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Manolo's Shoe Blog: Shoes, Fashion, Celebrity, and Manolo! - Part 39

Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?

The Greatest Beauty Product of All Time

Manolo says, behold! Cold Plasma from Perricone, the greatest and bestest $155 per ounce skin cream of all time!

The reviewers all agree, it provides the unforgettable experience!

I got this as a sample. I put it on and my face felt so nice right after, I really wanted to like this but the smell!!! It was so bad it was making me gag. I had to wash my face 3 times to get rid of it. Ever walk by a little fish pond on a hot day? And you can smell the fish in the water? Thats what this smells like.


It’s just disgusting, the smell is simply wrong, but the results are right! I’ll try and suffer through gagging and nausea for the better skin I wake up with using cold plasma. I quickly top with a moisturizer to try and cover up the putrid stench, then I wash my hands. I don’t know if I can keep it up though, it’s a struggle to use.


I couldn’t tell you if this works or not, because I had to return it. I used it a few times, and yes, my face did feel firmer and more moisturized, but it also stinks to high heaven. It’s like some ungodly combination of fish, wet dog and raw chicken. It could be the fountain of youth and we would never know, because this stuff literally smells that bad,


This could have been water from the fountain of youth, and I wouldn’t use it…smells like raw chicken or chicken fat. Disgusting! I threw away the sample after 2 uses.


After using this for a few days, I decided to read other reviews to see if anyone noticed the particularly foul smell of this product. I’m currently a med student and gagged the instant I put this on my face – it smelled distinctly of anatomy lab, something I’d prefer not to revisit on a regular basis. While it DOES feel great on my skin, and the smell gets a little better over time, I would never buy this product simply due to the smell. Whether it’s linked to an unpleasant experience or not, it seems that most find the smell fairly objectionable.

Rarely have product reviews been so amusing, and at the Sephora site there are plenty more just like these.

P.S. Now that the Manolo has thought about it, this cream, it is the sort of little league version of the myth of the vampire, no? The vampire is granted eternal existence, but in exchange he becomes the soulless, undead creature of the night. In the Perricone Cold Plasma version of the myth, your laugh lines are smoothed away, but you smell like afternoon low tide in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, In the Dystopian Future…

Good Lord, what was she thinking?

The Empress Ming the Merciless prepares to give birth to the new age of despotism!

Indeed, the Manolo is only half joking, for as the more he watched the Madonna-tacular show of the halftime, the more he was struck by the unshakeable impression that this was the sort of Nuremberg Rally for the new age of crass narcissism aborning.

Beginning with its imperial fanfare and militaristic pomp, progressing through the forced adoration of the Glorious Leader (L-U-V Madonna! L-U-V Madonna!), and culminating in her apotheosis as the goddess and chief priestess of her own cult of personality, Madonna was urging on us nothing less than her hegemonistic vision of the Madonna-based future.

“My name is Madonna, queen of queens:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Manolo the Columnist: Wystere from AK Anne Klein

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

Dear Manolo,

I’m a teacher at an all-girls high school. I need a pair of low-key heels to wear to Prom, graduation and a family wedding this spring. Something that will not break the bank.


Manolo says, oh, how the Manolo well remembers the night of the grand prom at his alma mater, Our Lady of the Flaming Spleen Country Day School (who motto is still “The Wrathful Word Turneth Away Evil”).

How could anyone forget Sister Assumpta, looking like Ernest Borgnine in the wimple, standing at one side of the gymnasium dance floor, armed with something like the lifeguard’s hook, the long pole with the crook on the end.

If, during the slow jam, the bodies of the couples drifted too closely together, or the hand of the boy slipped too far down the back of the girl, Sister Assumpta would make her presence known, using her shepherd’s crook to forcefully yank the pair of would-be lovers back to propriety.

Of the course, the Manolo never had any problems on that score, indeed, for the young Manolo the prom was less about the slow-dancing with the girls, and more about the sartorial splendor. Finally, the Manolo’s customary Neo-Edwardian morning coat, embroidered waistcoat, and spats had found the appreciative audience!

Look here is the Wystere from AK Anne Klein, the nude patent pump that will work well for the graduation and the wedding, and will not the bank break.
Wystere from AK Anne Klein

The Cardboard Art of Christian Tagliavini

Manolo says, why has no one until now told the Manolo about the work of the photographer Christian Tagliavini?

Christian Tagliavinis Dame di Cartone

It is so wonderfully amusing, and made out of the cardboard.

Taking 13 months to complete, 1503 is largely inspired by the masters of the Renaissance, notably Agnolo di Cosimo (usually known as ‘Il Bronzino’) who was born in the same year as the title. Using cardboard & paper in place of material allows Tagliavini to design each item from the patterning to the final construction of form completely. In his series Dame Di Cartone (literal translation: ‘Cardboard Ladies’) several influences from art history & other eras are again present resulting in striking imagery.

From beginning to completion Tagliavini’s work is a labour of love. He admits that he enjoys the process as much as the resulting photograph, constructing an aesthetic from scratch he feels is incredibly satisfying from a creative & philosophical point of view. With as much done in situ as possible, including the illusory lengthening of the neck Tagliavini reduces the amount of postproduction needed thus retaining the immediacy of the image beautifully.

Christian Tagliavini Cardboard Ladies

Both striking and delightful!

Jerome Rousseau Glitter Platform Pumps for the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back at your desk, working to increase the gross national product of your home economy, and you have decided that it amazing how little things can substantially increase the quality of your life.

For the example, the grand nabobs at your office have recently seen fit to replace the old BunnOmatic coffee pot with the new, fancy-lad, single-serving pod machine which brews the perfect cup every time. The old way was fine, as long as you poured your cup from the pot in the first three minutes after it was produced. Later than that, the coffee tasted like the sludge scooped up from the floor of your brother’s garage. And now you must admit, that it is amazing what the good coffee can do for your mood at the place of the office.

Of the course, some of this natural enthusiasm for the fruit of the brown bean has been tempered by the overly bombastic manner in which the corporate panjandrums have introduced the improvement, with grandiloquent pronouncements and frequent reminders that ImInTech Corp “cares for its family of associates.”

This would not be so troublesome, except that over the past year nearly half the “family” has been “right-sized” out of existence, this while your CEO, Mr. Amenhotep, recently spent two millions of the dollars having the seats of his private jet reupholstered in crocodile and hippo leather.

But, at least you still have the job, and the coffee tastes all the sweeter for it.

Here is something else that will undoubtedly make your working day more pleasant…

Beautiful, glittery platform pumps from the Jerome Rousseau

Manolo the Columnist: Glitter from Kors by Michael Kors

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

Dear Manolo,

At the urging of a friend, I’m subjecting myself to a so-called “speed date”, where you spend five minutes each with twenty different people, trying to decide who you’d like to see a second time for a real date. My question, of course, is what shoes should I wear? I want to look confident but approachable, sexy but demurely so. Please help.


Manolo says, the romance, it is not dead! It is only sleeping!

“So, what do you do,” asks the Shannon.

Number 1: “This and that,” says the pale man with the lank hair and incipient potbelly, “you know, the usual. Little of this, little of that. Whatever gets me by, eh?”


Number 8: “I work for a hedge fund,” says the handsome man with the beady eyes, “one that specializes in foreclosing on low-income residential properties in distress. I’m the one who makes sure that the deadbeats are tossed out into the street. Ha, ha, ha!”


Number 13: “Real estate, babay! Big money real estate!”


Number 17: “I owned the liquor store, with my cousin, Hamid. But, he is now in Guantanamo Bay.”


Number 20: “I’m a park ranger,” says the square-jawed fellow with the twinkling brown eyes, “It’s a good job. Gives me a lot of time to think, lots of time to work on my poetry. On the weekends, when I’m not running triathlons, I like to volunteer at an animal shelter.”

Ayyyy! Romance awakens from its slumber!

Here is the Glitter from the Kors by Michael Kors, the sexy-demure pump in the dark mushroom kid suede.

Glitter from Kors by Michael Kors

Manolo the Columnist: Daisy Print Platforms from RED Valentino

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

Dear Manolo,

We’re just three weeks into the new year and already I’ve got the doldrums. Maybe it’s the gloomy weather, maybe it’s the let down after the holidays, maybe it’s the fact that I’m stuck in a nowhere job, but whatever the reason, I need a pick me up. Please suggest something fun to get me out of this funk.


Manolo says, it is the statistical fact that the third Tuesday in January is the saddest day of the calendar, the single day of the year when you are most likely to be down in the dumps.

It is not just the middle of the winter, but the exact time when the Christmas credit card bills begin to arrive, reminding you of your profligacy in buying your father that gold-plated nose-hair trimmer. $199.95! What were you thinking?

Worse, it is around the beginning of the third week, when your ambitious new year’s resolutions start to fall by the side of the road, like the crumpled receipt for your unused gym membership, blown from the window of your leased Lexus.

“I’ve lost four and a half pounds on the Low Carb, Cabbage Soup, Maple Syrup, Grapefruit Cleansing Diet,” you say to yourself as you step off the scale this morning, “time for a celebratory donut!”

What is required now to ease the pain is shoes; colorful, ridiculous, happy shoes such as these yellow, canvas, daisy-print, platform sandals from RED Valentino. Ayyyy! They are so cheery!

RED Valentino daisy-print canvas platforms

Manolo the Columnist: Kaplam Pump from Elie Tahari

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

Dear Manolo,

I’ve finally been promoted to detective after almost a decade as a patrol officer and I need some shoes. While I’m obviously happy to be rid of those clunky, black cop shoes, I’m stumped as to what would look good with the stylish pantsuits I would like to wear. The regulations specify “professional, closed-toe shoes, with heels no greater than two inches high.” Please help.


Manolo says, ayyyy! You will be like Angie Dickinson, going undercover in the hot pants and go-go boots to bust the ring of white slavers!

Or, perhaps not. The new version of the police lady life, as shown on the network television, seems to involve less of the fist fighting, and more of the science. One minute, you are flirting shamelessly with the very witty Simon Baker, and the next you are poking the decomposing corpse with the spoon.

Or perhaps not. From what the Manolo has heard, the actuality of being the copwoman in the real world is more mundane, involving overbearing bureaucracy, bad coffee at strange hours, and close contact with reprehensible peoples who do not look like this week’s celebrity guest villain.

Still, despite the fact that your boss looks more like the Ernest Borgnine than the Mark Harmon, there must be great satisfaction in knowing that you are performing the necessary and important job for society, protecting the weak and unwary from harm.

Here is the Kaplan Pump from the Elie Tahari, the sharp looking business shoe that will keep the evil-doers quaking in their much less attractive boots.

Kaplan Pump from Elie Tahari

Gael Strappy Sandals from Jimmy Choo for the Tuesday

Manolo says, it is Tuesday and the Manolo is back at his desk doing that thing that he does to amuse his long-suffering internet friends.

Yes, it is true, the Manolo has been absent these past few weeks. But, in his favor, he has the valid excuse, with which he will not tire you (although it involves travel, illness, and the death of the close relative), in the stead, the Manolo to say the few words about the new year.

Ayyyy! It is already 2012! You will need shoes that will look good during the Mayan calendar stone apocalypse, in which case allow the Manolo to recommend…

Jimmy Choo Gael Strappy Sandal

Gael Strappy Sandals from the Jimmy Choo.

Manolo the Columnist: Chaps from Elizabeth and James

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

Dear Manolo,

I’ve been searching for the perfect pair of black booties for what seems like eons now. I’d love a walk-able heel (I live in Toronto and walk a ton of city blocks), but nothing dowdy. If it helps, I’m a university student that wears an awful lot of 50’s style dresses and red lipstick, but I do have a pair of spiked five-inch heels that I break out for parties on the weekends. Do you think you can suggest a boot?


Manolo says, ayyyy! To think, it is now 2012 and we are living in the future, which, strangely seems not all the different from the past, except that all of our best friends live in something called “cyberspace”, and all the teenagers communicate entirely with their thumbs.

But otherwise, everything seems familiar, as we still live in houses made of wood and brick (instead of moon rocks and plastic), and the Rolling Stones are still the touring band (although Mick Jagger now looks like the folk art dried apple doll).

Happily, despite this being the future, many smart young women wear beautiful vintage clothing in inventive and stylish ways, and thus require shoes that complement such creations without seeming costumey. For the example, pairing the 1950s dress with the 2010s booties, the practice which has much to recommend it.

Here is the Chaps from the Elizabeth and James, the stacked heel bootie that would complement the full skirts in the most non-dowdy manner possible.

Chaps from Elizabeth and James

From the Archives of the Manolo: Manolo Blahnik Clausado D’Orsay Pumps For the Monday

N.B. This seasonally appropriate post, which the Manolo published last year, still makes the Manolo laugh with pleasure. Perhaps it will be to your liking also…

Manolo says, it is Monday, and you are NOT back at your desk, NOT slaving away for the man.

You were supposed to be back in the office this morning, as surely as the sun rises in the Easterly direction, doing your bit to increase the bottom line of MarScro International, the privately held company with interests in the manufacturing, importation and marketing of such diverse products as the lead-based Chinese toys, powdered Sudanese baby formula, and Liberian-made cellphones.

You were supposed to be back at the work, but on Christmas Day, shortly after nine in the morning, you received the strangest phone call from the CEO, Mr. S., himself, the eccentric billionaire famous in the financial press for driving the 1962 Nash Rambler (which he purchased new), and for chasing business reporters away from his decrepit three-bedroom home with the walking stick.

It was the strangest call, because the perpetually sour, old Mr. S. sounded giddy, perhaps even drunk, shouting “Merry Christmas”, and weepily thanking you for being such the faithful employee. And then he gave you the week off, followed by the big raise.

At that point, you became certain that the phone call was some lame practical joke, that this was not really the CEO, but rather some co-worker playing the cruel trick upon you.

“No, no, my dear lady. I assure you it is I.”

“But, sir, it may sound like you, but…but….”

“But, it is not my usual behavior? Not my custom to give raises to valued employees?”

“Yes, sir. Not your usual behavior.”

“Well, let us just say that I am a changed man, that from this day forth, I shall know how to keep Christmas well.”

And then he asked about your son.

“And how is little Tom?”

“He’s fine, sir.”

“Is he? The last I saw of the boy he was in a leg brace, so pathetic.”

“No, sir, he’s fine now. He’s a sophomore at Johns Hopkins, on a lacrosse scholarship.”

And then you remember that Tommy had come into the office the few years ago, on crutches, right after he had hyperextended his knee in the scrimmage against the varsity team.

When you finally hung up, “Merry Christmas!” and headed back into the family room to finish the opening of the presents, you were still not sure it had really been him.

But this morning, while you were sitting in the kitchen, drinking the coffee and debating whether or not you should get dressed and go into the office, the doorbell rang.

You pulled your housecoat tight around you, and went to the door, where you discovered the courier standing on the front step. He said your name. You signed the receipt. And then he handed you the thirty-five pound turkey, together with the envelope containing the fancy Christmas card and the substantial, year-end bonus check, with the words “Merry Christmas!” scrawled in the spidery script on the subject line.

And now, you are sitting at your computer thinking about getting some new shoes…

Manolo Blahnik Clausado Dorsay Pump

Something like these Maestro Manolo Blahnik Clausado D’Orsay Pumps in this rich blue color…. You have certainly earned them.