Get a Room!

Manolo says, lower left: scarred for life.


Manolo the Columnist

Manolo say, the most recent column of the Manolo for the Express of the Washington Post it is now available for the downloading. Today the topic it is the shoes for the maid of the bride.

Dear Manolo,

I am going to be a bride’s maid in my best friends wedding. She wanted all of us to get different shades of pink dresses, and me being the loud friend, I went with fuschia. But now the inevitable question – what color shoes do I wear with a fuschia tea length dress?


Manolo says, the Manolo has noticed over the past three or four of the years that the dresses of the bridesmaids have grown slightly less hideous.

Where before, the young woman who agreed to be the bridesmaid of her friend could have relied upon the the poofy/frilly gown designed to minimize the bust and maximize the booty–the thing which well-suited the needs of the bride to be unchallenged in matters of attractiveness on her super-duper-I’m-the-princess-for-life special day–now the trend it has moved towards having bridesmaids who perhaps maybe look okay.

Still the eternal problem it is that the dresses must match the fantasy color scheme decided upon by the Bridezilla and her rampaging mob of wedding consultants and hangers-on. But because it is always the role of the maid of the bride to grin and endure such indignities, she must remember that she is the designer accessory more than the actual participant.

Thus the smart maid of the bride learns the value of having the good cobbler, one who knows about the dying of the shoes.

The secret then it is to purchase the basic white satin pump of the good quality, like the Temptress from the Stuart Weitzman, and to take it to the good cobbler together with the swatch of the material of the dress.

Temptress by Stuart Weitzman    Manolo Likes!  Click!

The Next Carnivale of the Couture!

Manolo says, the next week’s Carnivale of the Couture it will be held at the blog of the Manolo’s internet friend the Shoe Lover! And she has devised the marvelous theme for the fashion bloggers to consider.

If you could exchange your life with that of any one particular fashion “celebrity” (Shoelover will use that term loosely), whose life would it be and why?

Ayyyyyyy! Too many choices! Too many choices!


Born to be Mild

Manolo says, it looks as if her head were about to flop over.


The Project Runway Withdrawl

Manolo says, ayyyyyyyy! The Project Runway season two, it is over! What will the Manolo now do with his Wednesday evenings?

Happily, the Manolo’s many internet friends at the Blogging the Project Runway are still on the job, keeping the fanatics of the Project Runway updated with the latest news and gossip.

Also, the various sources of media still continue to deliver the information about the contestants. Here, for the example, is the story about the Chloe, one that contains the reactions from the Tim Gunn and the Jay.

“I was STUNNED when I realized that Chloe was the winner,” said Tim Gunn, chair of Parsons New School For Design and Project Runway’s resident den father. “Why? Because Daniel V. had been the Golden Boy and I knew that he was a hands-down favorite going into the Bryant Park Tents, and Santino had evolved to a level of sophistication that I was dubious he could achieve.”

“But frankly, looking at the designers as individuals, independent of their work, what do we have?” added Gunn. “Had Santino won, then we would have had the Project Runway Winners’ Circle Freak Show – Jay first, and now Santino. Daniel is extremely inexperienced in the industry to deliver on the expectations of the win. Chloe is, indeed, seasoned and experienced and professional.”

In other words, she won “because she’s the opposite of me!” Jay McCarroll told FWD with a laugh.

Leave it to the Jay to say that which is both the most outrageous and the most correct thing.

He had been rooting for Daniel V. to win, as had many other people, including, not surprisingly, the entire F.I.T. student body. (A colleague who watched the final episode at the school last Wednesday reports that a collective gasp erupted in the room when Dao was pronounced the winner.)

“I thought her shapes were good, but her fabrications and color palette were kind of gross,” McCarroll opined of Dao’s winning collection. “Just because you use the same fabric in three garments doesn’t mean that it’s a cohesive collection. And there was no vision.”

Project Runway judge Nina Garcia defended Dao’s win, telling FWD the Houston native took home the prize because “she did a great job and her work was consistent with a strong point of view” and that it was the memorable nature of Dao’s previous PR work that tipped the scales in her favor.

“The last collections that we saw on the runway were not very different from one another,” said Garcia. “So we had to judge them in terms of how they had fared in the other competitions, and we thought, whom do we remember? We could remember the orchid and flower dresses from Daniel. With Chloe, you remember the “clothes off her back” challenge, the flower dress and the one she did for the inspiration challenge, because it was so labor intensive.”

And yes, the judges did “weigh in that Chloe has a business sense,” as well, confirms Garcia. “Daniel V. looks the part and has the talent. But when we talked about what would be the ideal situation for Daniel, it’s to work with a designer for a few more years and learn what it takes. Chloe is mature and can handle the opportunities that come with becoming instantly famous. So the message here is: you have to be creative and you have to have business sense.”

Nina, dear heart, you have made the mistake. It is best to not try to justify, best to just move on and pretend that it has never happened.


The Leopard

Leopard Print Sandals from Brian Atwood    Manolo Likes!  Click!Leopard Print d'Orsay from Brian Atwood   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Manolo says, the Manolo he cannot keep his eyes off of these beautiful and exotic Leopard print shoes from the Brian Atwood. They are magnificent!


Going Native

Manolo says, not shown, off camera, upper left: his missing purpose for being.

P.S. Greetings, My Brown Brothers!


The Help Wanted

Manolo says, The Manolo’s empire it is again in the period of expansion, as the Manolo will shortly be introducing yet another Manolo-based blog. This one devoted to the joys of food and drink and the matters gourmandise.

However, before this happens, the Manolo must take care of other things.

Most importantly, he must address the fact that he has not had the time nor the interest to properly maintain his blog devoted to the fashion for the males, Manolo for the Men.

On many of the occasions of the past, the Manolo has noted that the topic of clothing for the men bores the Manolo. Yet, at the same of the time, one need only look around the sidewalks of our cities to know that most men need the sound advice on the matters of dress and comportment.

So, to further this indespensible civilizing mission to the sloppy and slackadasical he-natives of the world, the Manolo would like to announce that he is seeking the help.

He is looking for the blogger to help him write about the matters sartorial at his humble Manolo for the Men blog.

Ideally, the Manolo would like to clone the Never teh Bride, and somehow implant in her the DNA to make her as interested in the male clothing as she is in the brides and weddings. Sadly, however, the medical science it has not advanced so far.

So in the stead, he must look for the person who has the unique and entertaining authorial voice and the obsession with clothing for the mens. If you believe you are such the person, please send the Manolo the email outlining for him your qualifications, together with the brief samples of the writing and/or links to your bloggings.

The Manolo should mention that this it is the paid position. Not well paid nor anywhere near the full time, but there is the potential to perhaps make more, and the exposure may be beneficial to the freelance writer who wishes to make the name in fashion.


The Berluti

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s many internet friends has forwarded to the Manolo the article from the Times of the London about the Berluti, the swank English bootery.

Olga Berluti makes the most beautiful men’s shoes in the world — and if you don’t believe me, take a peek in one of Berluti’s London branches. You’ll gaze in awe at the elegant lines and the burnished deep, layered finish and go: “Wow! When I’m rich that’s what I’ll wear all the time.” Then you’ll walk away sadly because you’ll know it’s never going to happen. Not when a basic pair of ready-to-wear shoes costs a minimum of £470 and a pair of bespoke ones upwards of £2,200.Alessandro

According to Berluti, though, when we meet in her Paris atelier, there are quite a few non-rich people out there who buy her shoes. “Today young people with no money save and save till they can afford them,” she says.

It’s Berluti’s view that a shoe isn’t a proper shoe until it has been worn for at least 20 years — the point when it takes on its owner’s personality. So even for your bespokes, you’re paying only £110 a year.You’d agree it’s worth it if you tried on a pair – as I did in Berluti’s atelier. To wear they’re like ballet pumps. The fine calf leather has been tanned to such feathery lightness you could almost be barefoot — and the fit is perfect.


In the early days, when the company’s clientele included everyone from Toulouse-Lautrec to the Duke of Windsor, 80 per cent of its shoes were black and the rest chestnut brown. It was Berluti who introduced the more experimental finishes — smoked blacks, blue greys, yellow-browns, and grey-greens — and styles (tattooed with calligraphy; scarred like African tribesmen, etc) for which the shoemaker is renowned today.

The polishing techniques she invented herself and they are a closely-guarded secret. She keeps all her magic ingredients in old Guerlain perfume bottles in her atelier, watched over by a dummy dressed as a samurai, and her personally decorated wooden lasts (ie, the blocks from which bespoke shoes are made) of famous old customers.

They include Richard Burton, Mr Royce (of Rolls-Royce) and Toulouse-Lautrec; Warhol is the only customer with five lasts because he kept changing his mind.

The shoes of the Berluti are indeed truly marvelous, and in the fact, many of them are among the most beautiful shoes for the mens the Manolo has ever seen; absolutely gorgeous shoes.

Sometimes, however, the Olga Berluti she takes the quest for beauty and novelty too far, such as with the collection she has named Rapiécés-Reprisés.
Duo LacedDuo
These shoes they have, according to the Berluti website, the distinguished artistic pedigree.

One day, Andy Warhol asked Olga Berluti: “I would like my right loafer to be patched. And it needs to be visible! It needs to be very Andy Warhol!’. 40 years later, Olga Berluti applies to Ready-To-Wear models the techniques of patching and darning traditionally reserved for clothes.

Yes, it is possible to admire such shoes for the superb quality of their workmanship, and for their cultural value, but they are to the mind of the Manolo almost unwearable, especially by those wish to be taken seriously. If you are the dandy, or the rich artist, then perhaps yes, but otherwise, almost certainly no.

Still, what is there not to love about the company that adores the shoes and the art of the shoes so completely?

What the Manolo Is…

Manolo says, is it the Tuesday already? Well, then it is the time to see what the Manolo is…




Listening to…

Few words make the Manolo laugh as much as “I have the cunning plan.”

The Carnivale!

Manolo says, the Bagsnob she has posted the latest Carnivale of the Couture!


Run, Emma Watson, Run!

Manolo says, with that outfit the Manolo would run too, but away from the camera.