Manolo Blahnik Suede Ankle Boot for the Monday

Manolo says, from Aquinas:

Pulchritudo non habet rationem appetibilis nisi inquantum induit rationem boni: Sic enim et verum appetibile est: Sed secundum rationem propriam habet claritatem

Our friend Eco says that this is Aquinas’s proof that beauty, goodness, and truth are “equivalent and convertible”.

But, the Manolo does not need the Aquinas, nor the Eco, to know this.

All the humble shoeblogger must do to understand that truth and beauty and goodness are the same is gaze upon this…

Manolo Blahnik Pointy-Toed Suede Ankle Boot

The pointy-toed suede snkle boot from the Maestro Manolo Blahnik.


Manolo the Columnist: Stefanie from La Canadienne

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear the Manolo,

I would like to ask for your expert advice and opinion. I bought a pair of tight-fit blue jeans and I need a nice pair of brown or black kneehigh (or a bit lower) walking boots that are comfortable, orthopaedic, and at the same time stylish to wear with them. I want to wear them for years and years and still love them.


Manolo says, this word “orthopaedic”, it is to the shoe connoisseur what the garlic-dipped crucifix is to the vampire, the object of loathing and terror.

How could it be otherwise?

To be the devoted lover of the shoes is to invest our emotions in the objects of beauty and impracticality. The Louboutin with the four inch heels can never be orthopaedic. It is simply impossible. They are as water and oil.

And, yet, because we are not the vampires, but merely people of aesthetic discernment, we must sympathize with those who cannot wear the beautiful and impractical shoes.

To have the painful feets is the greater curse, and so the Manolo as the man of feeling and humanity, must master his revulsion for orthopaedia and help these poor peoples in their time of needs.

Yes, it is true, the Manolo is the humanitarian.

Look! Here is the Stefanie from La Canadienne, the knee-high boot that is not only stylish and comfortable (perhaps even orthopaedic) but also weather proof, just in time for the autumn.

Stefanie Tall Boot from La Canadienne

Manolo the Columnist: Jerico from Vigotti

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column from the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

When I first wrote you, I was but the tender age of 14, entering high school and unsure of my shoe choices. Now, as I enter my senior year of high school I am in need of your help once more. I need a shoe that tells the incoming freshmen, I rule the school but I will still take you under my wing and show you the roller coaster that is high school. A summer’s worth of nannying and future babysitting appointments make price not really a concern but still- I’m only in high school! Hope you can help!


Ayyy, the Manolo has been giving out the shoe advice for so long that the entire generations of the school children have grown to womanhood!

Happily, it appears that the counsel of the Manolo, about how to achieve better living and social domination through beautiful shoes, is having the desired effect.

Indeed, it is clear that the Manolo’s friend, Margo, through careful attention to the Tao of the Manolo, has made it to the pinnacle of teenaged human achievement — the cool, senior girl’s table in the high school cafeteria — without losing her humanity. Yes, she rules the school with the iron fist (hidden behind the velvet pompom) but she has not neglected the little peoples who are her subjects.

Truly, this is our definition of gracious majesty, for Margo has learned one of the centrals truths of the Way of the Manolo: with great shoes comes great responsibility.

Here, in the grey suede, is the Jerico from Vigotti, the reasonably priced ankle boot with the kickin’ rock-n-roll zipper cuff detail.

Jerico from Vigotti


Manolo Blahnik Suede & Raccoon Fur Boot for the Tuesday

Manolo says, it is Tuesday, and you are back at your desk, and the Manolo is finally getting around to welcoming the new week with the short essay.

Yesterday you were saying to yourself, “what gives with the Manolo, he’s usually posted one of his Monday stories by now.”

To which the Manolo would reply, of the course the Manolo was not available! Yesterday was the International Talk Like the Pirate Day!

The Manolo began the celebrations early, and by the time he thought to post his Monday story, the spirits of the day (both abstract pirate good cheer and concrete rum) had already begun to possess the Manolo. Frankly, the phrase, “You arrrrgggh indeed most super fantastic, matey,” does not trip lightly off of the tongue, and so the Manolo decided to retire to his cabin early to recover.

But, today, to make up for it, the Manolo will show you something wonderful….

Manolo Blahnik Suede & Racoon Fur Boot

The suede and raccoon fur boots from the Maestro Manolo Blahnik!

Beautiful pirate boots for beautiful sophisticated womens!


Manolo the Columnist: Paramour from B Brian Atwood

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

Thanks to the double dip recession, the earthquake, the hurricane, and my usually slack ways, I’m a little late getting my fall wardrobe ready this year. What’s the hot color for this season? I need something that will make me feel better about life in general. Please help.


Manolo says, frankly, the Manolo is ready for the 2011 to be over today, so dismal has it been thus far.

But then the 2012 is not looking so good at the moment, either, what with the Presidential Election and the Mayan Calendar Stones Apocalypse both predicted to rend the fabric of civilization in the coming year.

Well, as they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, while the rest of us, like the Manolo, who are not so tough, get going home, where they lie down on the couch with the cold compress over their eyes
and take the little nap.

Later, after the light dinner, and perhaps the pair of revivifying kir royales, the not so tough might then thumb through the latest catalog from the Fifth Avenue of Saks, where they will discover that the hottest color of the season is “bordeaux”, which is strangely similar to “burgundy”, only different, somehow.

Look, here is the Paramour from B Brian Atwood, the autumnal, bordeaux ankle boot in suede and snake-print that will make even the Gloomiest of Gussies feel better.

Paramour Suede and Snake Ankle Boots from B Brian_Atwood


Bottega Veneta Lace and Patent Leather Ankle Boots For the Tuesday

Manolo says, it is Tuesday and you are back at your office, wondering what has happened to the summer. You had such fun plans for the season, including the minor remodeling of the patio.

And then, in the first week of June, these plans was thrown into chaos by the sudden heatwave, when the triple-digit temperatures and the outrageous humidities kept you in the doors next to the air conditioner, watching televised golf and thinking about relocating to Seattle.

It was during this period of forced inactivity, when the plans for the patio metastasized into something much grander. (Let us stipulate that ordinary peoples should not be allowed access to graph paper and back issues of Sunset.)

Finally, when the weather cooled slightly, you began work on the new version of your outdoor living space.

And, so how has it gone?

Let us just say that the pile of bricks, bags of concrete mix, and the half-finished, combination outdoor-kitchen-and-adobe-pizza-oven-and-argentine-parilla which occupies much of the backyard are testimony to your pharaonic ambitions.

Who could have predicted that the bricklaying and the concrete-pouring would require such intense physical labor? Indeed, you have learned that such difficult things are best broken into manageable portions, which is why, at your current rate of production, the new patio should be completed sometime in July of 2044.

Ayyyy! What better way to wash away the bitter taste of failed home improvement projects than with beautiful and refined shoes?

Bottega Veneta Lace and Patent Leather Ankle Boots

Here is the lace and patent leather ankle booties from the Bottega Veneta, the sort of shoe that can only exist in the world in which skilled craftsmen can be hired to do and/or undo the things which we thought we could accomplish on our own!


Miu Miu Glitter & Suede Bow Peep-Toe Ankle Boots For the Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday, over halfway through the summer of your discontent, and frankly you feel as if you are trapped on the treadmill of life. Five days the week it is exactly the same thing, up and out the door to work, up and out the door to work, up and out the door to work… lather, rinse, and repeat.

Sadly, the weekends offer little respite from the repetitive drudgery of the week. On Saturday you must take care of the house, and do the laundry, and the shopping, and perhaps mow the lawn. Then Sunday, it is up and out the door to the church, followed by Sunday afternoon, the saddest part of the week, tainted as it is by the foreknowledge of what awaits you on the Monday morning.

Worse, on Sundays you are always made aware that this discontent you suffer is in vaguely immoral.

Indeed, in the church on Sunday morning, as you listened to the report from the mission team in South Sudan you knew just how lucky you were to be you. Any of those South Sudanese would instantly trade their flyblown huts and dung fires for your 2008 Toyota Camry, your colonial 3/2 in the suburbs, and your 40-hour-the-week job at the ImTechCom, Inc.

And yet, knowledge of your good fortune does little to make you feel better about how your life is going. Such is the modern world, no? Discontent and good fortune marching hand-in-hand.

Well, at the least there are beautiful and unusual shoes to take us out of ourselves for the briefest instant…

Miu Miu Glitter and Suede Bow Pumps

Unusual shoes such as the Glitter & Suede Bow Ankle Boots from Miu Miu, which surely must be the work of divine providence.


From the Archives of the Manolo: Dior Boots for the Day After the 4th of July

N.B. Manolo says, occasionally, the Manolo finds that it is difficult to top something he has written in the past. Such is the case with this post, from the Monday after the Fourth of the July, 2008

Manolo says, it is the Monday following the Fourth of July weekend and you are back at your desk, heavily sunburned, your hair still smelling of gunpowder and antiseptic balm.

Thanks to your husband, it was “the weekend to remember”.

Indeed how could you ever forget that headline in the Saturday morning newspaper, “Fireworks Hijinks Send Local Man to Emergency Room.”

“Well, it could be worse,” you think to yourself, “at least they managed to sew them back on.”

Still, your nerves are jittery, you think you might be slightly deafened in one ear, and your co-workers are sniggering behind your back about “Billy Ray’s” latest misadventures with the explosives.

You are tempted to stand up and shout, “Yes, his middle name is Ray, but he goes by William, dammit! Not Billy Ray! And he’s a good man!” But you know that it will do no good for they are louts and malcontents and petty peoples with no respect for those who dream big.

Oh, how you will have the last laugh on them, when your man clears that final technical hurdle and solves the difficult problem of turning kudzu into the cheap ethanol-based fuel.

“Think of it, honey,” he says to you so often, ” two birds with one stone! Kudzu and OPEC gone forever!”

You have already promised yourself that on that day you will march into the office and quit in the most spectacular, bridge-burning..no, no… BRIDGE-EXPLODING manner possible.

Naturally you will need your marching boots, something extravagant like these gorgeous python-print knee-high boots from Dior!

Christian Dior Python Knee-High Boots


Botas Picuadas

Mexican Botas Picuadas, Pointy Toes!

Manolo says, many of the Manolo’s internet friends have been emailing him, asking him to comment on the article in the Daily Mail concerning the Mexican botas picuadas, the crazy pointy-toed boots worn by the peoples from the San Luis Potosi.

To which the Manolo answers, he has already considered this topic in depth, two months ago.

Here are the links:

Botas Exóticas: Pointy-Toes, Poulaines, and Male Display

Botas del Baile Tribal

Botas Exóticas: Mexican Vaquero Elves!

Botas Exoticas: The Leningrad Cowboys

However, to recap, here is the Manolo’s opinion: the key to understanding the trend of the botas picuadas is that it is confined mostly to the teenaged boys, who being the teenaged boys are suffering from the dual curse of excessive testosterone and low common sense.

What more needs to be said?


Aquatalia 2011 Fall Preview

Aquatalia’s new fall line is spectacular. The brand recently got some heavy duty hype due to their boots being the shoes of choice for princess-to-be Kate Middleton. Unfortunately, the shoes Kate chose to parade around in were from an older season and by the time the media buzz hit the the ears of shoe enthusiasts those particular styles were sold out. But fear not! The 2011 Fall line is just as lovely and sure to impress.

I was lucky enough to meet with fashion director Rena Krasnow and preview the new Fall collection. It’s not often that I find myself in midtown Manhattan at noon on a Wednesday, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity of a sneak peek. Rena was gorgeous, charming and incredibly stylish (rocking a pair of Aquatalia boots, obviously).   As we perused the new line and munched on delicious macaroons, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the quality and subtle details that make the collection stand out. The focus on comfort is impressive. Some styles even feature fur lining on the inside of the shoe for extra added coziness. I love a shoe that can please both the observer and the wearer.

Aquatalia Fall 2011 Boots

I found the true standouts of the line to be the boots. Marvin K. has designed a line that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also durable and functional. Fashion with functionality and comfort…what a concept. Many styles also feature a wonderful elastic band feature. This allows for us ladies to cover those cankles or engulf itty bitty calves in boots that are custom made to flatter women of every size. Cute, comfy and clearly fit for a princess.

My personal favorite touch: the red lining and hardware detailing on the back of the boot. So cute.

The new collection also features classic styles in a calf hair camo print. Not my favorites of the line, but the shoes feel amazing and look very luxurious. If camo is your print of choice, these shoes are the way to go.

Aquatalia Calf Hair Fall 2011


The new line will be available nationwide at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks. I just may have to indulge in a pair. New York is a rainy place, but a girl’s still gotta look good.


Botas Exoticas: The Leningrad Cowboys

Manolo says, the Manolo’s internet friend, the Yum Yum, has pointed to high-spirited Finnish rock band known as the Leningrad Cowboys, who for the past twenty years have been wearing the pointy hair and the pointier shoes.

The Leningrad Cowboys and the Botas Exoticas

In 1993, they even did the concert with the Red Army Chorus, of which the video below is the amusing artifact.

To the Manolo, the pointy-toes and pompadours of the Leningrad Cowboys have more in common with the Japanese Rockabilly dancers as the obvious appropriation and exaggeration of the American rock iconography, while the sudden appearance of the botas exoticas of the baile tribal are more sui generis and mysterious.

But, the Manolo leaves it up to you to decide.


Botas Exóticas: Mexican Vaquero Elves!

Manolo says, from the Vice Magazine’s VBS.TV comes this amusing mini-documentary about the Mexican botas exóticas with the pointy-pointy toes.

In this episode of Behind the Seams we head to the dusty city of Matehuala, Mexico in search of the pointiest long-toed cowboy boots ever made. Over the past year, the botas vaqueras exóticas phenomenon has overrun the rodeo dance floors and clubs of this area and even spreading North into Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and any place where big groups of immigrant Mexicans have taken root. We made our way to Desierto Light, one of the clubs in this area where party promoters host dance-offs to music known as Tribal Guarachero. For the finals competition, the 17-year-old prodigy DJ Erick Rincón of the 3ballMTY crew performed for a crowd of adoring pointy-boot wearing raver cowboys.

What makes the Manolo laugh about this video is that like the historic poulaines, some of the botas are now curling back upon themselves in the classic design favored by the elves and the genies.