Manolo’s Gift Music

Manolo says, the secret to giving the good music is to give something unexpected, something unusual, something astounding, but also something that you know the recepient cannot but love. Here are four albums that the Manolo believes meets these standards.

Facing Future

Facing Future by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole   Manolo Adores!  Click!

The late Israel Kamakawiwo’ole he had the voice of the angels, and when you hear him, with only the ukulele for the accompaniment , you will never hear the Hawai’ian music the same way. There is the sweetness and honesty to the voice that not the thousand Don Hos can replicate.

Tholonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall

Tholonious Monk with John Coltrane  Manolo Likes!  Click!

Here is the newly discovered classic, one that the Manolo immediately added to his collection.


Osvaldo Golijov:  Ayre   Manolo Likes!  Click!

This it is so wonderfully exotic, and yet so familiar at the same time that the Manolo he is entranced by this work, and listens to it more frequently than is probably healthful.

The Wild Tchoupitoulas

The Wild Tchoupitoulas

This it is the real New Orleans music, the Meters and the Nevilles getting together to stomp out the most danceable music the Manolo has ever heard. In the year with the New Orleans was greviously injured, what better way is there to celebrate the beating heart that survives at the center of the great city than by dancing?


Manolo’s Magazines

Manolo says, the Manolo he is the inveterate reader of the magazines. Indeed he subscribes to several different magazines, and he has, in the past, given the magazine subscriptions to his friends as the much appreciated holiday gifts. Here are four of the magazines that the Manolo himself subscribes to, and so would be most suitable for the gift giving.

The New Yorker

The New Yorker   Manolo likes!  Click!

The Manolo could not live without his weekly New Yorker Yes, it is frequently smug and irritatingly full of the self-regard, but it is still the best magazine in the world, and is the exellent gift for your provincial friends.


Vogue   Manolo Likes!  Click!

The Manolo he takes several of the fashion magazines, such as the Wear of the Womens Daily, but it is The Vogue that the Manolo considers indispensible. If you like the fashion you must read this magazine, if for no other reason than just the ads, they are always something the Manolo examines closely. And, when you are done with it, it makes the attractive doorstop.

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair  Manolo Likes!  Click!

The Vanity Fair is another of the big glossies that the Manolo takes monthly. It too is filled with the full page ads, but unlike the Vogue, the articles and the columns (especially that the Dominic Donne) are actually worth the reading.


Gastronomica  Manolo Likes!  Click!

As with the fashion magazines, the Manolo takes several of the cooking and culinary magazines, however, none are as consistently amusing and entertaining as the Gastronomica. If you give this to the foodie of your acquaintence you will have made the friend for life.

Project Runway 2

Manolo says, the Manolo he is indeed most happy that the Project Runway it has returned for the second season. Mainly because it means many more weekly visits from the super fantastic Tim Gunn.

Last night the Bravo they showed the two hours worth of the Project Runway, starting off by sending the chubby boy and the poor Alabama girl home almost immediately for the crime of producing the luster lacking dresses.

Then it was the challenge for the designers to be to transmorgify the mostly appalling clothes on their backs into the fashion outfits. And here the true personalities of the contestants they begin to emerge, and for the most part, like the rags they choose to dress themselves in, they are not pretty. At the end the was the former fashion model/swimwear designer/corporate lawyer Kristen who was to the curb kicked.

Here is the Manolo’s thumbnail assessement of each of the remaining contestants.

Chloe: She is this season’s Kara Saun. Cool, collected and very talented. She will last until the very end.

Andrae: Annoying, whiney, and histrionic, certainly annoying, whiney, very annoying. Did the Manolo mention annoying? His fashion vision, nothing special. Gone soon.

Daniel Franco: Poor Daniel, it was better for him to remain in the obscurity, than to return to certain rejection, and quickly.

Diana The brainiac, whom the Manolo finds adorable in that way that only the goofy intellectual nerd-girls can be. She too will be leaving the show soon, which it is too bad, because she is so cute and clueless and interesting in her way, which is not the way of fashion.

Emmett: Tall, dignified, well-dressed and talented. He will last until the end, or at least so the Manolo hopes, as he is the only one who knows how to dress himself in the becoming style.

Daniel V. He has the nice, pleasant way about him, and his clothes they are not bad. Sadly, having the nice personality it is not enough. If only he could become nasty he would have the chance to stay longer in the competition.

Guadalupe: What is there to say about the Lupe, but that she is the nut, but in the charming but badly dressed way. It is the middle of the pack for the Lupe.

Kara: She made the Manolo laugh, first at the retro street urchin outfit she designed and then by saying that her inspiration was the “Oliver Twist”. Trust the Manolo, your fashion inspiration it should never be the Oliver Twist. Still, there is something here.

Marla: Yes she is one of the few adults in this group, and seems to be very nice, but the clothes she is designing they are nothing to write to the home about.

Nick: Manolo votes Nick the contestant most likely to self destruct. He has some talent, but it is obscured by the somewhat overwrought personality. The Manolo’s advice for the Nick? Switch to the decaf, homeboy.

Zulema: She is sort of the black Wendy Pepper, only with less talent, and more aggression. Because she has the difficult personality, one that is sure to interact badly with the others, the producers they will keep her around longer then her talent merits.

Santino: Very talented, but he has the over inflated, grandiose sense of his own abilities, which it is not necessarily the detriment in the fashion. He will last for many weeks, pehaps until the very end.

Raymundo: Manolo finds the Raymundo’s East Los Angeles pachuco gay boy way to be charming. And to the mind of the Manolo, he is one of the few who has his own fashion vision, or at least one that is worth paying attention to. If the Manolo could pick the longshot to win, it would be the Raymundo.

So, for the Manolo the final four or five, they will be Chloe, Santino, Raymundo, Emmett, and possibly the Kara.

P.S. The Project Runway first season it is now available on the DVD!


The Perfect Holiday Gift for Everyone

Knight Rider - Season One Knight Rider - Season Two Knight Rider - Season Three

Manolo says, who would not be thrilled to find this under the tree?


Manolo’s Holiday Gift DVDs, Part I

Manolo says, previously the past week or so, the Manolo he has been suggesting the holiday gift book ideas for his many internet friends. But what to get the person who is not much of the reader? Or for the person who is addicted to the films?

Well, the Manolo he is here to help, by suggesting the few of the Manolo’s favorite DVDs, ones suitable for the giving as the gifts.

The Funniest Television Show Ever

Father Ted - The Holy Trilogy
Father Ted – The Holy Trilogy

The first three or the four episodes of the Father Ted they were probably the funniest thing the Manolo has ever seen. Three reprobate priests exiled onto the desolate Irish island. It does not sound promising, but it is, in the fact, absolutely brilliant, anarchic and brilliant, and guaranteed to make you laugh until you cannot breathe.

How the Manolo Thinks the Wild West Really Was

Deadwood - The Complete First Season
Deadwood the Complete First Season

It is perhaps not well known that the Manolo he is the connoisseur of the cowboy movies, from the worst to the best. And this series, it is one of the best media purchases of the Manolo during this past year.

Simply put, the Deadwood it is the masterwork of sorts. Alternately horrific and hilarious, it has the ring of historical and artistic truth to it. And the Manolo he cannot tell you how much he has enjoyed watching it.

Manolo’s Favorite Fashion Movie


There is no competition for the title of the Manolo’s Favorite Fashion Movie. Nothing can touch the Zoolander, one of the few recent movies with the Ben Stiller in which the Manolo does not find the Ben Stiller actively annoying. It is funny from the start (with the cameo in which the Evil One unveils his true malevolence) to the end. Funny, and yet at its core so true.


The Clean Pair of the Heels

Manolo says, the Times of the London they have started their own shoe blog! It is called The Clean Pair of the Heels

Actually, it appears to the Manolo not to be the true shoe blog so much as the collection of the Times of the London columns about the shoes arranged in the blog-like fashion.

Still, it amuses the Manolo, and the person who writes it, the Sam Lyster, she knows her shoes, and it celebrates the beauty and joy that are the shoes!

Manolo says, let the hundred shoe blogs bloom!

Holiday Gift Books, Part II

Manolo says, the Manolo he continues his suggestions for the books suitable for the holiday giving, here are the few more, given in no particular order.

The Indispensible Collection

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Who does not love the charming adventures of the little boy Calvin and his friend the tiger Hobbes? This theoretical person, who does not love the Calvin and the Hobbes, the Manolo he does not wish to know. Such is the regard the Manolo holds for the oeuvre of the genius Bill Watterson.

What The Modern Italian Brides Get on The Day of Their Weddings

The Silver Spoon
The Silver Spoon

It is well known the Manolo he is something of the gourmand and the scholar of the culinary arts, indeed he has the most sizeable collection of the books of cookery and culinary history on the shelves in his humble kitchen. This book, which has been the standard item in the Italian homes for the past fifty years, it is one that the Manolo cooks from frequently, usually with much satisfaction and success. It also has the virtue of being the handsome volume, something designed by the collective of prominent Italian modernists, and thus suitable for giving as the gift.

The Horror, The Horror

Interior Desecrations by James Lileks
Interior Desecrations by James Lileks

The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks
The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks

The James Lileks he makes the Manolo laugh out loud. He is the master miner of the detritus of the American near past, bringing up for our disapproval the loathsome foods and the ridiculous trends in the home decorating, and in the process, turning these prosaic things into the comedy gold.

The latest book, which the Manolo has not yet read, it is entitled Mommy Knows Worst : Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice. This it is not the topic that especially appeals to the Manolo, however, the Manolo he will undoubtedly read this book simply because the James Lileks he is that funny.

For the Smartie Friends Who Like to Think and Laugh

The Rebel Angels What's Bred in the Bone The Lyre of Opheus
The Cornish Trilogy by Robertson Davies

The Robertson Davies he is the long time favorite of the Manolo, and this week the Manolo is joyously racing (re-racing) through the Robertson Davies’ The Cornish Trilogy.

The three novels that comprise this masterwork they all consider, each from the slightly different angle, the important matter of art, and how it entertwines with the life and the love and all of the important things.

For the Manolo what makes them so delightful, it is that the Davies he is indeed most erudite, and his novels they are filled with the high-minded things, but at the same of the time he is not above telling the low joke, not above the common japery. And so, despite the profundity of the topics, these they are the books of great humor, and would be perfect for your smartie friends who read and like to laugh.

P.S. The Manolo he had intended to give you his recommendations for the new fiction, but then he realized that there was not much of the new fiction that he liked.

Sadly the recent trend in the literary fiction it has been inexorably inward looking, resulting in mounds of unreadable books that are about nothing but the solipsism of the authors who produce them. Bleech. This it is not for the Manolo, which it is why he is rereading the Robertson Davies this week.

Manolo’s Holiday Gift Books, Part I

Manolo says, many of the Manolo’s friends they have been asking the Manolo for the advice for the holiday giving, saying

Manolo, please help us, we are foundering in the sea of gift-giving choices! We do not know what to get the husband, or the wife, and/or the person of the significant otherness!

The Manolo says to his many internet friends, be not afraid, over the next week or the two the Manolo he will provide you with the assistance you require to make this the most super fantastic of the holiday seasons.

Today, it is the part one of the gift books!

As the Manolo’s many internet friends know, the Manolo he is the great reader, and thus the subject of the books it is dear to the heart of the Manolo. And so here are the few of the books that the Manolo himself will be giving his friends this year.

Manolo’s #1 Book of the Year

Blahnik by Boman: Shoes, Photographs, Conversation
Blahnik by Boman: Shoes, Photographs, Conversation

This it is the most gorgeous of the books for the table of the coffee that the Manolo the Shoeblogger has ever seen. It is simply beautiful.

Yes, the text it is as the Maestro Manolo Blahnik has described it, the “vomitarian” stream of the consciousness, however you do not want this book for the writing, but for the gorgeous pictures of the shoes of the master presented in the whimsical tableaus. This it is the perfect gift for the person who loves the shoes and the beauty.

The Perfect Book for the Man Who Would Be Well Dressed

Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion by Alan Flusser
Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion

This book it is the Bible of the fashion for the man. If your husband, or boyfriend, or your man of other significantness does not have this book on his dressing room table, you must buy it for him. Give him this book as the not so subtle hint that perhaps his wardrobe it needs the improvement.

Manolo’s Favorite New Cookbook

Tapas : A Taste of Spain in America

It is not the secret that the Manolo he is something of the gourmand, and is the habitual reader of the books on the cooking and the eating. So, you can trust the Manolo when he notes that this book it is worth giving to your culinarily inclined friends. Even the better, the Jose Andres, he is the delightful character, and his charm it infuses this attractive and easy to use book.

Manolo’s Favorite New Fashion History Book

The Essence of Style
The Essence of Style : How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafes, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour

The Manolo loves the Louis XIV! The opulence! The excess! The beautiful red shoes with the bows!

Manolo’s Favorite Book by the Personal Friend of the Manolo

The Seasoning of a Chef
The Seasoning of a Chef : My Journey from Diner to Ducasse and Beyond

The Manolo he runs with the literary/culinary crowd, and this book, which has caused such the uproar among the professional chefs, it is written by the chef Doug Psaltis and his twin the Michael Psaltis, who also happens to be the Manolo’s literary agent. Even if this connection it did not exist, the Manolo he would recommend this book to those who enjoy the culinary books.

The Chef Doug he is the magnificently obsessed person, one who has dedicated his life completely to the good food, to the extent that his own memoir often makes him look like the jerk, but always amusingly so.

Tomorrow the Manolo will present to you his favorite works of the new fiction.

Daniel Day Lewis!

Manolo Loves the Day Lewis!

Manolo shouts, Daniel Day Lewis!

It is no secret that the Manolo is the huge big fan of the Daniel Day Lewis, even when his hair it is looking like that of the mental patient.

Indeed, how can the Manolo not be the big huge fan of the Daniel Day Lewis? For like the Manolo and the Vitaly Belchenko, the Daniel Day Lewis loves the shoes.

As the many internet friends of the Manolo know, the Manolo has the cinematic aspirations, and that he is writing the play for the screen. It is, of the course, his fondest hope that the Day Lewis would agree to be the star of this potential movie.

The movie it is about the shoe designer, played by the Daniel Day Lewis (him, the Hasselhoff, or the Russell Crowe), who designs the most amazing and powerful super fantastic shoes, which are then stolen by the nefarious mastermind, the Blagerfeld, who uses them in the attempt to take over the world. (His previous plot, involving the Crocs, it had naturally failed.)

The shoe designer and his sidekick, the souped-up, super fantastic, high-tech, talking black Trans Am, they must then race against the clock to retrieve the shoes and defeat the villian before his plans they come to fruition.

The Manolo envisions the sort of sophisticated action/buddy/fashion picture, with many stunts and good clothes.

What the Manolo Is…

Manolo says, it is the Tuesday, and you know what that it means, time to see what the Manolo is…



Going to Have to Read When It Comes Out but Will Probably Not Enjoy…

Listening to…

Manolo says, yes the Manolo he loves the Clampetts. Their antics they have always made the Manolo laugh.

The Manolo he knows that the elaborate critique of the disposable pop culture it is somewhat ridiculous, however he cannot help himself, this one he found at the Amazon site it is worth the reading.

Watching this DVD collection, I came to realize just how fundamentally good and smart that show was. It was brilliant in its conception and execution. Jed Clampett is the show’s moral compass; he is a New Testament figure in his fundamental good-will toward all, trusting, forgiving, and absolutely lacking in any sort of irony or sarcasm. Granny is the ultimate Old Testament fiesty matriarch, whose superstitious beliefs are based on mistrust, fear, and retribution. Ellie May is the Wood Nymph, who most closely resembles Jed in attitude (by way of her heart, more than the moral thinking of Jed). Lastly, Jethro is the the Modern Man, who is driven by ambition, with few thoughts of consequence, who sides with Granny in schemes, tempered by his naive/shallow beliefs in Good Results. As a foursome, they confound the world that confounds them.

Mr. Drysdale and Miss Hatheway provide bookends to the Clampett clan, in the roles of Id and Super Ego, each attempting to direct and/or prevent the family’s actions at cross-purposes to the other.

Everything about the show is brilliant, sweet, and silly, with a massive moral lesson hidden in the guise of a goofball comedy.

This it is ridiculous, but also nonetheless perfectly correct in its essence.

And thus we should seek to emulate the Jed in his kindness and generosity, in his open and trusting nature, and in his simple but deep and tolerant love for the eccentric members of his family and for his fellow humans.


Blahnik by Boman

Blahnik by Boman!

Manolo says, the Manolo he has finally received his copy of the masterful, Blahnik by Boman: Shoes, Photographs, Conversation, perhaps the greatest book for the table of the coffees ever produced.

The pictures in this book they are of the shoes of the Maestro Manolo Blahnik set in the whimsical, artistic, striking, visually witty tableaus by the fashion photographer Eric Boman.

The juxtapositions of the shoes with the everyday things, or the objets d’art, they point up not just the skill of the photographer, but also, the beauty of these masterful shoes. Also, the pictures they remind the Manolo the Shoeblogger that the shoes of the Maestro Manolo Blahnik they are in themselves frequently objects of great wit and humor, and that above all else these they are fun; fun to wear, fun to look at.

There is the joie de vivre inherent in the shoes of the Manolo Blahnik that cannot but enhance the life of those who put them on.

So the Manolo he must recommend to you this book, either for your own table of the coffees, or for that of your close shoe-loving friend. It is the perfect gift for the holidays.

Blahnik by Boman: Shoes, Photographs, Conversation

The Donna Barstow

The Cartoon of the Donna Barstow

Manolo says, in the essay contest of the Manolo, one of the super fantastic prizes to be awarded to the Grand Super Fantastic Prize Winner is the original, signed piece of the cartoon art (such as the one above) from the very funny cartoonist and shoe lover the Donna Barstow.

Not only does the Donna have the many amusing cartoons about the shoes, but she has also written and illustrated the most super fantastic book What Do Women REALLY Want? Chocolate! Even the title, it makes the Manolo laugh!

But, of the course, you cannot win the framable prize from the talented Donna Barstow if you do not enter the contest.