After our recent Is It A Shoe contest, I feel perhaps we’ve given Guiseppe Zanotti the fuzzy end of the proverbial lollipop.
True, he is guilty of the spiky horse hoof shoe, not to mention these:
(these are all from several seasons ago, and yes, the dollar sign shoes would’ve set you back a cool grand)
Yes, he does tend to err slightly on the Russian Mafia Call Girl side of things from time to time but he’s also capable of walking that fine edge of playful elegance just as well as his fellow countrymen Dolce and Gabbana.
Some of his more restrained offerings are among my favorites in my personal collection.
I once rained down fire on a cobbler who, without my permission, added grippy rubber half-soles in a particularly abysmal shade of Stalinist utilitarian gray to a beautiful pair of black patent court shoes with an exquisite lacquered wood heel.
He thought he was doing me a favor.
I don’t remember the entire conversation, but I seem to recall non-voluntary circumcision coming up somewhere. I’m not in jail though, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t actually do it.
It also explains why I alternately adore him and want to throw him off a roof.
Still, in the spirit of fairness, I thought I’d offer you some of Guido’s more approachable efforts, all of which are available on considerable sale at The Outnet, though some sizes might be limited.
Just click the images for the links.
Fit Note: Zanotti builds on a comparatively generous last, so his shoes tend to be wider than many other premium designers. They run pretty true to size, so if you’re used to sizing up, you might not have to with him. Also, he does pony/calf hair (same thing, no ponies were harmed) better than any other designer I’ve encountered. It’s smooth, glossy and doesn’t tuft out everywhere a week after you bring them home. I’ve worn a pair of his pony sandals regularly for about six years and the calf hair has stayed in place marvelously. Highly recommended.
Manolo says, it is the Tevas with the painted toenails that make this ensemble especially ghastly.
Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
My fabulous cousin, whose birthday is the day after mine, and has been an anchor through many crises, turned 40 a couple of weeks ago. I’m sorry to say I had to miss her surprise party because I was away on a business trip. But, it is not too late for giving wonderful surprise birthday presents. Might you have a suggestion?
Manolo says, perhaps it is the gypsy in the Manolo, but the Manolo cannot help but love the giant, big families, with the thirteen children, and the twenty-dozen cousins of the varying degrees.
Especially the first cousins, who because they are not always around like the siblings, can be great sources of support and amusement, without the attendant rivalry, jealousy, and periodic fist-fighting. And this is the secret to the relationship, you have the same grandmamma and the same grandpapa, but you also have the different parents! The truth is hiding in plain sight, so obvious, and yet so powerful.
Who else but the first cousin would readily agree to accompany you your on your schemes of mayhem and glory, without trying to steal the parental affection that will be required when you return home in ignominy?
For the example, the teeny Manolo and his own favorite first cousin, Teofilo, often sought out adventure in the countryside around the caravans. Ayyy! How many times did they have to scamper back home covered in purloined watermelon, the authorities in full cry behind them, only to split apart at the final moment, Teofilo to his mother’s lap and the Manolo to his own beloved mama’s.
Here is the Manda from Kate Spade New York in the poetical anthracite starlight finish, perfect for the beloved accomplice on the occasion of her belated fortieth birthday.
Last week I invited you all to play the fun new game “Is It a Shoe?” wherein I displayed an object (below) that might or might not be intended for use on a human foot.
I then invited readers to answer two questions.
- Is it a shoe?
- If not, what is it?
and there are a few awards to hand out
Superfantastic reader Marvel gets induction into The Order of the Shiny Apple for mentioning Joan Crawford, which I’d mentioned would garner extra points, while Fran, wins the coveted Nostradamus Tiara of Unfortunate Plausibility for suggesting:
Lady Gaga and Damien Hirst are proud to present their first child; it will be auctioned in a Qatari art gallery at the modest asking price of 2,375 gazillion of the US dollars.
The tiara is, as per previously outlined specifications, cut in half and floating in formaldehyde with a cow’s eyeball.
Sadly, in games like in relationships, there can be only one winner and this week it’s the lovely and fragrant Jo, who offered this gem:
Not a shoe. This is a sad genetic experiment gone wrong. This is what you get when you cross a porcupine with a magpie – a fetish for spines and shiny things. We should put it out of its misery, as it would never survive in the wild. However, we’ll probably see it around some pecuniarily over-endowed chit’s ankles as the latest fad for fashion pets continues.
For her troubles, Jo is appointed Chair of Cryptozoology and Sparkly Things at Our Lady of the Sacred Slingback University.
Thanks to all who played! Be sure to join us again soon for…
I’m just not sure about this whole smoking slipper trend.
(These are from Ralph Lauren. Sort of a “I stole the altar hangings from a church during Lent” look about them but in a nice way. Click image for link)
I actually quite like smoking slippers as a species for private use.
I even have a custom pair with my initials and Latin family motto and everything. Got ‘em in London seven or eight years ago when I first girlishly dabbled in bespoke footwear.
I’d pinched my pennies hard and the brutal exchange rate at the time –2:1 dollars to pounds– pinched them harder so I’d juuuust about managed to afford two pair of whipsnake d’Orsays plus a cheap seat to Equus back when people cared about Daniel Radcliffe’s uh, hufflepuff (and, from what I remember of the show, well before he learned the elusive yet powerful manscaping spell.)
The shoemaker was running some promotion where the third pair was 50% off and the smoking slippers were the only kicks I could afford and still pack both of my kidneys on the long flight home (my liver I left somewhere north of Berwick-upon-Tweed.)
It’s just…I mean…do they feel a little Let Them Eat Cake right now, given the current extreme levels of social and political divisiveness, in a way that’s just slightly different from regular “status” shoes to anyone else?
Like a little too eager to harken back to the good old days of Britain when we imagine everyone acted just like characters from an Oscar Wilde play and everything was great and too, too refined provided you were white, male and had scads of money (you know, as opposed to the times in history where being a rich white guy has been such a disadvantage) It just strikes me as tone deaf.
Is it me? It’s probably just me.
It’s like the old relative you know and love, the one who slipped you twenties in your birthday card when everyone else gave you two freshly-ironed dollar bills, but is, well, kinda racist.
It’s like you’ve brought your new boyfriend to meet the family for dinner and everything’s fine and all of a sudden your beloved great uncle says “You know what I like about Obama?” and you just sit there praying to God harder than you’ve ever prayed for anything that didn’t involve peeing on a stick that the big reveal won’t involve the phrase “so well-spoken.”
But of course it does, and it just hangs in the air above the decorative fish platter like this giant awkward thing (not unlike the decorative fish platter itself) until someone changes the subject or you commit ritual suicide with a bread knife
It probably doesn’t matter. In a few months cheap and cheerful versions of the traditionally British social signifiers will flood the market and with dilution of design will come dilution of the message, kind of like wearing delicate little slippers once either meant you were posh (in the UK) or quite possibly a prostitute (in Louisiana) I don’t know.
Am I overthinking this? Put it in the comments.
Manolo says, her this the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
I am only 44 but was recently diagnosed with arthritis in my knees and was told by my doctor NO high heels. Any time I cheat and wear even a low heel (2 inches) I end up in pain for three days, so I’m back to flats. This summer has been fine because I can get away with ballet flats, and I can wear riding boots with skirts in the winter, but when I need to look really professional for special meetings and presentations, I need to wear skirt suits, and a very professional-looking shoe. Can you help me find a flat, comfortable, but professional-looking shoe?
Manolo says, ayyyy! It is true, time is cruel!
One minute you are the 22-year-old hottie, who looks amazingly great dressed only in the ill-fitting burlap sack from the Sears, and the next you are twice that age and have just received the personal letters from both the Dolce and the Gabbana asking you to please, please, please stop wearing their clothing. (And, look! Stefano has even enclosed the check and the Talbots catalog!)
And this says nothing about the various infirmities and physical indignities that are brought by the process of aging. Indeed, the Manolo, who is the gentleman of the certain age, has his own trick knee, one which renders him unable to walk without the slight limp, or drink vin ordinaire.
Here is the Flatiron from the Stuart Weitzman, the smashingly smashing dress flat in the rich cognac anilie finsh that will leave the teeny boppers in their burlap dresses gaping with envy.
Last week I introduced my loyal readers at Manolo for the Big Girl (which is about way more than big girl stuff, in case you’re interested but are worried about catching fat from the internet) to the fun new game, “Is It a Shoe?”
The rules are easy. I provide an image of something that may or may not be footwear, and you answer two simple questions:
Is it a shoe?
If not, what is it?
The winner will be picked the next week and lauded with palm branches or whatever else I find handy.
Ready? Let’s play!
Is it a shoe?
Remember, points are awarded on wit, intellect and gratuitous references to Joan Crawford. Just kidding, there’s no such thing as a gratuitous reference to Joan Crawford.