The pictures of the shoes from the first challenge, along with the design concept boards, and the quick draw sketches. If you are interested in seeing why the Manolo predicted Hyojin as the winner of this challenge, go look at the pictures of the other shoes at the FN Shoe Star Facebook page.
N.B. The third offering from the Manolo’s guest blogging friends comes from the wonderfully droll Class Factotum, who tells us the heartwarming tale of feetwear triumphant.
It’s been a long winter here in the frozen north, where even the Friday fish fry at the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Kopps Never Enough Chocolate frozen custard, and fried cheese curds (all of which give me that protective Milwaukee Roll) are not enough to banish the doldrums of short, cold, icy days.
The one thing that has kept me going is the promise of wearing pretty shoes again.
In the winter, there is no point to wearing nice shoes because they are sure to be ruined when one steps into the sludge waiting in the street.
The most important quality in a shoe in the winter, for those of us who are not driven everywhere by chauffeur and dropped off at the front door of the opera, the symphony, and Walgreen’s, is good traction. Traction is important because it keeps one from slipping on the icy Driveway of Death as one is trying to carry groceries from the car to the house.
But my Teal Leopard Print Heels with the Tangerine Ribbon await.
Oh Teal Leopard Print Heels with the Tangerine Ribbon, how I adore you. I admire your Teal and Tangerine funkiness, an antidote to my dreary life of shoveling the driveway and the sidewalk again.
I look at you and think, “There is life out there! There is sun! There is warmth! There is wearing less than all my clothes at once just to stay warm!
“And soon, the Teal Leopard Print Heels with the Tangerine Ribbon will again be applauded in a restaurant, not only validating the shoes but proving to my husband, who thinks it is perfectly appropriate to have two dozen watches but doesn’t understand shoe fabulosity, that yes, the Teal Leopard Print Heels with the Tangerine Ribbon are the coolest shoes ever.”
Applauded at a restaurant, you ask?
The Teal Leopard Print Heels with the Tangerine Ribbon were applauded at a restaurant last fall, on one of the last days when it was safe to wear Nice Shoes.
We sat at our table, which was, French-style, crammed in with other tables because what is the point of wasting restaurant space on floor when you can have more people eating, even if they are elbow to elbow with the strangers at the next table?
The only place to put my feet was either under the table – as if! – or crossed casually to the side, in the aisle on the bar side, with one of the Teal Leopard Print Heels with the Tangerine Ribbon dangling off my recently-manicured toes.
Alas, nobody noticed the shoe until dessert, when the owner of the restaurant walked by our table.
She looked down.
She said, “Your shoes are gorgeous!”
I beamed. “Thanks!”
The waiter next to her turned to look.
“Oh yes!” he exclaimed. “Oh my! Those are fab!”
I turned to my husband. “I told you so!”
The owner looked puzzled.
I explained. “He didn’t understand why I like these shoes so much and why I had to get them.”
The owner shook her head. “They are O. M. G.!”
We were gathering attention. Which I hate. Ha.
The women at the table behind me said, “Let us see!”
I showed them the shoes and they twittered approvingly.
“My husband thought I shouldn’t have bought them if I didn’t already have something to wear with them!” I told them.
They glared at my husband, which was maybe a little more than he deserved, but he had denied the fabulosity of the Teal Leopard Print Heels with the Tangerine Ribbon.
People behind my husband were craning to see, so I took one shoe off and held it up.
“Brava!” mouthed a man four tables away as he clapped lightly.
“I am vindicated and validated,” I told my husband.
He admitted that maybe I was right – that the Teal Leopard Print Heels with the Tangerine Ribbon are extraordinary. The owner smiled approvingly at me as she walked away.
Spring is coming. And with it, the chance to wear the Teal Leopard Print Heels with the Tangerine Ribbon again and the chance to revel in the admiration of strangers. I can’t wait.
Apparently these guys can do it all. The cult band Animal Collective is teaming up with LA store Keep Company to create a collection of graphic sneakers. But wait, it gets more inspiring. All proceeds will go to The Socorro Island Conservation Fund to assist in its work preserving marine life along the coast of Baja, California. These guys seem to be able to do no wrong. Their music is fantastic, their side projects are like candy to my eardrums, and now they are stepping up as budding shoe designers. The collection will be released Saturday, March 26th.
Keep Company does the whole casual beachy sneaker look very well. And I have to admit, with Avery Tare’s mysteriously intriguing illustrations sprinkled throughout the natural canvas body, these shoes are pretty awesome. I would definitely smudge my lipstick for a boy who mixes up his perfectly polished shoe collection with these sneakers for a day at the beach.
N.B. The Manolo has asked his friend Trisha Marie to help him from time to time.
N.B. The Manolo’s internet friend Heather is not only the shoe-lover’s shoe lover, she is also the true deadpan wit, as you will see in this second installment in the Manolo’s Guest-blog-a-palooza.
High, elegant, in-step curving, vertiginous heels. I want ‘em. I buy ‘em. I can’t wear ‘em.
They line my closet shelves, singing their siren calls of elongated legs and a sexy pelvic tilt, mocking me with the knowledge that nothing about sad limping and oozing blisters is sexy. I fire back with every heel pad and shoe stickum thing on the market, but no. The burning of the balls of my feet beats me every time.
Sure, there are some heels I can manage and even find comfortable. God bless Stefano Pilati at YSL and Alber Elbaz at Lanvin and whomever they have hired to design their shoes…
YSL Tribute Sandals are an absolute staple in my closet – I own four pairs in different colors.
The woven satin Lanvin platforms – another slam-dunk winner.
So I’ve learned, platforms are important for me.
Thin soles KILL me and the platform gives me height without putting the burden solely (Ha! A pun!) on the pitch and the poor ball of my foot. (Of course, we all know how Maestro Manolo Blahnik feels about platforms.)
So what do I do? Do I limit my purchases to things I know I can manage? I wish that were the case!
Right now, my closet boasts a pair of Alaia Snow Leopard hiking booties and a pair of Theyskens Theory Velvet Wedge pumps.
I LOVE them! I want to wear them. I want to show them off to everyone. I don’t want to need an orthopedic device afterwards. Neither pair has been taken out of their box. They are each nestled in their tissue lined boxes – taunting me.
Don’t try to convince me that everyone suffers for high heels. I know that isn’t true.
Meet my sister. I swear she was born with Barbie feet. You know, the ones that, even when naked are permanently arched so as to fit only into heels?
I think my sister is more comfortable in heels than she is in flats.
And here is my sister’s other genetic gift. We wear the same size.
I buy these beauties. Ogle them in my closet. Caress them before getting dressed. Totter around my bedroom in them before thinking better of it and returning them to the box. Eventually, the shoes are packed into a shipping box and sent off to live out the rest of their natural life with my sister. I love my sister. I want her to be happy. But supplying her is not why I buy these shoes.
You know what? I want a class! There are all sorts of other programs offered to women who want to make changes in their lives. You can take fitness classes, you can take dance classes, you can take life guidance classes, you can take art classes. Where are the heel walking classes? Why is my local Y not offering such things? Can I hire a personal instructor? Hey! My sister is a personal trainer and she can walk in heels. I wonder if she’s ever thought to combine the two.
Seriously, I’ve invested thousands in shoes that have only ‘visited’ with me. I have treasures in my closet right now awaiting word of their fate. I’m an educated person. I’m physically fit.
Why can’t I learn this one thing?
Manolo says, according to the Univision the pointy toed boots have begun to appear in Dallas!
Here below, for your edification, are the photos of the evolutionary stages that preceded the current fluorescence.
First the diversity of the color and the lengthening of the silhouette…
Then the toes achieve the exaggerated state and begin to turn up…
Manolo says, from the Vice Magazine comes news of the hot fashion trend emanating from the rural backwaters of northern Mexico.
Last month we went to the dusty city of Matehuala, Mexico, in the northern state of San Luís Potosí on the high plateau of the Huasteca Potosina, in search of the pointiest long-toed cowboy boots ever made. Over the past year, the botas vaqueras exóticas phenomenon has overrun the rodeo dance floors and clubs of this area, much to the dissatisfaction of Mexicans who critique the fashions of their countrymen on hotly trafficked style blogs.
Participants in these dance contests spend the days and weeks prior choreographing intricate footwork routines and fabricating their own outfits with cheap paint and fabric. The grand prize, beyond the enthusiastic crowd’s affection, is either a bottle of whiskey or a few bucks.
A separate contest, we were pleased to discover, is held for the longest, most ornate and pointed boots, which are also spotlighted in public song-and-dance programs. The exotic boots are made by modifying boring normal ones with materials bought in local hardware and craft stores. The fanciest are adorned with LED lights or mirrors, while others incorporate paint and every color of sequins. They all get the glitter treatment no matter what. It was explained to us that some boots have measured upward of five feet in length.
Here is the video of the botas in action…
Are they not marvelous in their horrifying and ridiculous way?
Of the course, these exotic boots of the cowboys are nothing more than the happenstance revival of the medieval poulaine, the pointy-toed shoe favored by chivalrous swains who wished to make the not-so-subtle erotic display; “perhaps the most blatantly sexual and pornographic shoe style ever worn,” says the writer William Rossi.
Clearly, these young vaqueros are wearing their botas, and doing their peacock dances in the hopes of attracting attention and chicas, just as the medievals, we are told, would waggle their pointy toes at the pretty women.
And now, allow the Manolo to make one more cultural leap, and present to you the video of yet another subculture preparing for the display of dance. Please to pay attention to the boots, not the hair…
Japanese rockabilly dancers wearing winklepicker motorcycle boots secured with the electricians tape!
Do not ask the Manolo to explain, he cannot.
Manolo says, last Friday, when the Manolo was answering the question posed by his internet friend Meredith, who works in the office of the Congress person, the Manolo came very close to recommending these shoes, the Caddy from the Charles by Charles David.
But, such is the sadness of the working girl, that fun shoes with interesting details are not appropriate in every professional situation.
N.B. Several of the Manolo’s internet friends have responded heroically to the Manolo’s plaintive call for help. This post, by the marvelously erudite and witty Sarah, is the first of the guest posts provided by these wonderful friends.
The Manolo is in the rut. The Manolo is filled with the ennui.
The Manolo has brought me such pleasure over the years that I have been reading his blogs, and has added so many touches of beauty to my life that I find this douleur completely unacceptable. It is true that March does have a tendency to bring in da funk, but the Manolo must not be permitted to suffer. I am compelled assist him in rediscovering his joie de blog.
And so, with no further ado , let’s talk about Shakespeare.
The great fashion joke in Shakespeare comes in his play Twelfth Night when a pair of wealthy party animals joins up with a clever maidservant to convince the uptight and unfashionable Malvolio that his beautiful young employer, Olivia, is in love with him. As a sign of his passion for her, he is told that he should wear yellow stockings and cross-garters. Our merry pranksters consider this to be as hilarious and humiliating as Charlie Sheen’s latest antics.
For those of us who aren’t living in the seventeenth century, however, the joke falls a little flat.
Here’s what’s going on. Sort of.
The truth is that even those of us who study this stuff aren’t entirely sure why yellow stockings and cross-garters are hilarious. So really, the most famous fashion joke in history is something of a mystery. But I can give you a few possibilities to bring up the next time Shakespeare comes up in conversation as he so often does.
First, yellow stockings and cross garters look like this:
Second, the flashiness of the cross-garters and yellow stockings is over the top, even for the excesses of men’s fashion in the Renaissance.
Here’s Henry VIII, who was no slouch as a sartorialist. Notice, though, how plain his stockings are.
And he was King! Malvolio is just a steward (a high level servant/manager type).
So, they’re funny-looking, and they’re overly flashy.
It gets worse for Malvolio, though. In the Renaissance, great legs were one of the most enticing and macho things a man could put on display. The other, well….
And here we see miss Aubrey O’Day at the premiere of her new Oxygen reality show All About Aubrey (a program I can only imagine is going to be both titillating and inspiring).
Oh heavens, where to begin. First, I applaud her for the effort to draw attention away from her face ( made entirely out of fondant these days) with an “eye catching” outfit, something she tossed together at the very last minute by scrounging through a Frederick’s of Hollywood sales rack.
But those shoes…
Unless someone is planning on making a parody of the Spice Girl’s “Wannabe” music video, I feel that shoes this obscene and this pink should be banned for any feet that don’t plan on being wrapped around a pole for a few hours.
N.B. The Manolo has asked his friend Trisha Marie to help him from time to time.
Manolo says, the seventh episode of the FN Shoe Star is now available for your viewing pleasure.
This week the contestants are presenting to the judges their finished shoes which are to accompany the Rebecca Taylor runway collection. But, first, the they must make the detour to meet with Vasilios! (the Manolo has added the exclamation mark, because he deserves it), the chairman of the F.I.T.’s accessories department. All the Manolo can recall from these meetings, is that the Vasilios! likes to use the word “feisty”.
And then it was straight to the judging table, where the Michael Atmore, back in full brood, is joined by Rebecca Taylor and the Edelmans, the Sam and the Libby, of the Brown Shoe.
Again, the actual construction of the shoes left much to be desired, as did the generally muddy color choices of the designers. The strangest decision, however, was Shannon’s convertible shoe, which looked like the hot mess with the fur cuff, and worse with it off, and which looked nothing like the sketch which won the quickdraw challenge. Here is the Manolo’s advice, if Rebecca Taylor has chosen your sketch as the best of the lot, you have to make that shoe, not go off on the wild flights of fur-and-frippery fancy.
In the end, for the Manolo the clear winner was Hyojin, whose asymmetrical ankle-cuff sandal was by far the best thing presented. But, we must wait until next week to see who the judges pick.
In the meantime, you must now go watch this new episode.
It’s beauties like these that cause me to weep a little at the fact that I don’t have a Marry Poppin’s magically endless bag of cash. Robert Clergerie proves again just how elegant and sassy French designers can be in his Spring shoe collection for Opening Ceremony. My favorite style of the collection is the Saxo Leather Bootie. This sleek shoe with its elegant wooden heel, corset lacing and leather body is the stuff dreams are made of (at least mine, anyway). If only I could slip my brittle ankles into these striking booties and prance around the city, running up and down subway platforms while legions of shoe fans alike drool over my killer set of kicks…
Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she? Somebody snag these and make me jealous.
You can check out the rest of the collection at Opening Ceremony.
N.B. The Manolo has asked his friend Trisha Marie to help him from time to time.