What the Manolo Is…

Manolo says, it is Tuesday, time to see what the Manolo is…



Listening to…

The Manolo has been reading the magnficient Tim Gunn’s new book, Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style, which he has found to be the delightfully odd little book.

The Manolo uses the word “odd” in describing this work because it is not the typically dreary fashion advice book, in which the fashion “does” and the “do nots” are recounted in excrutiating incorrect detail, accompanied by the photos of models of unattainable beauty wearing impossibly stylish clothes, or worse, by the photos of the uncomfortable-looking “ordinary” peoples in ill-fitting clothes.

The work is also odd, in that it does not play to the lowest common denominator, and in the fact the Tim Gunn’s erudition is allowed to shine.

Query: When was the last time you read the fashion advice book in which the Søren Kierkegaard was cited as the authority? Or in which the words “syllogism” and “semiotics” were used correctly?

Answer: None, at least since the publication of the Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Colour.

Of the course, the Manolo does have the few criticisms. Chief among them is the scant amount of space devoted to the shoes, the most important part of any outfit.

The usually masterful Tim give less then the single full page of his book over to the shoe-based advice! This is even less space than that devoted to the discussion about the pashminas!

Worse, here is the entirety of the Tim Gunn’s recommended shoe collection, from page 158.

Regardless of taste and budget, every closet should have the following:

1. Two pairs of boots–one dressy, one casual.

2. Flats that can go to the office, but with jeans as well.

3. One pair of daring, dress-anything-up evening shoe.

What is this?

This is not the real list of necessary shoes.

This is not even the minimum number of shoes the super fantastic girl should consider packing for the weekend in the country.

Despite this serious deficiency the Manolo can still recommend that you read this book, as it is smart, witty, and filled with usable advice on matters other than the shoes.