JUN
2012
20

Fool the Manolo Once, Shame on You

Moonrise Kingdom advertising makes the movie look funny, but it's almost certainly not.

Manolo says, fool the Manolo five times, shame on the Manolo.

This is the problem that the Manolo has with the movies of the Wes Anderson: the advertising always promises that the movie will be most hilarious. (Indeed, what could be funnier than Bill Murray and Bruce Willis playing the pair of old codgers?) And yet, the Manolo can assure you from hard-won experience that, at best, this new movie will be only mildly amusing.

Yes, it will be twee, so very, very, very twee. With the twee costuming, and the twee mood setting, and the twee music.

Will it be funny? Not so much.

Instead, it will be largely annoying.

JUN
2012
16

Happy Bloomsday!

Manolo quotes,

Her shoes were the newest thing in footwear (Edy Boardman prided herself that she was very petite but she never had a foot like Gerty MacDowell, a five, and never would ash, oak or elm) with patent toecaps and just one smart buckle at her higharched instep.

Bloomsday, we are informed, was June 16th, 1904, thus we wonder, what sort of shoes might our Gerty MacDowell have been wearing?

Shoes 1905

From 1905, these dainty, pumps give you the idea of what was the fancy fashion at that moment.

More work-a-day, from the same period, is this 1905 advertisement below for the Sorosis Safe Shoe.

Sorois Safe Shoes, 1905

Notice the patent toe cap.

JUN
2012
14

Overly Attached Girlfriend

Manolo says, alternately hilarious and horrifying.

APR
2012
19

Levon

Manolo says, somedays it seems as if 1976 were just yesterday.
.
.

Other days it seems so very far away.

APR
2012
19

They All Listen to the Smiths

Manolo says, the Manolo laughed out loud at this.

APR
2012
18

Hot Mess

Manolo asks, perhaps rhetorically, remember back in the day when humility was considered the admirable trait?

FEB
2012
06

Meanwhile, In the Dystopian Future…

Good Lord, what was she thinking?

The Empress Ming the Merciless prepares to give birth to the new age of despotism!

Indeed, the Manolo is only half joking, for as the more he watched the Madonna-tacular show of the halftime, the more he was struck by the unshakeable impression that this was the sort of Nuremberg Rally for the new age of crass narcissism aborning.

Beginning with its imperial fanfare and militaristic pomp, progressing through the forced adoration of the Glorious Leader (L-U-V Madonna! L-U-V Madonna!), and culminating in her apotheosis as the goddess and chief priestess of her own cult of personality, Madonna was urging on us nothing less than her hegemonistic vision of the Madonna-based future.

“My name is Madonna, queen of queens:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

DEC
2011
05

Yet One More Reason to Love the Maestro…

He does not know who the Suri Cruise is!

As always, the Maestro Manolo Blahnik delights and amuses.

And, just in time for the Christmas, he has produced (with Camilla Morton) the seasonally appropriate fantasy picture book…Manolo Blahnik and the Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker

Manolo Blahniks the Elves and the Shoemaker A Fashion Fairytale

Ayyyy! He does not know who is Suri Cruise AND he has the new book. That is not one, but two reasons to love the maestro!

NOV
2011
30

Four New Books Suitable for the Gifting

Manolo says, the holidays, they are upon us like the hungry red-and-green colored lion! Quick, you must make it happy by purchasing gifts of merit!

Thus, here are four books published in the past year that are worth giving to the people about whom you care.

1.
The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden

The duchess of smart Mediterranean cooking books, Claudia Roden, is back with this worthy entry, The Food of Spain.

2.
The Sisters Brothers

It is no secret that the Manolo is intensely fond of the comic novel, and this book about the pair of sibling hired killers, The Sisters Brothers, is the best comic novel of the past year.

3.
The Founding Gardeners

For the gardening gnome in your life, what better gift than The Founding Gardeners: How the Revolutionary Generation Created an American Eden, where they were learn that Thomas Jefferson proclaimed the flowering acacia to be “the most delicious flowering shrub in the world.” (And who knew those things were even edible!)

Fashion

The Manolo loves this comprehensive book, FASHION: 150 Years of Couturiers, Designers, Labels by the Charlotte Seeling. It is encyclopedic without being dull and dry, and has pretty pictures by the score. This would be the perfect thing for the young person who has the deep interest in the fashion, but little knowledge of its history.

NOV
2011
28

Gift Suggestions for the Cyber Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back at your desk frantically trying to find the gifts for your beloved ones. Yes, you had the big plans to go out on the Black Friday and fist-fight with the crowds to find things worthy of putting under the trees of Christmas, but then a) you decided that getting up at three in morning to go to the Wal-Mart was ridiculous, and b) in the mid-morning, as you were getting ready to leave, you heard on the radio that there was the 14-mile traffic jam on all the roads leading to the mall, which convinced you to stay at home, eating turkey sandwiches and reading the hospital-themed romance novels.

Happily, today is the Cyber Monday, when the machines do the shopping for us!

Or, perhaps not.

Sadly, until the scientific panjandrums perfect the robotic you, you will still have to do your own holiday shopping, although, thanks to the ancient and hallowed traditions of the Cyber Monday, you can do it on company time!

Allow the Manolo to suggest a few things that might make your life better:

For the hunky man in your life…

Victorinox Mahale Zip Cardigan

The Victorinox Mahale Zip Cardigan available in the three colors (charcoal, black, and navy) is the sort of practical cotton sweater that even the most manly of man would be happy to don.

For the country lady…

Eugenia Kim Asymmetrical Cloche Hat

There is something about this Eugenia Kim asymmetrical cloche. that makes the Manolo very happy. Perhaps it is because the Manolo has recently been thinking how jolly it would be to visit the year 1927.

For anyone else who wishes to visit the year 1927…

The Best of Wodehouse

The Manolo just purchased The Best of Wodehouse for himself. He did not technically need it, as he owns several other Wodehouse anthologies and individual volumes, but the Manolo was traveling, and the vicissitudes of that overwhelmed the Manolo’s sensitive constitution.

Hence…Wodehouse, specifically the single funniest work in the English language, Uncle Fred in the Springtime. The Manolo asks you, what better gift to give the person of delicate and antique sensibilities?

For everyone who does not wish to live in 1927….


Kindle DX

Paper is dead, long live the book!

Or, at the least, long live the The Kindle DX the e-reader of choice for the Manolo because it has the screen that is 50% larger than the regular Kindle, meaning the Manolo can enlarge the font to maximum size, thus allowing him to pretend that he does not need the reading glasses.

JUN
2011
08
MAY
2011
25

My 5 Best Songs About Shoes

Perhaps I’m addicted to list making (much like my strange addictions to vintage glasses frames and coconut water) but after compiling a list of my favorite movies about shoes, I felt compelled to build a follow up! Music, much like shoes, is a very important facet in my life, so why not combine the two into something acoustically pleasing inspired by that of aesthetic greatness? Shoe songs! What a concept. While there have been many, I have whittled my list down to 5 of what I consider to be the very best songs about shoes.

 

Kenny Loggins - Footloose
5. Kenny Loggins – “Footloose”

This may just be my affinity for young Kevin Bacon talking, but this is a classic shoe tune. It’s a quintessential 80’s song that can’t help but bring a smile to your face, but ultimately it is a serious ditty about a man’s inner struggle to combat his absolute need to dance with his need to fit into a strict society where dancing is not allowed. Oh the inner turmoil and torture! So dark, such overwhelming angst! Kidding.The title track from the wonderfully cheesy 80’s flick Footloose, thing song is fun, great for dancing and an absolute wedding reception staple. This song even got Grandma Joan tapping her toes when it played at my last cousins reception. Not to mention, Sarah Jessica Parker stars in this flick pre Carrie Bradshaw! Those are some serious shoe roots. So kick off those Sunday shoes (or don’t, if they are cute and you can dance in them) and enjoy.

The Beatles - Old Brown Shoe
4. The Beatles – “Old Brown Shoe”

Ahhh, The Beatles. While not everyone is a fan, it is hard to find a person who doesn’t enjoy at least one song. With such a diverse catalog, these gents covered quite a span of music tastes. This song, which features George Harrison on vocals, was originally released as a B-side to “The Ballad of John and Yoko” and displays those four blokes in all of their “we are going through a weird drug phase” glory. Plus it’s one of those tracks with George Harrison on vocals, a bit of a rarity for Beatles hits (obviously not as rare as a Ringo song…poor Ringo), which makes it even more wonderful.

KC and the Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes

3. KC and the Sunshine Band – “Boogie Shoes”

This playfully suggestive disco hit (are they really talking about dancing?) was featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and is undoubtedly a song to shake your hips to (in whatever fashion you’d prefer). This tune takes me back when John Travolta was a dreamy blue eyed babe (granted I wasn’t alive at the time, but I’ve seen photos) before he got all bald and starting sporting a weird goatee for Battlefield Earth. Yowch. It just makes me want to throw on my pair of highwaisted bell bottom jeans, which I do in fact own and are wonderful, with some far too tall heels and attempt to dance the night away. Boogie. Shoes. Yes please.

Carl Perkins - Blue Suede Shoes

2. Carl Perkins – “Blue Suede Shoes”

While this song was made popular by the late great Elvis Presley, it was originally written and first performed by Mr. Perkins himself. A fantastic tune of it’s time, if I was a mother when this was released I would have certainly been scared of the hip shaking it induced! This song is not only fun, catchy and made of toe tapping greatness but it also stresses the importance of shoes. Shoes over everything! The lyrics state “you can do anything, but lay off of my blue suede shoes”. And he literally means anything. Arson, theft, slander, enacting violence on his FACE, but when it comes to the shoes you better back the hell off. Well put Perkins, well put.

Nancy Sinatra - These Boots are Made for Walking
1. Nancy Sinatra – “These Boots Are Made for Walking”

This song is sexy. Play it in your room while trying on a pair of boots and try not to feel like a vixen. I dare you. This addictive 60’s hit is the perfect song about shoes: sexy, fun, flirtatious, catchy and it let’s the shoes do all the work. The boots are the star of the song! They own the song, and some day they will own you. I don’t know about you, but I find a bit of truth in these lyrics (serious debt to a shoe addiction?). Interestingly enough, after it’s release this song was widely considered a disappointment after the career legacy of her father Frank. Admittedly, those are some rather big shoes to fill (pun definitely intended), but later on it became one of the most addictive songs of the 60’s. While she never had another hit, this iconic song lives on today as a fantastically sexy ballad to the one we call shoe. Play it again!

I know I left out plenty of greats. What are you favorites?