Over the past fourteen months I’ve lost nearly 90 pounds, and have finally reached my goal weight. I’m going to reward myself now with a new sexier wardrobe, and, of course, a new pair of shoes. Please help me find something suitable for the new me.
Manolo says, ayyyy! Congratulations on this significant achievement. The Manolo indeed knows how difficult it is to fight (and lose) the Battle of the Bulging Spare Tire Around the Middle Parts of The Body.
Sadly, the Manolo has not only been genetically cursed with the un-svelte body of Falstaffian proportions, but he has long had the robust and epicurean appetites, meaning that he enjoys the double helpings of his stuffed doormouses and honeyed hummingbird tongues, often with the cream sauce. Worse, far worse, the Manolo’s idea of exercise is the languorous stroll around the farmer’s market, and the vigorous sipping of Kir Royales at the sidewalk café, followed by the afternoon nap, the set of activities he refers to as “crosstraining”.
This is why when the Manolo has gone on the diet, he has often sought out the role models, the person whose body the Manolo wishes he had. Of course, the Manolo will never be as thin, or as buff as the Hollywood star. Thus, at moment, his current “thinspiration” is Henry VIII, whom the Manolo considers to have the achievable body type.
Here is the Macee from the Sigerson Morrison, the sexy, cutout suede peep-toe booty in the black, perfect for the new you!]]>
Valentine’s Day is coming up and it also happens to be my nephew’s birthday. My sister is throwing a big bash in his honor and said the attire is “whimsical yet casual” I like wedges but have small feet, What do you suggest?
Manolo says, ayyyy! The Dia de San Valentin, it approaches! Woe unto the man who neglects his duty to provide for his beloved the items of sufficient quality, cost, and/or sentimentality to properly express his undying affection.
If you are at the loss for what to give, the Manolo suggests costly chocolates, whose cocoa has been delivered to the master-hipster chocolatier’s Brooklyn atelier by the labor-intensive and ecologically-sound modes of transportation, such the windjammer and the cargo bicycle, where it is mixed with finest heirloom ingredients, its mature and complex flavors swathed in luxury, and then lovingly urged into antique heart-shaped molds, plucked out at the exact moment and packaged in the hand-made letterpress box decorated with old-fashionedy 19th century lettering.
Or, you can do the same thing you did the last year, give to your fine lady the single red rose, procured from the $1.99 “Last Minute Valentines” bin at the Quik-Mart while you are filling the Honda Civic with fuel and yourself with Mountain Dew and beef jerky.
Or, you can do as the Manolo’s friend has done and give the whole love thing the pass, and go to the child’s birthday party. It sounds more sensible.
Here is the Wallace from the Belle by Sigerson Morrison, the moderately whimsical, moderately practical wedge heel shoe.
I’ve just read that all the cool kids are wearing Birkenstocks again. Is it wrong that I’m tempted to join them? Please advise.
Manolo says, this where the Manolo wishes that his computer keyboard had the Grumpy Cat key, which he could push whenever he needed the strongly worded “NO!” to appear on the page. Unfortunately, his computing machine does not have this very useful function, and thus he will have to make his opinions known by plain metaphor:
The Birkenstocks are to the other shoes what the haywagon drawn by donkeys wearing battered straw hats is to the Ferrari Testarossa, which is to say that if you do not mind looking like someone who should be driving the 19th century manure spreader to work each morning, then by all the means, wear the Birkenstocks.
Alternately, if you are the sort of person who enjoys having the people who buy all of their clothing at the Dollar General Factory Outlet Store look down their noses at your poor fashion sense, you should consider the Birkenstocks.
In the other words, if you regard your feet as hateful appendages worthy of being ridiculed by strangers, then the Birkenstocks are the shoe-like things for you.
The Manolo says, even though it is still roasting hot outside, it is now the Fall season of shopping, and thus if one can safely ignore the Birkenstocks for the next few months. With good fortune, by the spring of 2014, this mania will have subsided. In the meantime, here is the Sable from Belle by Sigerson Morrison, the versatile transitional flat that will take you into the new season.
Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back in your office wrestling with the copy machine, and the fax machine, and your computer, and the mail machine, all of which are attempting to sabotage–with persistent paper jams and inexplicable malfunctions–your effort to complete one of the most important projects of your career. .
And now, the stapler on your desk (Swingline, 747 Classic in red) is looking funny at you, and you are wondering “What did I do to deserve this?” And so you call the tech support guys.
Oh, gosh darn it, you got Creepy Greg, the one everybody is wary of, not Nice Greg, the one everyone trusts. But, what can you do? You are desperate and need help right now, and so you tell Creepy Greg about the problems, and he replies with something unexpected.
“You have to propitiate the God of Office Machines.”
“Photocopicus, he demands an offering.”
“Photocopicus, dammit! Photocopicus! He needs a sacrifice. Grab some paperclips and go to the storage closet in the copier room. We’ve got a small altar there. Bow your head, state your desires, and leave the paperclips as an offering.”
“What? Can you have the other Greg call me?”
“He’ll tell you the same thing, dammit. Just do it, alright? Just do it. Trust me it’ll work.” And then he hangs up.
And now you are certain that you are part of the elaborate practical joke, but you are desperate, very, very desperate. And so, even though you are the Methodist, you grab the box of paperclips from your desk drawer and you go to the copier room, and there, in the closet, just as Creepy Greg said, there is the tiny gilded bronze replica of the photocopier, the Canon 330d, with the words “Photocopicus, God of Office Machines” engraved on the base. Around the idol are scattered paper clips, erasers, rollerball pens, and elaborately-folded origami sticky notes, colored in fanciful ways with highlighters.
Following instructions, and feeling more than the little ridiculous, you bow your head and ask Photocopicus to aid you in the completion of your presentation. And then you leave six paperclips, hoping that it is the correct number.
Two hours later, after you have successfully finished your presentation without incident, the phone rings, and it is Nice Greg, the tech guy everyone likes.
“So, did it work?”
“Um, yes, I think so.”
“Good.” And then he hangs up, leaving you feeling like you’re living in the middle of the Charlie Kaufman movie.
You know what you need now to erase that feeling of unheimlichkeit? Shoes, good old dependable, concrete, wonderful, never-let-us-down shoes.
Look, here are the marvelously real, wonderfully pretty Sigerson Morrison suede skimmers.
The advice you gave last week to the lady who wanted sandals for the end of summer struck a note with me, in that it started me thinking about the fall and what sort of shoes I should be wearing when it arrives. Can you recommend something both casual and somewhat on-trend for when the summer ends?
Manolo says, it is only natural, that we should all be desiring the end to this interminable summer of suffering, that we should be anticipating the arrival of more tolerable weather, which will bring with it the new season of clothing.
As for the major trends of this new season, the Manolo has been delighted by the rise of the lounge loafers (a.k.a the Belgian slippers) to stylishness.
How wonderful it is to see these ultra-comfortable shoes having their moment in the fashion spotlight, especially as we have recently been in the era of the 6-inch stiletto-heeled, ultra-narrow, high-fashion torture shoes.
It is as if all the smart girls got together, placed their Birkin bags on the sacrificial fire, and cried out, “Ouch! We implore you, fashion gods, please give us something that will not mutilate our toes.”
And from their aerie on Mount Louboutin, the fashion gods looked down upon their votaries and thundered, “So shall it be written. Bring back the lounge loafers.”
And the fashion girls shouted, “Huzzah!”
Here is the 6614B from the Belle by Sigerson Morrison, the lounge loafer with the kilim carpet pattern that makes it exactly exotic enough to impress your friends.
Manolo says, here is the Guagain from Sigerson Morrison, the snappy flat sandal that would undoubtedly make the rest of July more bearable. And look! They are on sale!]]>
Manolo says, what is that you are saying?
“But Manolo, it is hot outside, and I do not need the leather ankle bootie.”
To which the Manolo responds, does not the fall follow the summer, like the night after the day? By which he means, this high-quality,classic leather bootie, selling at less than one-third the regular price (only $99.97!) is the bargain too good to pass up, especially if you are the forward thinking girl who can buy this and put it away for the next three months.
Manolo says, one secret to smart shopping is buying the shoes when they are out of season.]]>
This year, the whole family is going to New York to spend Easter with my in-laws, who are wonderfully sweet people, whom I adore. The one problem is that they go to a very traditional, fairly stuffy church. (I was raised in a more charismatic Protestant tradition, and we currently attend a church that encourages a come-as-you-are informality.) Can you recommend a shoe, something I can also wear with work clothes?
Manolo says, Easter is one of the Manolo’s most favoritest times of the year. Spring has arrived in its fullest glory, heralded by birdsongs, and crowned in flowers. It is the season of joy and reconciliation, when the lion will lay down with the lamb, and the person in the three-piece suit will smile when he hands the church program to the bearded man in the novelty t-shirt and board shorts.
Easter is when we must put aside our differences and recognize what is most important; whether or not Coca-Cola is better than simple brown sugar for glazing the ham, or if it is best to start with the ears, or nibble
away slowly at the body so that only the chocolate bunny’s face remains, to be consumed at last only with the greatest remorse and pleasure.
Here is the Warhalla from the Sigerson Morrison, the handsome, classic, reserved mid-heel shoe that would look perfectly at home in either Westminster Cathedral or the offices of InTechTronCo, Inc.
This time, the Elizabeth Semmelhack is interviewed about the history and meaning of the flip-flops. Here is the excerpt.
Collectors Weekly: When did it become more acceptable to wear flip-flops outside of the home or during the week?
Semmelhack: Sigerson Morrison made expensive heeled flip-flops at the end of the ’90s. When they made it, it created a buzz because they were also charging quite a bit for those flip-flops. They were not your average $10 flip-flop. I think they cost more than a hundred bucks when they were first offered.
The acceptability of the flip-flop is related to the hypersexualization of women’s dress. That’s why my research has been focused on the high heel. The introduction of the sandal—not the flip-flop but the toe-exposing sandal—in the 1930s, was part of a greater trend towards the “nudification,” for lack of a better term, of the female body. I feel that there has been a marked progression toward increased exposure of the female body.
What I find intriguing now is that men have begun to follow suit—perhaps not the best term here. Men are now falling in line with this increased exposure, and it could be argued this increased exposure is starting at their feet. With that increased exposure is concern about male pedicures and all kinds of grooming of the male body. I do see this as part of this larger continuum toward hypersexualization in dress. But if this exposure of the body is related to hyersexualization, I think the question—are flip-flops sexy—also needs to be asked, and I think the answer is no.
Consider the Sigerson Morrison high-heeled flip-flop. At the end of the ’90s, we certainly saw a lot of high-heeled sandal-like evening shoes for women that exuded erotic appeal.And yet, somehow, that exact same structure, the heeled flip-flop structure wrought in inexpensive plastic, wasn’t. I think that the materials used to make flip-flops, their garish colors and their consistent association with play, has kept the flip-flop from really becoming sexy. On the cover of “Playboy,” you will see women in high heeled thronged sandals, but you don’t see them wearing a pair of flip-flops.
The “nudification” of the female body! This is why the Elizabeth Semmelhack has become one of the Manolo’s favorite fashion intellectuals.
Of the course, she is exactly right. For the past century, the general trend has been the freeing of the female form; bustles, corsets, girdles, and now the panty hose, all gone the way of the dodo bird.
Once the peep-toe shoes were too sexy for the work place, and now, thanks to the modern nudification project, everyone is vajazzaling.
But you must go read the whole thing for it is very interesting.]]>
And now, allow the Manolo to gently remind you, if you are the American, to do you civic duty.]]>