Deep Glamour

Manolo says, the Manolo’s good internet friend, and super fantastic intelligent theorist of fashion and trends, Virginia Postrel, has started the new blog, Deep Glamour, which, “explores the magic of glamour in its many manifestations, from movies, fashion, and advertising to real estate, politics, and sports.”

Already, the Manolo can see that this will be one of his daily readings. Please go there now and see what all of the fuss is about.

The Pointed Toe Returns

Manolo says, as the Manolo predicted earlier this year, the pointy toed shoe has returned!

Round-toes have pretty much ruled the shoe world for the past decade, with a tenacity that belies their innocently girlish appearance.

But a decade is a century in fashion years (like dog years, but longer and potentially more fatal if underestimated) so it was inevitable that the point should return at some point. And lo, it has come to pass.

At Balenciaga – pretty much the bellwether for trends that the high street masses will be adopting – the gladiator sandals it knocked out last season have been replaced for autumn/ winter by shoes so pointy they will probably double as weapons for the requisite eastern European villainess in the next Bond film.

Even Marc Jacobs, who is surely Coco Chanel’s successor in his tireless promotion of the sweet and girly look, has pushed aside his beloved mouse pumps (literally, ballet pumps with little beaded eyes and whiskers fixed on the tip) for decidedly more grown-up and less rodenty pointier toes, at both his own eponymous label and in the current collection for Louis Vuitton. Similarly, the Lanvin woman seems to have matured from the pretty, round-toed mademoiselle she was just a few seasons ago to a full-on vamp, with black, sharp-toed teetering heels. “Round toes are on their way out and pointy toes are marching back into our wardrobes!” one fashion magazine gleefully announced this month.

And to celebrate the changing of the fashion guard, the Manolo recommends to you this handsome, comfortable, and reasonably priced, pointy-toed demi-d’orsay pump, the Cherry Hill from the Kenneth Cole New York.

Cherry Hill by Kenneth Cole New York     Manolo Likes!  Click!

Many thanks to the Manolo’s friend Linda Grant, who keeps the Manolo abreast of the English media


Is the Fashion Press to Blame?

Manolo says, the Manolo’s indispensable internet friend Lesley of the Fashion Tribes has posted her thoughts on the most intriguing panel discussion at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Here is the excerpt.

In his opinion, since no one in the audience – comprised mostly of students – was dressed in a way that remotely resembled a fashion editorial, magazines were obviously out-of-touch and irrelevant. Galanos heartily concurred, and according to his extremely narrow-minded and dated definition of what can be considered “fashion,” anything fantastic but unwearable that walks down a runway is to be considered an exercise in self-discovery rather than fashion. Michael Fink noted that from his perspective as a retailer, he needs to focus on what sells. Sadly, there were neither actual women nor members of the press invited to participate, despite being the market in question and the apparent cause of the demise of modern fashion.

The fact is, in this age of too many trends, designers, and choices, the fashion press is the very reason why fashion remains vibrant and interesting to women.

Editors and fashion writers address this overload of information by sifting, editing, and curating what’s worth putting in your closet. […]

In addition, “unwearable” clothing and editorial spreads feed into the fantasy element of fashion: yes, it’s a business, but it’s one founded upon creativity, both of the designer, and of the wearer as a means of their self expression. “Crazy” clothes fuel people’s imagination, spark ideas, and, ultimately, help keep fashion interesting, aspirational, and in demand.

This point is exactly correct, that yes, much of that which is sent down the runway is unwearable by anyone other than the 14-year-old Belorussian anorexics, but the process of presenting such fantasy clothes does much to shape and reshape our perceptions of what is beautiful.

Query: Are the designers out of touch because they present clothing that cannot be worn by ordinary women?

Answer: In truth this question cannot be answered without specific context; without making reference to both the specific designer and the specific runway show. And even then out-of-touchness is not absolute; there are degrees, and thus the most obtuse show usually contains elements which are worthy of our attention, just as the most mundane may miss that quality which makes it relevant to the current cultural moment.

Query: Are the fashion magazines out of touch because they feature clothing that cannot be worn by ordinary women?

Answer: No. The fashion magazines have the dual mandate, to please readers and to please advertisers. And while there is some tension between these two goals, the Manolo suspects that this tension is less than many peoples imagine.

Query: Why do fashion magazine show us gangly, Ukrainian middle-schoolers in Dior couture?

Query: Why do car magazines spend enormous amounts of time reporting on test drives and specifications of exceedingly expensive and exotic super cars?

Answer: For the same reason, because we are entertained and motivated by such images. And because we aspire to have beautiful things (clothes, cars, homes, art) that reflect what we perceive as our inner persons. The magazines do not create this desire–as it is inherent in all of us–instead they merely seek to shape and direct our desires towards that which its editors value and advertisers wish us to acquire.

Query: Is the Manolo out of touch because he asks his readers to admire beautiful but perhaps unwearable shoes?

Answer: No. The goal of the Manolo at his humble shoe blog is to entertain and to educate, to share with his readers that which the Manolo loves the most, beautiful shoes.

Shoe Trends 2008, Part 3

Marc by Marc Jacobs Mary Jane Buckle Pump   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Manolo says, above you see the handsome dark navy and cream, mary jane pump from the Marc by Marc Jacobs.

And yes, the Manolo has already announced that 2008 will be the “Year of Color“, but as is so often the case, there is the counter trend to the main trend, running in opposition. So, for the example, the vertiginous platform heels of the last spring were countered by the Torey Burch ballet flats.

This year the counter trend to the colorful shoes are the shoes which combine white with black (or navy and cream, or other variations).

Here are the other example, the Stuart Weitzman peep-toe pumps.

Stuart Weitzman Peep-toe Pump    Manolo Likes!  Click!

Previously, Shoe Trends 2008, Part 1, Shoe Trends 2008, Part 2.

Shoe Trends for 2008, Part Two

Manolo says, over the next few days, the Manolo will be giving his forecast for the coming years shoe trends.

This next trend, which has been developing over the past year, has now fully arrived, and it is the brightly colored shoes. Currently we are seeing shoes which are saturated with color, not the primary color, but rich variations in the purples, the oranges, the yellows, the greens, the blues, and the reds.

In fact, the Manolo goes so far as to call this the “Year of Color”

This trend to color is visible at all levels of the market. Look, here are affordable shoes from Enzo Angliolini in bright orange and yellow.

Maylie from Enzo Angiolini   The color is bright!  Click!Maylie from Enzo Anglioini   Manolo say it is colorful!  Click!

And in the more expensive prices, here is deep purple satin slide from Ralph Lauren.

Purple Satin Slide from Ralph Lauren   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Yellow-ish platform shoes from Bruno Frisoni.

Yellow shoes from Bruno Frisoni Click!

Two varieties of red from the Christian Louboutin.

Red Pump from Christian Louboutin    Manolo Likes!  Click!

So, add some colors to your feets this year.

P.S. Shoe Trends for 2008, Part One.

Shoe Trends for 2008, Part One

Manolo says, over the next few days the Manolo will be sharing with you what he thinks are the shoe trends for the New Year.

Here is the new shoe, the Cary from Donald Pliner, which represents one of the coming trends.

Cary by Donald Pliner   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Yes, it is the return of the pointy toed pumps. Although, they never completely went away, pointy toed shoes have been in eclipse for the past three years. But you may now look for them to begin to creep back onto the runways in the coming months.


You’ve Got the Look!

Manolo says, 1981, it was the simpler time, when hot chicks wore “mom jeans” and monkeys danced in exultation because of it.

P.S. Many thanks to Mr. Isidore Gallant for finding the old jeans commercials.


Space Couture

Manolo says, where are the jump suits? The Manolo was promised that the future would include silvery jump suits, not fairly pedestrian bikinis and lycra.

But of the course, this video begs the question: what will the clothes of the future look like?

To which the Manolo answers, who knows? There are not even that many peoples who can predict next years trends, much less those of the distant future.

In 500 years time we could all be immortal, disembodied heads in jars, riding around on giant metallic robots, talking about how great it was when we had bodies, and wishing we could die.

Or, we could be post-apocalyptic cavemen, in which case, fur will make the big come back.

Either way. 50/50 says the Manolo.

P.S. Be certain to stay for the final minute of this video, when things take the turn for the painfully ridiculous.

P.P.S. Many thanks to the Manolo’s friend, the super fantastic Xeni. She is not just the blogger, she is also the internet television star!!!

Stuart Weitzman’s Does the Prada Ombre Knockoff

Prada Womens Shoes Fall - Winter 2007/08  Manolo Likes Click!

Manolo says, remember these beautiful and unusual Prada Ombre shoes from last season, with the sfumato gradient effect?

It seems that Stuart Weitzman does

Sensual by Stuart Weitzman   Manolo Likes!  Click!

In the coming months you will undoubtedly see more modestly priced shoes with this same look.


Fade to White

Manolo says, you must go look at this posting from the Coveted. It is based on last week’s article in the New York Times about the lack of black models on the runways of this seasons New York fashion week shows.

Here is the excerpt from the Times.

Of the 101 shows and presentations posted on during the New York runway season, which ended a month ago, more than a third employed no black models, according to Women’s Wear Daily. Most of the others used just one or two. When the fashion caravan moved to London, Paris and Milan, the most influential shows — from Prada to Jil Sander to Balenciaga to Chloé and Chanel — made it appear as if someone had hung out a sign reading: No Blacks Need Apply.

The article is quite good and not the little disturbing and depressing, and thus it is well worth the reading.

What Jennine at the Coveted has done is gather together the head shots of the models from the runway shows, and in so doing has dramatically shown that the look of the moment is very pale, young, skinny, and blond. But when has it not always been thus?


Conclusive Proof

Manolo says, that the infamous metrosexual Osama bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan!

Hair implants have become commonplace [in Pakistan] in the past few years as wealthier urban males embrace cosmetic treatments that were once regarded as effeminate and even unIslamic. From facials to manicures, back waxes to eyebrow threading, a host of services are now on offer at a growing number of spas, salons and clinics catering to the male market.

“I never bothered with this before,” Humayun, 28, said after a facial at the Islamabad branch of Depilex Men, part of the biggest chain of beauty parlours in Pakistan. “I guess there’s just more pressure on men to look good these days.”

The trend may be confined to the upper and middle classes, estimated at 20-30 million people, but it illustrates how Western-style media, marketing and celebrity culture are changing Pakistani society. Five years ago most Pakistani men wore only the traditional salwar kameez – a loose-fitting cotton pyjama suit. The standard hairstyle was a short back and sides. Deodorant was considered unmanly. Moisturiser? Forget it.


However, in the big cities of Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar, where dozens of television channels are now available, men are becoming ever more conscious about their clothes, coiffures and complexions – so much so that a recent talk show on Dawn News, a new English-language television channel, asked whether Pakistan was going through a “metro-sexual” revolution.

Now all we must do is find the beautician who does Osama’s hair.

Linda Grant Replies

Manolo says, Manolo’s very good friend Linda Grant, author of the wonderful piece in the Guardian about the declining standards of dress and comportment, has returned to add more to our very vibrant discussion of this important topic.

I would like to thank those of you who responded so positively to my Guardian piece about declining standards of dress. I believe that dressing appropriately for the occasion is simply a question of good manners, as well as to give ourselves the pleasure of wearing whatever in our wardrobes is best, just as we vary our diet, adorn our homes with nice things, and enjoy a beautiful view. In the past, even the most impoverished families, had garments that they called their ‘Sunday best’ clothes which they wore for special occasions. The dumbing down of dress is in part a product of prosperity, for when a pair of jeans can cost as much as an evening gown, who knows who is expensively dressed?

The morning the article came out, a friend reminded me that at her brother’s wedding, a few years ago, one guest arrived at the reception in shorts. Now the bride and groom were theatre folk, not actors, but a writer and a director, and one sensed that this minor celeb simply felt that the happy couple were simply not important enough to get dressed up for. The true star among the guests, Hugh Laurie (of ‘House’) and his wife were dressed entirely appropriately for a July wedding, she in a hat. As someone in the comments remarked – class, you’ve got it or you haven’t.

Two people who have class are Tizzy and her husband, who, unable to celebrate their wedding anniversary at an expensive restaurant, went to an ordinary one and dressed up anyway, he in a tie and she in a cocktail dress bought on the clearance rack for $9.99. Mr and Mrs Tizzy understand the notion of a memorable occasion. I thought of them last night at a glittering event held here in London, the private view of the new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum on the Golden Age of Couture. For standing in front of me as we listened to a speech by Ines de la Fressange, once a Chanel model, was a woman who had chosen from her entire wardrobe to wear at this event – jeans and a t-shirt. Mr and Mrs Tizzy, despite their modest income, would, I know, have nonetheless found the prefect outfits to have attended such an occasion. To be well-dressed comes not from the bank balance, but what is inside your own head.