Manolo the Columnist: Carmella Wedge from Elie Tahari

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

Dear Manolo,

Your recent column in which you mentioned the trend for barefoot brides and bridesmaids has struck a chord with me. My son is getting married in May, to a wonderful if somewhat quirky girl. Not only are they going to be married out of doors, at a friend’s farm in Northern Virginia, but the entire wedding party will be barefooted. I would rather not be barefooted, as I grew up on a farm and know a thing or two about them. My dress will be a simple linen shift in a pale blue, please suggest some shoes appropriate for the clothes and setting.


Manolo says, the Manolo’s friend is right to be apprehensive about her son getting married with the bare feets, in the Appalachian foothills, out by the hog troughs. (And here the Manolo will forebear to make the jokes about chittlin canapés and moonshine toasts given by the best man.)

In fact, the Manolo is at the stage now where he applauds any young couple who opt out of the mega-marriage madness, events that can consume many tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary wedding folderol. Better the smaller, good-humored celebration filled with love, family, and friends. Such joys cannot be purchased at any price.

Here is the Carmella Wedge from Elie Tahari, understated and elegantly casual.

Carmella Wedge from Elie Tahari


Manolo the Columnist: Tiriolo by Bruno Magli

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

Dear Manolo,

My husband has planned a trip for us to Paris in May. It will be my first time in the city and I, of course, would like to look as smashing as possible (so as not to be outdone by those fashionable French women). The problem is, I am a very short girl and I always wear heels when I’m out. I understand that, given the amount of walking that one is likely to do during their first trip to Paris, heels may not be a practical option. Then again, hemming all of my trousers before the trip is also not practical. What is a short (but stylish!) girl to do?


Manolo says, Paris in the Spring Time! The weather will be temperate, the flowers will be in bloom, and if this is your first visit, you will finally encounter, in his native element, human society’s most natural-born aristocrat: the Parisian waiter.

Forget about all of those kings and queens, dukes and counts, the truly superior being is the person who will be bringing you the bouillabaisse.

You may have heard that the waiters in Paris are rude. Nonsense! They are simply displaying the dignified sense of reserve appropriate to their exalted station. They cannot help it that your lack of eating utensils, or the undercooked state of your food, has caused you to become all shouty, it is not their problem.

Likewise, you may think you your meal is brought to you because you are paying for it, as part of the commercial transaction. Ha! Your food and drinks arrive simply because your waiter has the keen sense of noblesse oblige. Serving you is the charity work Parisian waiters perform to help the less fortunate.

Look! Here is the Tiriolo from Bruno Magli. Cork soles for comfort and height, patent leather for sassy styling.
Tiriolo by Bruno Magli


The Column of the Manolo: Fanny from Donald J. Pliner

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

Dear Manolo,

I’m about to graduate with a masters degree in landscape architecture, and will shortly be going out to seek my fortune. To this point, I’ve not thought much about footwear, content to wear my wellies in almost all situations (I did put on real shoes for my sister’s wedding). Now, however, as I begin to think about job interviews I become somewhat nervous. What do you recommend to convey the exact right combination of professional seriousness, outdoorsy intellectualism, and artistic competency?


Manolo says, to the uninitiated, the landscape architects are merely glorified gardeners, but to those who know about such things, landscape architects are members of the ancient and useful fraternity, stretching back to God himself, who in one of his first recorded acts redirected the major water feature to produce the usable spot of dry land, where he subsequently planted the garden.

Of the course, less august landscape architects have more mundane concerns, such as how to convey the proper image through personal dress and style.

Like the traditional architect, the landscape architect must appear both professional and artistic, but with the additional burden of having to appear sufficiently in touch with nature, without resorting to bib overall and John Deere gimme caps.

The Manolo suggest expensive but comfortable, tailored suiting made from natural fibers in woodland browns and greens. Think Jedi Knights meet Robin Hood meets Prada.

Look! Here is Fanny from Donald J. Pliner, the mid-heel wedge with the rich walnut-colored leather that would look good indoors or out.

The Fanny from Donald J. Pliner


Prada Cutout Espadrille Wedge for the Wednesday

Prada Cutout Espadrille Wedge   Manolo Likes!  Click!

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).


Manolo the Columnist: Valley from KORS by Michael Kors

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

Dear Manolo,

Last week, my very frugal husband became so fed up with this interminable winter weather that he went out, without my knowing, and booked us a week long cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, leaving the second week of February. And now, I need some sandals appropriate to warm weather.


Manolo says, long ago, when the Manolo was very poor, he spent the few seasons living in the place with the very cold, very snowy winters. It was during this period of poverty, while the Manolo was forced to trudge many miles to obtain his daily crust of bread, that he grew to dislike excessive displays of winter frostiness.

Indeed, the Manolo clearly remember the moment when, caught outdoors in the storm of sleet, he vowed to exact his revenge upon Señor Jacque Frost.

“To the last,” the Manolo shouted Ahab-like to no one in particular, “The Manolo grapples with thee; from Saint-Tropez’s heart the Manolo laughs at thee; For hate’s sake, the Manolo sips his last piña colada at thee!”

Of the course, the wind did not listen, but still, the shouting was moderately therapeutic, although, certainly not as therapeutic as going to Cozumel. Nor, as therapeutic as the Valley from KORS by Michael Kors, the summery cork-heeled, platform wedge sandals available in the rainbow of colors, although the Manolo is most partial to white for the beaches of Mexico.

Valley from KORS by MIchael Kors   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

In late August I’m attending an outdoor wedding in upstate New York. I’ve settled on a summery sort of wrap dress in a light blue color. What would you recommend in the way of footwear?


Manolo says, the few years back the Manolo attended the late summer wedding in the Catskills. It was the wonderful celebration of love and family and friends.

Unfortunately, the weather was unseasonably hot and humid, and so even though the ceremony proceeded flawlessly, it was nonetheless difficult for the Manolo to fully enjoy the festivities, what with the quantities of sweat running off his brow and puddling up in his shoes.

And this is the problem with even the best planned of outdoor weddings. There are things which even the most attentive of bridezillas cannot control: packs of barking dogs, clouds of blood-thirsty mosquitoes, lightening strikes that set off car alarms, small aircraft towing banners advertising malt liquor, and freakishly muggy weather that leaves the guests wilted and spent, and causes the caterer to run out of cold beer before the first dance.

Look, here are the marvelous Stoneybrook from Stuart Weitzman, the low-heeled strappy sandal that will keep you cool during even the hottest of ceremonies.

Stoneybrook by Stuart Weitzman   Manolo Likes!  Click!


Giuseppe Zanotti: From Sublime to Ridiculous?

Manolo says, compare and contrast the following two shoes from Giuseppe Zanotti.

Giuseppe Zanotti Patent Leather Ankle Boots   Manolo Likes!  Click!Giuseppe Zanotti Leopard Print Platform Wedges

Manolo says, when the Manolo’s shoe-obsessed friend Wayne pointed out these two Giuseppe Zanotti shoes to the Manolo, the Manolo’s initial reaction was to laud the first for it’s combination of classical beauty and sublime construction, while deploring the second for its irrational science-fictiony exuberance.

And yet…the longer the Manolo considers the second shoe, the more he has reconciled himself to its over-the-topness. Indeed, the Manolo now believes that the right rock-n-roll girl could make this shoe work for her in the right conditions with the exact right attitude and outfit. Everyone else should select the first, which is undeniably beautiful.

Of the course, the real question is how can two such very different shoes, which share almost nothing in the way of aesthetic vision, be produced by the same designer?

The answer is, that they are not. There are clearly two different designers at work in the Zanotti atelier.


Lilly Pulitzer For the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday, and you are sitting at your desk, when you realize that this weekend it is the Fourth of July and you have not yet purchased your new bathing suit. And you have been invited to the big-dealio, all-day beach party with your husband’s co-workers. Ayyyyy!

To make the matters worse, this winter was not kind to your backside, to say nothing about your belly-side, and your various other jiggly-bits which will soon be swaying gently in the seaside breeze.

And so, with great haste you log onto the websites of various on-line retailers and look at one-piece tank suits with special supportive panels and Spanx-like hidden trussing. After 47 minutes of searching (all on company time) you give up the search when you realize that the bathing suits are not usually something that can be reliably purchased on-line, that is, unless of the course, you are one of those women who is comfortable having the bottom part of the suit ride up into the crotch, exposing your lack of Brazilian waxification (strangely, this population is not inconsiderable).

That is when you decide that the better course of action will be to fake the big emergency tomorrow afternoon, so that you can rush out of the office and down to the mall.

This decision, one of life’s forgivable little white lies, causes you to feel both relieved and exceedingly guilty. You are punctilious about such misconduct. It is one thing to waste the stray hour reading the Celebitchy and the Fug Girls on company time, but another entirely to carefully plan to mislead so as to be able to go shopping on office time.

In point of fact, this planned infraction leaves you feeling so guilty that must go to your happy place, to the Manolo’s humble Shoe Blog, where you will be able to look at beautiful shoes, thus soothing your jingly-jangly nerves.

Ayyyyy! You just realized that you are still as white as the ghost, and there’s no time for the tanning booth!

Manolo take me away!

Look, here are the beautiful low-wedge heeled sandals from Lilly Pulitzer!

Inner Circle Wedge Sandals from Lilly Pulitzer   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Feel better now?


Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

After meeting my parents for the first time, my boyfriend of nearly four months decided to break it off with me. I think I’ve finally convinced myself that he was a jerk, but I still need consoling . Can you recommend some shoes that will ease my pain?


Manolo says, it is clear that the Manolo’s friend understands one of the undeniable truths of life, that shoes are among the most powerful anelgesics known to womankind. Indeed, few things can alleviate romantic heartache and depression as quickly as shopping for the new pair of shoes.

Strangely, the curative power of shoe shopping is little recognized by modern science.

Today, more often then not, if one goes to the psychiatrist to complain about the broken heart, one comes away with the fistful of antidepressants and the head filled with Dr. Freud’s banalities, when what is really needed is the following: one’s best friends, the quart of high-end Rocky Road, and Saks Fifth Ave’s shoe department. Repeat treatment as indicated.

Shoe shopping with your best girlfriends is like the chicken soup for the broken hearted; the common sense cure that mothers know but doctors have ridiculed.

And really, which would you rather spend $250 on? One hour talking to someone who is probably much, much crazier than you are, or these wonderfully fun cork platform wedges, the Kipper from Juicy Couture. Unlike you basic tweedy shrink, these come in six super fantastic colors!

Kipper from Juicy Couture   Manolo Likes!  Click!


Juicy Orange Couture

Lucinda from Juicy Couture    Manolo Likes!  Click!

Manolo says, the Manolo has just seen these juicy orange Juicy Courture sandals on the smartly-turned out young woman and thought they looked smashing. Very summery and happy, the perfect refreshing antidote for the doggish days of August.


Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

The end of the summer is approaching and I’ve been invited by my family to spend a long weekend at the shore. What can you recommend that would be suitably casual, but still stylish, and could make my legs look good in short shorts.


Manolo says, as is his customary summer habit, the Manolo has spent the past few weeks in Malibu, enjoying the beach, the marvelous weather, and the lifestyles of the rich and botoxed.

While he has been here the Manolo and his crew, the Posse Manolo, have been rolling down Robertson, Melrose, and in the Grove, the super fantastic shopping areas of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.

The Manolo has noticed several hot trends among the young and hip; tight-tight straight leg paints, or their opposite, wide-legged jeans, suit vests, lightweight scarves, the color gunmetal gray, and the return of that old WASPy staple, the Sperry Top-Sider. In short, the dominant trend among the youthful of Los Angeles is hipster prep, the look the Manolo finds quite amusing.

In honor of these trends, here is the wedge-heeled, “Authentic Original” Sperry Top-Sider in the gold metallic color that would look great with the tan legs.

Wedge Heel Original Authentic Sperry Top-Sider    Manolo Likes!  Click!


Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

I’ve noticed that this summer there’s a real trend for ethnic themed shoes, mostly African motifs, but some also some Native American and Latin elements. Can you recommend something that’s in keeping with this trend but will still look good when it’s over?


Manolo says, the Manolo loves the current incarnation of the periodic mania for the ethnic themed clothing. This time around, the trend has been expressed in luxurious and mostly subtle ways, with beautiful shoes that feature snakeskin and feathers in African patterns, and sandals with native American leather fringes.

Of course, as always, one must be careful when adopting ethnic motifs for use in personal styling. The danger is that you may go too far and become the caricature.

Indeed, one minute you are admiring the leathery fringes on the high street shoe, and the next you are dressing head-to-toe in buckskin and trade beads, and calling yourself Kicking Horse Woman.

However, for the hot semi-ethnic sandals, the Manolo has been especially impressed this year by the Sigerson Morrison, who have produced the stunning series of shoes, flats and heels, with the woven black-and-white pattern.

Here is the wedge heel version which will satisfy your demands for tendy ethnicity and yet survive the season’s inevitable demise.

Sigerson Morrison Wedge Heel Sandals    Manolo Likes!  Click!