Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?

NOV
2011
08

Bette Slingback Platforms from Gucci For the Tuesday

It is Tuesday, and you are back at your place of employment, being gainfully employed, and for that you are thankful.

Thankful….ayyy! Look at the calendar! It is already the second week of November!

There is so much to do in the next two weeks. First you will have to order your free-range, humanely-dispatched, heirloom turkey from the butchers shop, you know, the shop with the hipster butchers who have the tattoos and the ironic handlebar mustaches.

Yes, these young butchers, who ride home each night on their fixed-gear bicycles, are generally well-intentioned, knowledgeable about the meats, and friendly, but still, you miss Stan, the old Polish butcher with the big belly and the twinkling eyes.

Things have not been the same since Stan sold out to these jackanapes and retired. Stan always had time for to flirt with the old ladies, and tell the little jokes, or to give you some beef neck bones for the dog. And the fresh kielbasa he made every Tuesday in the back of the shop was sublime.

These new people, they stock fancy Italian sausages, which they refer to by the pretentious term salume. But… the meat is still good, if more expensive, and you’ve developed the appreciation for the heritage breed animals.

So, you get out the phone and dial up shop to place your order, 15 pounds should be big enough, yes?

“Stanislaw’s Meats,” says the familiar voice on the other end.

“Stan? Stan is that you?”

“Yeah, it’s me, Mrs. G.”

“I thought you retired, Stan.”

“Nah. I got bored sitting around the house. The missus yelling at me all the time. So, I come back to work.”

“Didn’t you sell the shop?”

“I did. I’m just here on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, helping out. These boys, they’re good butchers, Mrs. G., but they don’t know the first thing about sausage, so I’m making some kielbasa today.”

Ayyyy!

Let us give thanks for the small but vital pleasures of life, for good food and good people.

Speaking of the sublime things for which we should give thanks, shoes!

Gucci Bette Slingback Platform Sandals

Such as these Bette Suede and Mesh Slingback Platform Sandals from Gucci. And look, they are also available in the black, for evening wear.

NOV
2011
04

Manolo the Columnist: Campus Shearling from Frye

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

Dear Manolo,

This past weekend’s early snowstorm has made me realize that I need to get going on my winter wardrobe. Specifically, I need some new winter boots, preferably not black. I find that when I dress in dark colors, I’m more depressed. Please help.

Megan

Manolo says, yes, it is true, unless you are the tuxedo-wearing bandleader, the brooding French grandee, or the vampire, newly wakened from the grave, somber black is not always the most flattering color.

Ayyyy! The Manolo has just had the perfect idea for the hit movie: the undead, aristocratic French vampire, who falls in love with the big band music! Think of it as the Count of Monte Cristo meets the Count of Dracula meets the Count of Basie!

Scene: Midight. Alleyway behind the Transylvania Club:

Count Dantes, the brooding and conflicted vampire, having just finished leading his group through the smoking set of big band standards, strides through the rain-slick alley dressed in the black overcoat, the black jeans, and the black cowboy boots. Next to him is Megan Star, the beautiful mortal he has recently hired to be his torch singer. Our heroine is dressed in the fawn-colored clothing, covered by the long shearling coat.

It is the study in contrasts. He, the loping black wolf. She, the innocent, possible prey. And yet, it is clear that the romantic attraction is growing between them.

Look! Here is the Frye Campus 14G Shearling boot, the perfect thing for dealing with possibly bad weather and possibly bad men.

Campus Shearling by Frye

Alexander McQueen Pumps for the Tuesday

Manolo says, it is Tuesday and you are back at your desk, after what turned out to be the relatively sedated Halloween. Yes there were the usual parade of visitors, this year gravely disappointed that your man Gary, he of the elaborate annual Halloween displays, did not celebrate the occasion in his usual over-the-top style.

It was in May, when you first noticed that something was amiss, that Gary had not closed off the garage and converted it into his laboratory, the sort of Halloween DARPA, where he has traditionally begun to test the fanciful ideas for his annual extravaganza. (Who can forget the year when he built the full-sized pirate ship with cannons that fired candy?)

“Gary,” you asked one Saturday in early June, “why haven’t you begun the preparations for Halloween? Aren’t you doing it this year?”

“I thought I’d give it a break,” he answered somewhat morosely.

You did not say anything, you just dropped the matter. And why would you not? In the first place, Gary not doing Halloween would save you several thousand of the dollars in materials. And in the second place, you suspected that Gary was suffering from the mild case of PHSD, Post Halloween Stress Disorder, and needed time to recover from the traumatic events of last year.

In the effort to outdo himself, Gary had built the alien spaceship, from which were emerging the be-tentacled green invaders, the first of whom was busily stripping the flesh from the corpse, with one surprised skeleton already lying nearby (Bony Bob in the supporting role).

Everyone agreed it the greatest display yet, and the sound track, complete with theremin music (recorded by Gary in his makeshift home studio), was indeed most spooky. Unfortunately, Gary had failed to properly ground the lighting system which illuminated the interior of the flying saucer. You know this, because the fire marshal said it was probably the loose wire which had heated the styrofoam to the point of combustion.

By the time Gary was able to retrieve the extinguisher from the garage, the flames had leaped into the autumny leaves of that tall larch by the driveway, and from there, onto the fabric of the car cover Gary had placed over his most prized possession, the 1972 Camero Z28 in yellow and black. (The car had been parked beneath the larch tree because Gary needed room in the garage for his Halloween experiments.)

After the fire company went home around 1:30AM, Gary retreated into the Gary Cave and did not emerge until late afternoon the next day.

All he said was, “Let us never speak of this day again.”

Look, spooky suede Alexander McQueen shoes!

Alexander McQueen Suede Pump

Too bad the Halloween has already past, because these designer shoes could become the basis of your own personal Halloween extravaganza!

OCT
2011
28

Manolo the Columnist: Nalanni from Ted Baker

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


Dear Manolo,

I am planning on showing solidarity with Occupy Wall Street this weekend and I am looking for a shoe that shows I am “of” the 99%, yet is stylish to be worn later in the evening to a casual cocktail party. What could you recommend?

Briana

Manolo says, ayyyy! This is the sort of question the Manolo dreads, in which the petitioner hopes to find the single pair of the shoes suitable for wearing to the two wildly different events.

For the example, “Dear Manolo, my new boyfriend, Clem, has finally agreed to go to see La Traviata, on the condition that we stop by his father’s shack on the way to the opera house to witness a traditional rural event known as a “hog killin’”. What would you recommend?”

The Manolo would recommend the new boyfriend, but, if such is not possible, then he would recommend packing your good clothing and nice shoes in the double-thickness plastic bags and changing into them later in the Stop-n-Go restroom.

In this case, however, given the reports of the poor sanitation at the OWS encampments and the possibility of rioting, the Manolo would recommend the wearing of the sturdy, thick-soled boots, but since his friend is going to the cocktail party afterward, she will have to take your chances with something slightly more refined. Here is the Nalanni from Ted Baker, the platform lace-up bootie that will keep you both radically chic and out of the muck.

Nalanni from Ted Baker

Whose Shoes Wednesday…The Answer!

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Angie Dickinson on a Vespa

Manolo answers, it is the Angie Dickinson.

Congratulations to our dear friend, the Mr. Henry, who was the first to correctly identify this week’s celebrity hottie of note.

Here, for your amusement, is Angie Dickinson in the 1977, when she was 46 years of age, looking as if she has taken her Geritol…

Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?

OCT
2011
25

Happy Sts. Crispin and Crispian Day!

Sts Crispin and Crispian

Manolo says, today is the feast day of the dual patrons of this blog, the Saints Crispin and Crispian, the saintly shoemakers, and the Manolo’s own objects of personal devotion, as recounted in the Manolo’s brief work, the Consolation of the Shoes.

And now, after the lighting of the devotional candles, it is time for our annual recitation of The Shoemakers, the greatest of the poems of John Greenleaf Whittier (himself, briefly the shoemaker).

Ho! workers of the old time styled
The Gentle Craft of Leather
Young brothers of the ancient guild,
Stand forth once more together!
Call out again your long array,
In the olden merry manner
Once more, on gay St. Crispin’s day,
Fling out your blazoned banner!

Rap, rap! upon the well-worn stone
How falls the polished hammer
Rap, rap! the measured sound has grown
A quick and merry clamor.
Now shape the sole! now deftly curl
The glossy vamp around it,
And bless the while the bright-eyed girl
Whose gentle fingers bound it!

For you, along the Spanish main
A hundred keels are ploughing;
For you, the Indian on the plain
His lasso-coil is throwing;
For you, deep glens with hemlock dark
The woodman’s fire is lighting;
For you, upon the oak’s gray bark,
The woodman’s axe is smiting.

For you, from Carolina’s pine
The rosin-gum is stealing;
For you, the dark-eyed Florentine
Her silken skein is reeling;
For you, the dizzy goatherd roams
His rugged Alpine ledges;
For you, round all her shepherd homes,
Bloom England’s thorny hedges.

The foremost still, by day or night,
On moated mound or heather,
Where’er the need of trampled right
Brought toiling men together;
Where the free burghers from the wall
Defied the mail-clad master,
Than yours, at Freedom’s trumpet-call,
No craftsmen rallied faster.

Let foplings sneer, let fools deride,
Ye heed no idle scorner;
Free hands and hearts are still your pride,
And duty done, your honor.
Ye dare to trust, for honest fame,
The jury Time empanels,
And leave to truth each noble name
Which glorifies your annals.

Thy songs, Hans Sachs, are living yet,
In strong and hearty German;
And Bloomfield’s lay, and Gifford’s wit,
And patriot fame of Sherman;
Still from his book, a mystic seer,
The soul of Behmen teaches,
And England’s priestcraft shakes to hear
Of Fox’s leathern breeches.

The foot is yours; where’er it falls,
It treads your well-wrought leather,
On earthen floor, in marble halls,
On carpet, or on heather.
Still there the sweetest charm is found
Of matron grace or vestal’s,
As Hebe’s foot bore nectar round
Among the old celestials.

Rap, rap!–your stout and bluff brogan,
With footsteps slow and weary,
May wander where the sky’s blue span
Shuts down upon the prairie.
On Beauty’s foot your slippers glance,
By Saratoga’s fountains,
Or twinkle down the summer dance
Beneath the Crystal Mountains!

The red brick to the mason’s hand,
The brown earth to the tiller’s,
The shoe in yours shall wealth command,
Like fairy Cinderella’s!
As they who shunned the household maid
Beheld the crown upon her,
So all shall see your toil repaid
With hearth and home and honor.

Then let the toast be freely quaffed,
In water cool and brimming,–
“All honor to the good old Craft,
Its merry men and women!”
Call out again your long array,
In the old time’s pleasant manner
Once more, on gay St. Crispin’s day,
Fling out his blazoned banner!

Finally, scenes of the Gentle Craft, as practiced at the atelier of Louis Vuitton.

OCT
2011
24

46 Is Not What It Used to Be…

46 Years Old

Manolo says, and for that we should be thankful.

Perhaps it is the power of the modern multivitamins, or has the makeup gotten so much better over the past 40 years? Maybe it is the old-lady hairdos, or are we taking better care of ourselves?

Whatever it is, most of the 46-year-old ladies of the Manolo’s current acquaintance look much, much better than this.

OCT
2011
21

Manolo the Columnist: Tennis Elastique from Bensimon

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

Dear Manolo,

I would like to find some black sneakers that I can walk and do tai chi in, yet still convey a modicum of chic. Is it possible to be chic in sneakers?

Katie

Manolo says, the Manolo tried the tai chi once, and indeed and found it to be pleasantly revivifying, what with the sugar, and the milk, and the cardamom.

Oh, wait. Perhaps that was the chai tea.

Well, whatever. The healthful cup of tea and the brisk strolling along the boulevards of the city are about as far as the Manolo is willing to go in the way of the exotic health regimes. Certainly, he would never spend the hour in the park moving ponderously from the “Distended Crane” to the
“Perturbed Ostrich” pose, and back again.

But, to each her own, yes? And if the Manolo’s friend, and millions of Chinese grannies, find such things to be helpful, than who is the Manolo to object to them?

As for the sneaker chic, the Manolo would send his friend to the country that invented the chic, or at least the word “chic”, France.

Here in black is the Tennis Elastique from Bensimon, the classic tennis shoe of French ladies, now available in the United States from the Bensimon website. There you will find the lace-up version, and the much wider range of colors.

Bensimon Elastique Tennis Flats

Whose Shoes Wednesday…The Answer

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Janet Leigh shoes

Manolo answers, it is the Janet Leigh!

This week, none of the Manolo’s internet friends was able to identify the famous celebrity personage of note.

Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?