Manolo the Columnist: Pamela from Via Spiga

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

Dear Manolo,

At the end of March, I’m going to Los Angeles to attend the wedding of my college roommate. The problem is, I’m an East Coast girl who’s not spent much time in Los Angeles and my roommate is a native Californian who now works in the film industry, so I’m not really sure how to dress for this. Please help.


Manolo says, it is true the people of the California they are not like us!

They drive their four-hundred-thousand dollar Lamborghinis to the Ralph’s Supermarket, even though there is not enough luggage space in the car to carry the single gallon of free range, cruelty-free, fat-free organic soy milk back to their Richard Neutra-esque three-bedrooms located in the wildfire-prone landslide zones above Mulholland.

The Calfornians, they think it is normal to live in the places with names like Tarzana, Topanga, and Rancho Cucamonga, where there are hot dog stands that have their own paparazzi who, if you are wearing the designer sunglasses and looking especially hungover, will chase you down the street shouting “Lindsay! Lindsay! Lindsay!”

As for how to dress for the California wedding, the Manolo can offer no better advice than dress as you normally would for the wedding anywhere
else, as it probably does not matter. If it is the typical California ceremony some people will be there wearing the suits and the dresses, and
others will be in board shorts and the flip-flops thinking about surfing.

Here is the Pamela from Via Spiga, the smart t-strap platform sandal, in the anthracite black glitter, the exact sort of thing that the Californians might think pretty.

Pamela from Via Spiga

Vernal Shoes For the Poor Girl

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends has asked the Manolo the question.

Dear Manolo,

I love to look at the expensive sandals on your site, but I’m just a working girl and shoes like that are way, way, WAY out of my price range. It would take me months to save up enough to buy those shoes, as much as I would be thrilled to wear them.

So, what must I do? Can you find me some nice spring sandals for under $150?

Your internet friend forever,


Yes, it is true, the Manolo loves to show you super fantastic shoes of great costliness, even though he knows that most of his friends will never be able to afford such luxuries; shoes that may perhaps be on one’s “bucket list”.

In the meantime, while you are accumulating great wealth by writing your elven bodice ripper (perhaps, to be entitled, The Passion of Ravenscroft, followed by the sequel, The Return of the Passion of Ravenscroft) you must still wear shoes, for you are not the hobbit who can go about in bare feets.

Of course, the Manolo, who knows what it is like to be poor, so poor that you must live in the earthen burrow beneath the Long Island Expressway like the urban hobbit, will be happy to recommend the few shoes of reasonable cost and superior attractiveness.

Hilda from Via Spiga

Above is the Hilda from Via Spiga for all of your casual Friday needs, from the office to the Hampton Jitney.

Franco Sarto Cool Espadrille Wedges

And when our poor girl arrives in Amagansett, she will need some wedge espadrilles, such as these, the Cool from Franco Sarto (available in six colors) to wear with her flowing sun dress.

Michael Kors Winnie Thong Sandals in Silver Metallic

And, when it comes time to head to the beach (it is 90 degrees in New York today!), our working girl will wish to glam it up the bit under her sarong, perhaps with these silver metallic thong sandals, the Winnie from Kors by Micheal Kors.


Manolo the Columnist: Elise from Via Spiga

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

Dear Manolo,

I need a bit of extra help. I’ve been living in Central Asia for the past 6 years, so I’ve been out of the fashion loop for awhile and don’t know what’s in style. I have a great denim pencil skirt which I could wear with slides over the summer, but what to do now that it’s cooler? I tried it with boots but it looked like I was wearing Wellingtons and a gunny sack. Don’t worry, it’s not a long skirt. At least, I know that the hippie/granny thing is a faux pas.


Manolo says, the way the Manolo’s friend has described her exile, it is as if she were the movie star trapped on Gilligan’s Island, without access to Vogue or basic cable television.

And now the rescue boat has arrived, and she realizes that she has been wearing the same out-of-date, peach-colored, Bob Mackie gown for the whole six years.

“Ayyyyy! Professor Manolo, help me!” She shouts, “the paparazzi will be waiting for me at the pier. Hurry! Style me to so I may not be embarrassed by my photo on the cover of People

“Here,” says the Professor Manolo, “I have fashioned you this denim pencil skirt out of the Skipper’s pants. Wear it with these thick, ribbed tights and these retro, oxford-style suede booties which have washed ashore. They are the Elise from Via Spiga, and I have scientifically calculated that the trends this year include ankle boots such as these and patterned tights, so you should be fine.”

Elise from Via Spiga   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

A very fashion forward friend of mine asked the question yesterday, “With regard to shoes for this spring, is beige the new black?” I said I would consult the Manolo who is the only person I trust to have the correct information about the shoes for any season.


Manolo says, there is no “new black”. Black is black and it shall never be replaced as the most essential color (or non-color) in the wardrobe.

This is not to say that there are not important color trends now at work in the world of feetwear, only that the Manolo has grown extremely weary of the phrase “such-and-such is the new black.”

As for these current fashion trends, beige shoes will be prevalent, but the more striking trend this season will be bold colors, and indeed, the Manolo has already declared 2008, the “Year of the Colorful Shoe”

We are already seeing festive shoes that are saturated with bright colors, rich variations of purple, orange, yellow, green, blue, and red.

Look here is the Jade from Via Spiga, the round-toed slingback shown here in the purple patent leather, but also available in yellow and orange. Is this not infinitely more fun than beige?

Jade from Via Spiga  It is Colorful, Manolo Likes!  Click!


The Rogue from Via Spiga

The Rogue by Via Spiga   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Manolo says, the Manolo woke up this morning in the mood for the good pair of the pirate boots, and by “good” the Mnaolo means sexy, but not overly costumey. And behold, here is the aptly named Rogue from the Via Spiga, the pirate boot that does not make the Manolo want to walk the plank.


Boots for the Restaurant

Manolo says, one of the Manolo many internet friends has sent the Manolo the question.

Dear Manolo,
Forde by Via Spiga   Manolo Likes!  Click!
My husband and I are invited to a company dinner at a restaurant. The dress code there is business casual. I have this dark chocolate knee length dress with an empire waist that I plan to wear. The dress is quite playful and youthful looking so I am thinking about pairing it with a pair of knee high black suede Via Spiga boots (Forde is the name). I am just wondering about whether this would be appropriate for the dinner party. I am in my late 20s and the company has a very relaxed (read jeans and t-shirts) dress policy. I am looking forward to your answer!!! Love your web site.


Manolo says, this is the sort of question that the Manolo loves, for it shows that the Gospel of The Good Shoes has spread to the four corners of the Earth, as these are the very handsome boots.

However, the Manolo has the worry, and that is that the Manolo’s friend is wearing the relatively unstrutured dress with the slouchy boots, and the rule of the Manolo is that one should not pair slouchy with slouchy lest one look like the Mama Cass.

The Manolo would prefer the ankle-strap sandal with this dress, which would give his friend the sexy-flirty look. However, if she wishes to wear the boot, the Manolo would suggest something like the Spire from the Via Spiga, with the smooth line across the ankles.

Spire by Via Spiga   Manolo Likes!  Click!

No matter, in either case, the Manolo’s internet friend will be admired (and her husband envied) by the too-casual peoples of work.


Manolo the Columnist

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

Naturally as this it is the Day of Labor Weekend, there is only one topic that can be addressed.

Dear Manolo,

I’m from South Carolina and my mother would die if I wore white shoes after Labor Day.


Manolo says, it is that time of the year again, when the Manolo, like the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, is required by custom and tradition to emerge from his burrow and opine on the wearing of the white shoes after the Day of Labor.

As in the previous years, the Manolo must disappoint all of the Daughters of the Confederacy by saying that there is nothing wrong with the white shoes after the end of the summer.

Petty and inconsequential fashion dictums were meant to be broken. If they were not, all of the southern ladies would still be sporting the white gloves and extending their pinkies when they sipped the tea.

We are not the fashion automatons who shift our uniforms in lockstep with the seasons. We are the liberated fashion beings who are obliged to look our best, even if this violates the “rules”.

In the fact, the Manolo has only the single rule: If the shoe looks good, the shoe must be worn!

Here is the white peep-toe from the Via Spiga that will still look good next week.

Spruce by Via Spiga.   Manolo Likes Even After Labor Day! Click!

Shoes for the Graduating

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s many internet friends has asked the Manolo the question.

Manolo, I need some quick advice. My graduation is in a week and it was suggested to the girls that for shoes with our robes, we wear, “sort of, like, modern, dark-colored business pumps.” Oh, God, was my immediate reaction. I’m a big shoe person, but I tend more towards colors and unique styles. I have just one pair of black shoes that I wear with pretty much any outfit that requires more classic, black shoes. I’ve had them for years and they’re fairly outdated. Also, they’ve been through the mill (the dog has chewed on them) and been repaired several times. Basically, I want some shoes that loosely fit the description, but that are more interesting and different than everyone else’s. I don’t want to look like I’m wearing my mother’s shoes, but unless I find something, I’m afraid I actually will be wearing my mother’s shoes. I’m planning on wearing to graduation (under my robes, for part of the time) a dress from Anthropologie (called the Nightingale dress) that has a flower pattern and mostly brown tones. Oh, and did I mention that I have a wide foot and limited money to spend on these shoes? Please, point me in the right direction!

While the Manolo he appreciates the desire of the “man” to dictate the shoes of the graduate, the Manolo he refuses to allow his internet friend to be ill-shod on this one of the important days of the young person’s life. The dress she has chosen it is pretty, and it deserves the shoe that is likewise pretty, and yet, at the same of the time suitable for wearing under the robes of the graduate, and yet, also at the same of the times, suitable for the girl with the wide feets.

And so, the Manolo he has decided that the brown suede with the roomy toe box, and perhaps the pink trim, it would be most suitable for this lively young woman who wishes to not upset the oppressive powers that be.

Via Spiga - Frasier (T. Moro/Winter Pink Suede) - Women's   Manolo Likes!  Click!

This shoe from the Via Spiga, it the little bit retro, which makes it suitable for the vintage sort of dress. Even the better, it is on the sale at the Zappos.

Vigotti - Fano 40413 (Brown Suede/Pink) - Women's   Manolo Likes!  Click!

This one from the Vigotti, it has the higher heel and the ankle strap, making it the more forward choice.

Yes, only by the stretching are these the “business” pumps, but then the girl she must do what she must do to look good on this happy day.

Manolo says, the Manolo he can now only extend to his internet friend the best of the wishes and the most heartfelt congratulations.