Manolo says, it is Monday, and you are back at your desk doing that thing that you do to make that money that you need to keep the wolves away from the door.
Would that the rampaging wolf packs were your main concern.
Yes, if you live in the Montana, or the Wyoming, the wolf might occasionally, maybe, snatch up the unguarded toy poodle, or the haughty house cat (who probably had it coming), but even there the danger to your nuclear family and home is negligible. Although, certainly, most 21st century husbands, now reduced to the largely supernumerary functions, such as 3,000 mile oil changes and ordering new aluminum siding, would relish the chance to reassert their Viking bona fides by driving off the pack of wolves while armed with nothing more than the large stick and the AR-15.
Ayyy! Such is the stuff of suburban male fantasy! But, thanks to modern high-powered cartridges and infrared scopes, our ancient and noble canine vermin are easily kept at bay.
Unfortunately, modern vermin are not so easily dissuaded from their depredations. Indeed, between the tax collector, the bank, the politician, and the nice man at the gas station who, where this 18th century, would be standing the the side of the road wearing the mask and holding the brace of pistols, you have never been more beset on all sides.
And this says nothing about the various indignities foisted upon you at the place of the work, where your immediate supervisor, Mr. Potiphar, has earned the well deserved reputation as the slave driver.
But, what can you do? When has life not been the struggle? When have the metaphoric wolves not been at the non-metaphoric door?
Look! Beautiful and sophisticated booties!
This is the Diaz Leather Ankle Boot from Maestro Manolo Blahnik, the sort of shoe that heralds the coming winter with style and seriousness.
Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
I have a trip coming up in November to New York! I will be singing with a number of choirs in the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center and after our performance we have a gala to attend. I am planning on finding a little black dress to wear for the event, but I could really use some advice on some great heels to go with it. Any suggestions!
Manolo says, how do you get to the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center? Practice, practice, practice.
Yes, it is the old joke, but it is funny because being the good chorister is the difficult thing to master, relying as it does upon both the hours and the hours of practice, and the unusual combination of the personal traits.
Firstly, you have to be the good enough singer to qualify to carry the tune. Unless you are exceptional, it is unlikely that your famous rendition of “The Unchained Melody”, in which you hit all of the high notes flawlessly, will sound quite as good when not accompanied by water shooting out of your showerhead.
Secondly, your ego must not be overweening, making you think that every solo should be yours. Indeed, you must be humble enough to recognize that, during certain times of the year, your entire vocal repertoire will consist of the word “Hallelujah” sung repeatedly until you are forever sick of it. (“Curse you George Frideric Handel!”)
Look! Here is the Jodi from Diane von Furstenberg, the suede platform sandal with just the right amount of celebratory gold.
People say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. False. The road to Hell is paved in cobblestones, which means you can’t wear heels. That’s what makes it Hell.
When I first expatriated, I lived in a little village paved with the Devil’s bunions and it was a two mile walk to the restaurant that provided most of my sustenance. I walked eight miles a day that car-less summer. Heels were out of the question. I used bronze Roman sandals instead. After all, a girl must have some glamor.
Even when I had wheels, I still refused to risk a broken ankle –or worse, a scuffed heel– by wearing stilettos unless someone agreed to carry me bodily to my vehicle; a daunting task, especially if you’re not set up with the appropriate winches, pulleys and hydraulic jacks.
As luck would have it, I was the only woman in the village young enough not to know a time when mammoth was a nutritious part of your complete breakfast and I struck up a friendship with an enormous (and enormously smitten) former Golden Gloves boxer who bore a striking resemblance to Zeus, assuming Zeus was Latino and spent most of his life getting punched in the head for money.
Now I know I’m in a committed relationship and all, but seriously, if you’ve never tried Greek God as a mode of transportation, I highly commend it.
However, if you can’t find your own punch-drunk Olympian to haul you around your town like a sack of well-shod potatoes, never fear. The Continental heel is making a slow but steady return to fashion.
So wait, what is a Continental heel?
The Continental heel –pictured above lending its graceful curve to a pair of Robert Clergerie booties— is closely related and thus often confused with the Louis heel. Of course it doesn’t help that half the shoes labeled as a Louis heel are actually Continentals.
They’re both flared heels, that much is true.
However, a Louis heel has a height limit –a true Louis can’t be more than 3″ high.
See, good ol’ King Louis XIV of France was one of those pocket monarchs, so he took to wearing heels to give himself a 3″ boost. Then he forbade anyone to wear heels higher than his, because apparently that’s what you do when you’re king.
A Louis heel also traditionally has a curved breast, meaning the front part of the heel –the part that faces the toe– tapers and flares the echo the back part. Continental heels have the same curved or tapered back, but the breast is flat or nearly so.
I think we’re due for a comeback of a thicker heel.
We had a few seasons where Prada was showing banana heels everywhere but it didn’t last. I’d really like to see a serious return to one of the original sculptural heels. They’re pretty, fresh-looking and –for my purposes anyway– infinitely easier to deploy on cobblestones. Not that I’ll be telling Zeus Golden Gloves that.
Fit Note: Robert Clergerie runs pretty true to size for length, but designs for women with banana feet. If you’ve got narrow feet, you’re in luck. Everyone else, size up and pray.
Manolo asked, whose shoes?
Manolo answers, it is the Kate Moss!
Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friend, the Laura K, who was the first to correctly identify this week’s celebrity model person of note.
And now, please allow the Manolo to say that he has never really “gotten” the whole Kate Mossy thing.
After our recent Is It A Shoe contest, I feel perhaps we’ve given Guiseppe Zanotti the fuzzy end of the proverbial lollipop.
True, he is guilty of the spiky horse hoof shoe, not to mention these:
(these are all from several seasons ago, and yes, the dollar sign shoes would’ve set you back a cool grand)
Yes, he does tend to err slightly on the Russian Mafia Call Girl side of things from time to time but he’s also capable of walking that fine edge of playful elegance just as well as his fellow countrymen Dolce and Gabbana.
Some of his more restrained offerings are among my favorites in my personal collection.
I once rained down fire on a cobbler who, without my permission, added grippy rubber half-soles in a particularly abysmal shade of Stalinist utilitarian gray to a beautiful pair of black patent court shoes with an exquisite lacquered wood heel.
He thought he was doing me a favor.
I don’t remember the entire conversation, but I seem to recall non-voluntary circumcision coming up somewhere. I’m not in jail though, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t actually do it.
It also explains why I alternately adore him and want to throw him off a roof.
Still, in the spirit of fairness, I thought I’d offer you some of Guido’s more approachable efforts, all of which are available on considerable sale at The Outnet, though some sizes might be limited.
Just click the images for the links.
Fit Note: Zanotti builds on a comparatively generous last, so his shoes tend to be wider than many other premium designers. They run pretty true to size, so if you’re used to sizing up, you might not have to with him. Also, he does pony/calf hair (same thing, no ponies were harmed) better than any other designer I’ve encountered. It’s smooth, glossy and doesn’t tuft out everywhere a week after you bring them home. I’ve worn a pair of his pony sandals regularly for about six years and the calf hair has stayed in place marvelously. Highly recommended.
Manolo says, it is the Tevas with the painted toenails that make this ensemble especially ghastly.
Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
My fabulous cousin, whose birthday is the day after mine, and has been an anchor through many crises, turned 40 a couple of weeks ago. I’m sorry to say I had to miss her surprise party because I was away on a business trip. But, it is not too late for giving wonderful surprise birthday presents. Might you have a suggestion?
Manolo says, perhaps it is the gypsy in the Manolo, but the Manolo cannot help but love the giant, big families, with the thirteen children, and the twenty-dozen cousins of the varying degrees.
Especially the first cousins, who because they are not always around like the siblings, can be great sources of support and amusement, without the attendant rivalry, jealousy, and periodic fist-fighting. And this is the secret to the relationship, you have the same grandmamma and the same grandpapa, but you also have the different parents! The truth is hiding in plain sight, so obvious, and yet so powerful.
Who else but the first cousin would readily agree to accompany you your on your schemes of mayhem and glory, without trying to steal the parental affection that will be required when you return home in ignominy?
For the example, the teeny Manolo and his own favorite first cousin, Teofilo, often sought out adventure in the countryside around the caravans. Ayyy! How many times did they have to scamper back home covered in purloined watermelon, the authorities in full cry behind them, only to split apart at the final moment, Teofilo to his mother’s lap and the Manolo to his own beloved mama’s.
Here is the Manda from Kate Spade New York in the poetical anthracite starlight finish, perfect for the beloved accomplice on the occasion of her belated fortieth birthday.
Manolo asked, whose shoes?
Manolo answers, hey girls, it is the Ryan Gosling!
Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friend, ChaChaHeels, who was the first to correctly identify this week’s sulky little movie hunk.
Last week I invited you all to play the fun new game “Is It a Shoe?” wherein I displayed an object (below) that might or might not be intended for use on a human foot.
I then invited readers to answer two questions.
and there are a few awards to hand out
Superfantastic reader Marvel gets induction into The Order of the Shiny Apple for mentioning Joan Crawford, which I’d mentioned would garner extra points, while Fran, wins the coveted Nostradamus Tiara of Unfortunate Plausibility for suggesting:
Lady Gaga and Damien Hirst are proud to present their first child; it will be auctioned in a Qatari art gallery at the modest asking price of 2,375 gazillion of the US dollars.
The tiara is, as per previously outlined specifications, cut in half and floating in formaldehyde with a cow’s eyeball.
Sadly, in games like in relationships, there can be only one winner and this week it’s the lovely and fragrant Jo, who offered this gem:
Not a shoe. This is a sad genetic experiment gone wrong. This is what you get when you cross a porcupine with a magpie – a fetish for spines and shiny things. We should put it out of its misery, as it would never survive in the wild. However, we’ll probably see it around some pecuniarily over-endowed chit’s ankles as the latest fad for fashion pets continues.
For her troubles, Jo is appointed Chair of Cryptozoology and Sparkly Things at Our Lady of the Sacred Slingback University.
Thanks to all who played! Be sure to join us again soon for…