality of the old man clothing was the sort the life preserver for the young Manolo.
While all the other kids were trading hastily scribbled notes about the crushes and the grudges, the Manolo would hook his walking stick onto his arm, gallantly doff his hat and present his calling card. Often the response would be less than generous, and more than once the Manolo found himself on the receiving end of the noogie, or the wet willie, or the dreaded atomic swirly
Still, despite the rudeness of others, the Manolo believes, then as now, that the old-fashioned etiquettes and social graces are still the best.
Here is the Diema from the Calvin Klein, the sophisticated kitten heel that will see you through the transition to adulthood.
A recent promotion has convinced me that I need to upgrade my professional wardrobe. The problem, however, is that I have no sense of style. My parents were hippies (sort of) and I find most of the stuff I see in fashion magazines ridiculous. Please help.
Manolo says, much more difficult than developing the distinctively personal fashion style is developing the distinctively personal fashion style that is suitable for the place of employment.
For the example, the jet black, asymmetrical, knee-length, leather jacket from Gareth Pugh you wore to your friend’s art opening (her primary medium is pudding… pudding and Etch-a-Sketch), might not work for your day job as the paralegal in the Law Offices of Stuffy, White and Bois.
Unaccountably, unless you are yourself the artist, or work from home as the independent blogger, as the Manolo does, clients, bosses and co-workers take the dim view of those who dress too far out of the ordinary. It is the sad truth that, in the world of working, the square nail that sticks out gets hammered down into the round hole.
Still, if one has the time and energy, and is devoted to the project, one can develop the personal style that is both exquisite and appropriate to the situation. It is the matter of training one’s eye, by looking closely at the peoples on the street, the clothes in the shops, and the pictures
in the magazines. Like anything that is worthwhile, learning how to dress with style is not easy. Go slowly at first and invest in the quality pieces.
The Manolo says, start with the shoes! Here is the Vino lizard-print leather pumps from Elizabeth and James, sharply distinctive, yet suitable for wearing to the office.
For the Manolo’s American friends who do not know about the K&S Shoes, they are the old-timey, mid-market European shoe manufacturer, founded in the 1918 as Kennel und Schmenger, who have long been known for producing the well-made, if somewhat stodgy shoes. Lately, however, they have been updating their designs to make themselves more trendy and appealing. And it is working!
These handsome, slingback pumps with the bow will become the Friday night, wardrobe staple, especially since they are selling at 30% off of the usual price.]]>
“Well, at least I still believe in love,” she is given to saying whenever anyone so much as hints that maybe it is time for her to give it the rest, “I’m still out there trying.”
Yes, Marjorie, she is still trying, this time to the balding, 64-year-old domestic beer distributor who drives the red Corvette, has recently taken up the salsa dancing, and frequently refers to himself in the third person.
“So, when it came to this little lady right here,” the groom-to-be said at the engagement party, pulling Marjorie close in to his Hackenlooper Budweiser polo shirt, “Ole Bob Hackenlooper vows to spare no expense,” by which he meant spending the honeymoon on the seven-day Royal Caribbean cruise to the Cancun.
Three weddings and you will have been the bridesmaid in all of them, the first time in 1988 to the infamous Todd, the second eighteen years later to James who looked like the aardvark and worked in something to do with insurance, and now this one, which is why your are unhappy, and why you are looking through DressFirst website for the reasonably priced, mostly attractive bridesmaid dresses in red.
“To match Bob’s Corvette.”
It is not the good sign, when the bride is worried about whether or not she will be able to upstage the groom’s car.
Well, at least the day is not the total loss, for you have decided that you will wear these red, satin, stiletto heel, peep-toe platform pumps no matter what happens.
Yes, they are not the most expensive shoes, but you appreciate the modest price, because you still have the last pair of Marjorie bridesmaid shoes sitting your closet. They are lime green.]]>
I see that low-heeled pumps are in fashion this season, which is perfect for me. I really can’t walk in anything over two inches. It’s too painful. Can you recommend something sharp to wear to the office?
Manolo says, ayyyy! It is true, the New York Times fashion section has declared that the frump is fashionable! According to the Susan Joy, this season “dowager classics like frame handbags, cardies, and costume jewelry are the height of chic”
To which the Manolo says, when have such practical and handsome items ever truly been out of the fashion? Yes, beautiful young peoples with lithe bodies and smooth skin can wear anything and make it seem fashionable. Indeed, who aside from the Manolo remembers that strange moment, circa Summer of 1983, when all the young Madonnas were wearing the faded bib overalls with one shoulder undone? (Please to review the summer of ‘83 music videos for “Come on Eileen” from the Dexys Midnight Runners and “Cruel Summer” from the Bananarama.)
But, for the sophisticated ladies who luncheon the uniform of choice has been remarkably stable over the past generation or two, and it is because such things as commodious purses, toasty cardigans, and reasonable shoes are practical and attractive.
Here from the Fendi is the Austen jacquard canvas and suede loafer pump with the yellow color block heel that takes the frump to the height of stylishness.
Because of past experiences, which I shall not describe, I’ve come to hate Valentine’s Day. This year, however, I’ve got a new boyfriend who’s romantic enough to do right by the holiday. Can you please suggest some red shoes appropriate for the day?
Manolo says, yes, it is true, Dia de San Valentine is one of the most dangerous days of the entire calendar, when the wild passions that bubble beneath the surface erupt in the geyser of candy hearts, red roses, and dime store lingerie.
Woe be to the man, says the Manolo, who ventures forth on that day, forward into the fray of love, armed with nothing but the box of the Russell Stover’s caramels and the risqué greeting card he has picked up at the Wal-Mart while buying the oil filter wrench, and signed, in block print, “Love ya.”
Such paltry tokens of ardor are insufficient to the task of soothing the savage breast of the ordinary American woman, who demands the more earnest evidence of ardor, such as the romantic dinner at the Red Lobster, or the gift certificate, denominated in the high two figures, to the Victoria’s Secret.
And woe to the woman, says the Manolo, who fails to understand that what the ordinary American man most desires on that auspicious day is that the festivities culminate in the most passionate embraces, after which he be allowed to peacefully roll over and subside into blissful slumber.
Look! Here is the Chantel the hot, sexy, hot passion red shoe from the Pour la Victoire/
Can you recommend a shoe that’s comfortable enough for my half-hour metro ride and fifteen minute walk to work, but still classy enough to wear in the office?
Manolo says, ayyy! It is the eternal working girl question: the shoes in which you will strut around the place of employment in your semi-offical role as the Office Fashion Plate are not comfortable enough for the commuting back and forth from your home on the public transportation.
It is ture, that for as long as the women have gone to the place of work outside the home, this problem has been with us.
Indeed, the Melanie Griffith’s hit movie Working Girl, which appeared more than 25 years ago, prominently featured scenes of our heroine commuting back and forth from the Staten Island in tennis shoes, with socks wore over her pantyhose.
But, the Manolo actually suspects that if one looked into the ancient fashion records one would find that the 1920s secretaries complained about not finding shoes that were suitable for both riding on the omnibus and taking stenography from that young Victrola salesman who looked like Rudy Valleé.
Happily, the Manolo can report that shoe technology seems to have advanced moderately from the days of the Thoroughly Modern Millie. Here is the Moscow, the attractive stacked heel pump from Ecco, the company that specializes in making comfortable shoes that do not look as if they were meant for Thoroughly Ancient Millie.