Manolo Mania

Manolo says, this it is why the humble Manolo the Shoeblogger adores the most gracious Maestro Manolo.

Looking dapper in a powder blue suit with a checkered bowtie, the 62-year-old Blahnik happily signed shoe after shoe while mugging for the cameras with excited fans. He was animated and jovial, and seemed genuinely appreciative of everyone who came, even making a point to thank each person for buying his shoes.

The Joy of Shoes

Manolo says, ayyyyyy! There is the super fantatastic article about the shoes in this month’s edition of the National Geographic, entitled The Joy of Shoes!National Geographic

Naturally, there are many pictures, but it is the writing that speaks most wonderfully to the Manolo. Here is the sample.

Olga Berluti loves men’s feet—a passion, not a fetish, she says. The passion began with her convent schooling in Italy. A long corridor led to the chapel and a 14th-century statue of Christ. “I would approach the altar,” she remembers. “The nailed feet of Christ were exactly on the same level as my eyes. I stared and stared. I said to myself: When I am older, I will remove the nails. I will relieve the suffering of men’s feet.”

Berluti, small and slight with short black hair and eyes so dark they seem to be all pupil, does not seem tethered to the ground. She lives simply, does not eat meat and does not wear leather (“My life is flesh and blood already”). She wears only natural fibers—always white. On her feet: white cotton sneakers in summer, white wool shoes in winter. She is an ascetic in a universe of extravagance. “I sublimate myself. I suffer. I have spent my life at men’s feet,” says Olga, Our Lady of Shoes.

She speaks in Celtic rune and Delphic pronouncement. “Man is a vagabond deluxe. We are moving through to the perfection of gesture,” she says. So what if the utterances make little sense. We are talking mystique and shoes with the chiaroscuro of a Caravaggio. We are talking shoes with the sleek, menacing profile of a mako shark, shoes decorated with piercings, tattoos, sometimes scars. They are shoes, she says, for the hidden warrior inside every man. Shoes, also, for the man with four to twelve thousand dollars to spend on a made-to-order dream.

Her atelier, in an 18th-century building in Paris’s Marais, is a stage set. A shoemaker’s bench with rows of apothecary bottles sits in the corner. Do the bottles contain essence of sorrow? Tincture of pain? No, merely fragrant oils and dyes. The lasts—she calls them ex-votos—of Berluti’s famous clientele rest on low tables. There are lasts that belonged to Pablo Picasso (“We made his sandals”); Jean Cocteau (“He liked to wear shoes without socks”); Andy Warhol (“He asked for his right loafer to be patched—and be very visible”).

Once a year Olga Berluti invites clients to the Swann Club soiree, a black-tie affair, with champagne, not just to drink, but to clean shoes. “The alcohol makes them shine, but it must be chilled; it must be a very dry, a grand champagne.”

In Olga Berluti’s world, the relationship between man and shoe is complex. “Shoes adopt and tame you, and you adopt and tame them, like domesticating a wild animal,” she says. “You buy a pair of shoes you adore, but they are too edgy, too avant-garde. Perhaps your wife made you buy them. You put them away, and little by little this style, this color you’re not used to seeps in. You buy a jacket that goes with them, or a different color shirt. One day, you realize you have become the man your wife envisioned. The shoes revealed something new, something unexpected in you.”

The Manolo he has commented in the past about the divine Olga Berluti, whom the Manolo considers to be his kindred soul.

Speaking of the kindred souls, there is, of the course, the wonderful section about the Maestro Manolo Blahnik, whom your humble shoeblogger worships, and who can perfectly express why we who love the shoes love the shoes.

Still, it is pointed out, it is only a shoe.

Blahnik nods. “Yes, only a shoe, but if I provide escape for the woman who wears it, if for only a few minutes, it brings a bit of happiness to someone, well, then, perhaps, it is something more than a shoe.”

It is so true.

Now, you must go to the website of the National Geographic and see this marvelous production.

Monday Morning Bling Bling

Manolo Blahnik Metallic Silver Thong Sandals      The Shoeblogger Likes!  Click!
Manolo says, here for you to start off the first day of the new week are the Sandals of Bling from the Maestro Manolo Blahnik.

From the Party of the Year

Manolo says, behold, scenes from the carpet of red at the opening of latest show of Museum of Metropolitan Art’s Costume Institute.

Galliano! With the Charlize! And the blondy shaggy poodle doo!

Apparently, in many states the beastility is not illegal.

Darth Talley and his evil consort

Il maestro di tutti maestri.

APR
2006
24

The Stamps of the Maestro

Manolo says, this it is the photoshopped confection, however, is it not brilliant none the less?

P.S. Many thanks to the Magista who sent this to the Manolo the Shoeblogger, and many congratulations to the super fantastic Ivanas, who designed this marvelous tribute to the Maestro Manolo.

APR
2006
03

Celebrate!

Circle-Print  Buckle  Mules from Manolo Blahnik      Manolo Likes!  Click!

Manolo says, today it is the day of festivities, and what better way to celebrate than with the most exuberant and festive shoes the Manolo can find, in this case, the wild and beautiful buckle mules from the Masestro Manolo Blahnik.

MAR
2006
24

The Maestro Manolo Candle

The Manolo Blahnik Candle

Manolo says, ayyyyyyy! The Maestro Manolo Candle!!

FEB
2006
14

Roses for the Day of Valentine

by Manolo Blahnik     Manolo Likes!
Manolo says, what better way to celebrate the dinner for the Dia de Valentin with the certain hunky someone than by wearing the magnificent rose-detailed shoes from the Maestro Manolo Blahnik?

JAN
2006
02

Blahnik for the Winter

Manolo Blahnik Winter Boot

Manolo says, what better way to face the dark days of the winter than with the fur-trimmed boot from the Maestro Manolo Blahink.

DEC
2005
21

The $14,000 Boots

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends has sent the Manolo the link to the article in the Forbes Magazine about the most expensive shoes for the womens.

Market analysts are keenly aware of the trend toward extravagant shoe-spending. “Footwear has become a fanatical purchase for even those women who never had a footwear fetish before,” says Marshal Cohen, chief analyst at The NPD Group. “Apparel is no longer the highest priority in women’s wardrobes: handbags and footwear have become the signature items used to project personal taste, wealth and style.”

Cohen estimates that shoes costing $1,000 and up account for less than 1% of total women’s fashion footwear sales (fashion footwear is defined as anything other than athletic), but he acknowledges a growing group of women willing to pay more for their shoes now than they ever have been before. “It changed as early as a year-and-a-half ago but picked up steam in the past six months. Women consider footwear their signature item now.”

Indeed, it is exactly as the Manolo has been saying for many of the years now, it is the feetwears that matter the most.

So, why are the expensive shoes so costly?

“When we’re talking about shoes at $14,000, it’s the materials,” says Michael Fink, senior fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. “Leather and the pattern and type of wood they’re using, the jewels, are the beads hand done, how rare are the feathers–because a lot of shoes with feathers are using feathers that can’t be gathered anymore, from the archives of the couture feather houses. “Roger Vivier shoes have a specific curved heel, and the way it is attached to the footbed is very mechanical and difficult, so you’re paying for engineering, too,” Fink says.

Randall has seen firsthand how using the priciest materials can drive up the cost of a shoe. “Most beautifully made shoes are from Italy. The master craftspeople are there, and Italian leather is the best leather in the world.”

Mmmm, italian leather.

What does the $14,000 shoe look like?

Like this.
The $14,000 Boot

This it is the alligator boot from the maestro Manolo Blahnik. Magnificent, no?

To the mind of the humble Shoeblogger, the costliness it is perfectly justified.

Of the course, not every expensive boot is worth the price.

DEC
2005
20

Samurai Suzy Speaks!

Blahnik by Boman: Shoes, Photographs, Conversation

Manolo says, the Samurai Suzy she gives the endorsement of the whole heartedness to the Manolo’s favorite book of the 2005.

They call it “a photographic conversation,” and the result is a book for every fashionista to lust for in her Xmas stocking. “Blahnik by Boman” (Thames & Hudson), with its shoe trailing a peacock tail through a shrubbery or its purple suede boot spilling over with lilac blooms, has an atomic sexual charge and a luscious sense of decoration.

Eric Boman photographed his friend Manolo Blahnik’s work in all its delicacy and intensity. As Paloma Picasso, part of the trio who met up in Paris in the 1960s, puts it: “Eric has been able to give Manolo’s creations the perfect setting in which to bloom before our eyes.” Her words and Blahnik’s exuberant, tangential, culture-packed commentary add an extra dimension to the book and its exceptional images.

[…]

It is rare for a book to capture so completely the visual, emotional and intellectual spirit of a designer, without any of the usual vainglory or sugary endorsements. The playful, elegant images – 165 in full plates – are a fitting tribute to the drama and craftsmanship of both cobbler and photographer.

Truly it is the most wonderful book, the perfect gicft for the person who loves the shoes.

Happy Birthday to the Maestro!

Manolo shouts, Happy Birthday to the Maestro Manolo Blahnik!

Born this date in the 1942.

We are not worthy.