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Manolo the Columnist: Metallic Flower Sandals from Miu Miu

Dear Manolo,

Now that the first day of spring has arrived, I find that I need a new pair of sandals suitable to the season. I would describe my style as understated and classic, but this year I’m feeling a powerful need for something a little more colorful than usual. Please help.

Marci

Manolo says, the spring, it has sprung! Finally has arrived is the most glorious time of the year, when the Mother Nature shakes off the gloomy gloaming of winter, hitches up her skirts and gets to work painting the countryside in the riotous shades of green and gold, accenting the fields with flowers and the trees with singing birds.

How can one not be in love with this vernal season, when life returns to the Earth, bringing with it the hope for better days and warmer weather?

It is only natural that we should wish to respond favorably to this bounteous love offering by choosing to wear colorful clothing and beautiful shoes. How better to honor our fabulous good fortune, and the Divine Providence that has provided it, than by expressing our joy in as many ways as possible, with the smiles and kind words, the cheerful mien, and the beautiful happy clothing? Our outward appearance should be the reflection of the happiness that resides within, so that others my share in the mood of the season.

Here is the glittery, jeweled flower metallic sandals from Miu Miu, the perfectly gorgeous sandals for the perfectly gorgeous time of the year.

Miu Miu Metallic Sandal

Manolo the Columnist: Expressed from Naughty Sandals

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

Dear Manolo,

From the depths of Snowmageddon 2013, I implore you to show me some fun, sunny, light-hearted shoes to make me feel better. I want to see shoes that will reassure me that the weather will soon get warmer, and that spring will arrive on time. Please help!

Jessica

Manolo says, ayyyyy! It is always like this in the Washington, D.C. when the biggest snowstorm of the year finally arrives, and the city is plunged into chaos and despair.

As some wag once said many centuries ago, D.C. is the city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm, the statement that is never more true than during the snow emergencies, when the mere four inches of white flakes turns the entire town into the sort of dangerous, post-apocalyptic, Ice Age wasteland.

Not only do all ordinary services cease, but those few pedestrians who are brave enough to venture forth from their poorly-heated caves are continually in danger of being crushed to death by the mammoth SUVs that
are skidding off the unplowed street with shocking regularity.

Happily, joyously, it is already March, and the spring, which is by far the best time of the year to be in Washington, is just around the corner, and we will soon be freed from our dreary cold weather wear, and will once
again walk in the sunshine.

Here is the Expressed from Naughty Monkey, the fun, light-weight, spring sandal that will make you think that everything is proceeding according to divine plan. The Manolo is especially fond of the chocolate colored shoes.

Naughty Monkey Expressed Sandals

Manolo the Columnist: Pebbled Metallic Sandals from Jimmy Choo

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

Dear Manolo,

As you know, next week is a big deal here in D.C., for me especially because I’m on the organizing committee for one of the inaugural balls, and will thus need to look my best for the big event. I’ve already got the gown, in a deep sapphire blue, and now I need the shoes. Please help.

Margot

Manolo says, ayyyy! How exciting it is every four years at the Inauguration Day, when the entire city of Washington is transformed into the magical, make-believe fairyland of limousines and ball gowns, when every minor bureaucrat will be briefly made-over into the Cinderella and the Prince Charming.

One minute you the Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Phrenology, and the next you are Belle from the Beauty and the Beast, dancing the lively foxtrot with the man in the tuxedo who tomorrow will go back to being the person at the Internal Revenue Service who sets the depreciation schedule for the mechanized manure spreaders used by dairy farmers.

Ayyy! It is so romantic!

Of the course, this quadrennial day of celebration will be especially festive because the President was reelected, which means that at the stroke of midnight on January 22nd, none of the political appointees will be looking for new job!

Here is the strappy sandal with the pebbled leather finish from the Jimmy Choo, the perfect shoes for the celebratory festivities of democracy.

Jimmy Choo Pebbled Metallic Sandal

Manolo the Columnist: Aksaya Sandal from Schutz

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

Dear Manolo,

It has been a very tough year for me here in Suburbia, so I really want to celebrate its end. So, can you recommend some shoes for a New Year’s Eve black tie gala in the city, complete with dinner and dancing?

Patricia

Manolo says, as is always the case, the last few weeks of the year are filled to the bursting with events, which require substantial preparation and attention, such as the Christmas, and the Eve of the New Year, and the Mayan Calendar Apocalypse.

One minute you are trimming the Chrismakwanzakah tree and taking your little black dress to the seamstress for adjustments, worrying about which shoes are in fashion, and the next you are stocking up on the Meals Ready to Eat and filling sandbags so as to fortify your basement against the fiery arrival of Quetzalcoatl and his Army of the Undead.

But, then the life of the suburban housewife has never been easy, has it?

Happily, the gigantic party at the very end of the year makes up for the various indignities you have suffered over the course of that year, such as the bald spots in your lawn, and the rust spots on your minivans, and the way your seven year old’s violin practice makes you want to call the meteorite down upon the head of the person who wrote the “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

Here is the Aksaya Sandal from the Shutz, perfect for the celebratory boogying.

Schutz Aksaya Sandal

Prada Crisscross Platform Sandal 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 keep you from living beneath that bridge alongside the road.

“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!

Prada CrissCross Platform Sandal

The leather Prada crisscross platform sandals from the Fall 2012 collection.

Beautiful and Rare

 

…and each one is at least 70% off some seriously hefty (as in $1000+) price tags.

These five unique offerings are available in extremely limited sizes, but if they’re your size and your style, you’re in luck.


Salvatore Ferragamo Berg sculpted wedge sandal
The question is not are they too Bianca Jagger; it’s are they Bianca Jagger *enough*?

The sculpted precision of the cut-out keeps these bisque suede wedges from being just another pair of campy kicks. For an absolutely horrible variation on the curvilinear theme hop on over to the other blog to play Is It A Shoe? Hint: I don’t really think it’s a shoe.


Ralph Lauren Collection Hannie riding boot
I don’t know who’s doing the accessories behind good ol’ Ralphie Lipschitz these days, but they knocked this one out of the park. Ralph Lauren Goes Horsey is Ralph Lauren at his best. I’m also pretty sure it’s the name of a mail-order-only DVD that comes in discreet brown packaging.


Ralph Lauren Collection Jearra t-strap sandal
I love vachetta leather the way nicer, less interesting people love their kids. Traditionally you’d have to wait for time and the elements to give your vachetta its characteristic patina, but it looks like the clever calzolai in Lauren’s Italian workshop have not just tooled the quarter and the platform but treated it, too.

(more…)

Fab Four: Green Suede Shoes (and how to clean them)

In the spirit of full disclosure, the Venn Diagram of “People Who Think Spangled and Be-Caped Polyester Jumpsuits Are a Good Idea” and “People from Whom Miss Plumcake Takes Sartorial Advice” does not see a great deal of overlapping.

Still, as both Elvis and Carl Perkins –the artist responsible for writing the seminal rockabilly classic– know, there’s just something about a good pair of suede shoes.

Blue is fine if a little expected, but greens from dusky olive to deep viridian are having a major moment this fall. Plus, green suede ages better blue does, where a bit of dirt and scuffing add to the character.

A little Annie Hall, a little Jules et Jim, these immaculate oxfords from Gravati (seriously, look at the soles, they are works of art) are the exact sort of shoe you didn’t know you needed until you find yourself wearing them for thirty years. Style it with rolled up jeans and a bateau-neck top for the kooky naif look, or go elegant with wide tailored trousers and a mercilessly chic cashmere sweater to channel Marlene Dietrich at her deadliest.

The iconic Alexander McQueen skull pump rarely goes on sale and this iteration is among the more elegant (the shark, I’m afraid, was jumped a good while ago with some of the late designer’s other iconic designs. See also, Marc Jacobs’ mouse shoe). Sizing is extremely limited, but if it fits your foot, you can get a signature shoe for over 50% off.

For something just as sexy but a little more sly, Robert Clergerie’s curvaceous Quatro in Basil is a lovely sample of a desk-to-dinner heel. The t-strap makes it perfect for dancing. In my experience, Clergerie cuts on a narrow last –it’s truth universally acknowledged that French women have skinny little banana feet– so size accordingly.

What do you wear to transition summer’s favorite maxi dresses into fall? A summer cut in an autumnal fabrication. The wallet-friendly Primrose from Seychelles fits the bill perfectly with a strong design element at the vamp that ascends higher up the throatline for a slightly less summery look. Even better, they’re on sale for 25% off.

Finally, I know people avoid suede because of the staining. I wouldn’t.

With use, suede develops a patina every bit as elegant as the crumpled lines of a linen pant. Buy them in neutrals and do your best to keep them away from oils –basically don’t fry chicken or perform automotive maintenance in them– and you’ll be good to go.

Oh, and as for maintenance: Ignore pretty much everything you’ve read on the internet on how to clean suede and listen to the advice from London custom shoemakers James Taylor and Son. They’ve been making bespoke footwear since 1857 and wouldn’t steer you wrong.

Manolo the Columnist: Lancer Snadals from Jimmy Choo

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

Dear Manolo,

My fifteenth high school reunion is only five weeks away, which gives me just enough time to totally make myself over. Or, maybe not. I’m thinking that instead of doing all that work, I should just get some really great shoes. Please advise.

Amber

Manolo says, ayyyy! The Manolo likes the way you are thinking. Obviously, you are the long time reader of the Manolo.

Normally, the most common thing to do when the Day of Labor arrives, and the high school reunion season approaches, is to start the lemon-water-cabbage-soup-watermelon starvation diet. Followed closely by calls to the beautician, the aesthetician, the dietician, and the botox doctor.

One needs to do these things so as to overcome the trauma of the high school by showing up of the mean cheerleader girls who dated the quarterbacks and ruled the lunchroom from their Mordor-like table in the center.

But, unless you have magically become Cindy Crawford in the years intervening since graduation, this sort of thing rarely works. You are still you, and they are still them, just older, perhaps wiser, and maybe more centered and contented, and the world spins on, your high school days ever receding into the distant past.

Better, says the Manolo, to fix yourself up within reason, put on the beautiful shoes and enjoy the evening. You will be surprised and delighted by what has happed to many of your classmates.

Look! Stunningly beautiful shoes! The Lancer crystal-embellished suede sandals from Jimmy Choo!

Lancer from Jimmy Choo

Manolo’s Late Night Bargains: Marni Sandal Blowout

Manolo says, all of the smart, stylish, and very wearable Marni sandals shown below are selling at the 60% off of the regular price!

Marni Leather T-Strap Sandals

Marni leather t-strap sandals, 60% off!

Marni Canvas and Leather, T-Strap Sandals

Marni canvas and leather, t-strap sandals, 60% off!

Marni Chain-Embellished Canvas Sandals

Marni canvas, chain-embellished sandals, 60% off.

Marni Canvas and Leather, Chain-Embellished Sandals

Marni canvas and leather, chain embellished sandals, 60% off!

Yes, it is the end of the summer, and so the season for the sandals is near the end, but the Manolo asks, will the summer not come again? And when it does, will you not be glad that you were wise enough to have stocked up on handsome sandals made in Italy for beautiful Italian ladies of great stylishness?

It is the good deal, and there are many more styles the Manolo has not shown you, and at 60% off the regular price they will be hard to resist.

Manolo’s Late Night Bargain: Jenie from Badgley Mischka

Jenie  from Badgley MischkaJenie  from Badgley Mischka

Manolo says, here is the Jenie, the wonderfully versatile high-heeled sandal from the Badgley Mischka This is the shoe that you could bring out of your closet on many different occasions to great effect. Even the better, it is on the sale! 60% off of the regular price, the savings of over $120!

Manolo’s Late Night Bargain: Dailiana from Rockport

Rockport Dialana in Salmon Pink

Manolo says, the Manolo recommended these shoes the few months back, at the full price. How happy-making to see the pink version now on the sale at the deep discount: 75% off of the usual price, meaning that you can purchase them for less than $25 of the American dollars!

Maury Velvet and Metallic Sandals from Jimmy Choo for the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back at your desk, regretting that you agreed to go to lunch with your office mate Nina.

The problem with the Nina, and what makes her your mortal frenemy, is not that she is the bad person, but rather that she is both the devoted long-distance runner and the vegan, things about which she never stops talking.

What this means in the practical terms is that your lunch will begin with the self-righteous commentary on the menu choices at the TGI Fridays, followed shortly by the lengthy negotiations with the waitress over the order.

“Can you keep the Parmesan cheese out of the Caesar Salad? Wait, do you use real anchovies? You do? Then, can I have the Santa Fe Chicken Salad without the chicken, and hold the cheese on that? Also, can you give me extra black beans on that… wait, does that chipolte dressing have cream in it?”

After the food is ordered (and your waitress has silently resolved to spit in Nina’s iced tea) you will be treated to the blow-by-the-blow description of how Nina began the morning at 5:30AM with the eight mile run, which is part of her training regime for the series of ultra marathons. Afterwards, Nina will treat you to the brief disquisition on the topic “Sugar Equals Murder”.

Ugh. Just thinking about what awaits you at the lunch time makes you depressed.

You know what is needed now to cheer you up? Cinnabon! and Shoes!

Maury Velvet Sandals from Jimmy Choo

here is the Maury Velvet and Metallic Sandals from the Jimmy Choo, not only beautiful, but also very low in calories!

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