Manolo the Columnis: from La Canadienne

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

Dear Manolo,

Now that Fall is here, I find I need some new boots, something that will keep me warm and dry. Did I mention that I’m a poor working girl? I am, so can you please suggest something reasonably priced?


Manolo says, as always the Manolo’s advice is to save up your moneys and purchase the best quality, most super fantasticest shoes possible, as nothing can give as much satisfaction as wearing the pair of beautiful, well-made shoes.

However, the Manolo knows what it is like to be the poor person during the rainy cold season, the poor person who must fashion his own super fantastic winter boots out of plastic soda bottles and bits of home insulation that you have harvested from the abandoned building site near the cave where you keep your Madame Alexander doll collection.

Unfortunately, despite the Manolo’s boundless sympathy, when it comes to the weatherproof boots, unless you are the wizard with the duct tape and the fake fur, you will have to spend some money to get something that will both look good, keep out the weather, and last the long time.

This is why the Manolo is especially fond of the La Canadienne boots. They are made in Montreal, by the French Canadians; people who live in igloos but still care about what is appearing on the runways in Paris.

Here is the Mazy from La Canadienne. It is not cheap, but it is the solid long-term investment in comfort, the sort of handsome weatherproof boot that will be wearable for many winters to come.

Mazy from La Canadienne


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

Tahra from La Canadienne on the Sale

Tahra Boot from La Canadienne

Manolo says, not only do these boots, the Tahra from La Canadienne, have the virtue of being weatherproof (which is the important virtue, indeed, given the severity of this winter), but they also somewhat, if you squint, resemble the super fantastic Metropolitan Railway Boots about which the Manolo has recently blogged.

And look! They are on the sale, reduced more than $60 of the American dollars from the usual price!

Karisse from La Canadienne For the Blizzard of the Century

Manolo says, outside it is 206 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit), and the snow is piled fifteen feets deep on the sidewalks, drifting to twenty-seven feets in the places.

But you have to go out to the Duane Reed because you need the milk, the toilet paper, the cat food, and maybe some smoky taupe eye-liner, because you have just read something at one of the beauty blogs, and you only have the smoky bisque color on the hand.

But you are in the quandary, because your flimsy, unlined rain boots, in the pinkish color, will not keep your feets warm. And the only other suitable feetwear are the fugly moon-boots you brought with you from Wisconsin, and you need to look your best, because you have heard that many of the major banks are closed because of the blizzard, and you suspect that there will be the hunky young investment bankers on the streets, having the spirited snowball fights. (This is Manhattan, yes?)

If only you had bought something practical and stylish, something like these Karisse boots from La Canadienne.

Karisse from La Canadienne

These are the sort of toasty-warm, weatherproof, feminine boots that, paired with the right smoky taupe eye treatment could win the heart of even the most jaded wunderkind.

Ayyyy! And look! They are on the sale! More than $115 of the American dollars off of the usual price!


Manolo the Columnist: Jenny by La Canadienne

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

Dear Manolo,

I love my girlfriend. She is beautiful. Clothes are beautiful because she wears them. And she needs new boots. Hers are all scuffed up beyond what a polish can do. The heel is crumbling.

The problem is that she has very, very particular taste. She wants them to be black, knee high, square toed and with a rectangular/square heel that is no more than 3.5 inches. Here are the difficult restrictions: a) No wedge heels. b) No buckles. c) Nothing with brass or gold, but silver is okay. d) Side zippers are preferable.

Can you help me buy her something for autumn and winter?


Manolo says, while the Manolo appreciates the sentiments which would inspire one to purchase the feetwear for the beloved beauty, he must, as always, caution his friends that proper shoe fitting is exceedingly difficult without the presence of the feets in question, the fact which makes the giving of the shoes as gifts problematic.

Of the course, if one purchases from the establishment with the generous return policy, then such concerns are not prohibitive, and happily, it appears that the Manolo’s friend has carefully studied the tastes and feets of his beloved, and knows what she likes and needs, which is the sensible boot for wearing everyday.

Here is the Jenny from La Canadienne, the simple, strikingly unadorned boots which have the advantage of being weather proof.

Jenny from La Canadienne


Manolo the Columnist: Tami from La Canadienne

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

Dear Manolo,

I very much empathize with your intent in posting cute and fun sandals in the middle of winter. Can I make a request, though? DC is on the middle of a massive snowstorm, and my plans for the weekend involve citywide snowball fights and frolics in the snow with a new beau. Can you suggest attractive boots that are still appropriate for Snowmageddon?


Manolo says, Ayyyyy! It is Snowmageddon! Snowpocalypse! Snowragnarok!

One minute you are having the normal sort of Washington winter, with the little bit of ice, the occasional dusting of snow, and the usual coolish temperatures, and the next, whammo! The Abominable Snow Beast has buried you under three feets of wintery white stuff, with more on the way, bub!

And the District of Columbia, which is not the most efficient governmental entity on the planet, simply throws up its hands and snuggles down by the fire with the warm cup of cocoa, while the citizens are left to their own devices.

Of the course, there is the upside to all of this snow, such as dozens of days off from your job at the Department of Homeland Phrenology, the giant hilarious snow ball fights with your neighbors, and the chance to finally meet Yukon Cornelius.

Look! Here is the Tami from La Canadienne. Perfect!

Tami from La Canadienne   Manolo Likes!  Click!


Manolo the Columnist: Tula from La Canadienne

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

Dear Manolo

I’m off to study abroad in fabulous London for five months beginning this January. My travel books tell me to expect rain, rain, rain, but my beloved Pucci wellies neither fit into my suitcase nor the London fashion scene. Do you have any suggestions for some fab footwear that will get me from my flat to class (then maybe off to Soho for some shopping) and through all of the puddles in between? I’m looking for something under $200…after all, a girl needs a little extra cash for shopping in Paris!


Manolo says, London? What better place to shop for the new pair of Wellingtons, than in the place where they were invented!

Of the course, given the rapidity with which the American dollar has weakened over the past few months, by the time the Manolo’s friend arrives at Heathrow, two hundred dollars will be just enough to purchase the lamentably English meal of baked beans and strange sausages, with perhaps enough left over for the side dish of Marmite.

As for the matter of stylishness, the Manolo thinks few things are as stylish as the Pucci wellingtons, however, if they must stay behind, then the Manolo suggests the weatherproof Tula from La Canadienne to keep you warm, dry, and well-shod as you trudge through the slushy streets of mid-winter London.

Tula from LaCanadienne   Manolo Likes!  Click!


Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

I just got invited to hang with a friend at the Sundance Film Festival, and as a native of the DC Metro area I jumped at it. I hate missing the Inauguration, but the crowds—yikes! Anyway, my friend promised there would be snowboarding, good food, and a party with celebrities. He says it’s going to be cold so I should wear boots. All I have are hot stiletto-heeled boots and crunchy granola hiking boots. What would you recommend?


Manolo says, ayyyy! Such good luck to be invited to the fantabulous Sundance Festival of Films, where the high and the mighty of Hollywood, hob and nob with each other and with the swirling mob of aspiring independent filmmakers, each of whom is desperately attempting to find the distributor for his or her strangely familiar master work.

In the space of the few days, one will be able to see many movies about sassy pregnant teenagers in the suburban upper Midwest; raunchy-but-good-hearted sex comedies about loutish men who in real life would be doomed to solitude; talky movies about drug addicts/mental patients who are mathematical/musical geniuses; and at least one picture about the gay gauchos who express their forbidden love amidst the majestic scenery of the Argentine pampas.

Look here is the Tabitha from La Canadienne. So cute, so weatherproof!

Tabitha from La Canadienne    Manolo Likes!  Click!


The Column of the Manolo

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

Dear Manolo,

I’ve been hired by the development department of my alma mater to be a fundraiser in the upper Midwest. I’ll be traveling a lot this fall, and I need to look sharp, so I’m looking for a pair of boots that will see me through from the airport to the boardroom, and back again. What would you recommend?


Manolo says, ayyyyy! The Manolo’s friend has gone over to the dark side, joining up with the only organization more persistent than the IRS, more tricksy than the CIA, more capable of finding fugitives than the FBI: your college’s fundraising department.

Trust the Manolo, the National Security Administation wishes it had the intelligence gathering capabilities of the average middle-sized liberal arts college development department, so efficient are the fundraisers at figuring out where to direct the guilt-inducing letters and politely hectoring phone calls.

“Hello, Mr. Gibbletson? This is Clancy Snaffleton from Faber College, and I’m calling to remind you that the Annual Fund needs your contribution. What’s that, sir? You’re in the Federal Witness Protection Program? Well, sir, we have our ways. Now how about the Class of ’78 Homecoming Fund?”

Here is the Mango from La Canadienne, in the black crinkle finish that is both attractive and weatherproof.

Mango from La Canadienne    Manolo Likes!  Click!


Winter Boots for the Young Professor

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends has asked the Manolo the question.

Dear Manolo,

I am a young professor. My campus is hilly, the winters are brutal, and the laptop and books I lug to class are very heavy. Is there a pair of black winter boots out there for me? They have to withstand the long walks and the winter storms. They have to look good with black pants. And they should convey innate authority while subtly reminding the world that even professors can be super-fantastic.

Thank you,
No Corduroy Patches

Ayyyy, winter! Is it over yet?

It is no secret that the Manolo is the fan of the La Candadienne boots for the bad weather wearing, especially if one must maintain some level of decorum and professional appearance, even while tromping through the arctic tundra of the frozen northern campus.

And so the Manolo would recommend one of the following two boots as being suitable for his patchless friend.

Terry by La Canadienne    Manolo Likes!  Click!

Here is the Terry from the La Canadienne the retro-stylish, low-boot that is supposedly impervious to the elements. This is the sort of boot that one can wear profitably under the black-on-black urban chic pants.

If the Manolo’s friend were to broaden her wardrobe, with the addition of skirts and tights, the tall boot would be more appropriate.

Katrina from La Canadienne    Manolo Likes!  Click!

This is the Katrina from the La Canadienne, which like the Terry is reputedly weatherproof.

Of the course, the Manolo is assuming that his friend is employed at the place where the bulk of the snow is removed by the appropriate authorities, thus allowing her to wear the heels.

If it is otherwise, where the ice and snow accumulate until the first thaw, and the hills are Himalayan in aspect, the Manolo would recommend something more technological in nature, with stout laces and perhaps crampons.


Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

I’m going to Toronto in three weeks for a series of important business meetings. I’m worried that my shoes, most of which were purchased in Atlanta, will be unsuitable for the weather. What would you recommend?


Manolo says, ayyyy! You are going to Toronto in December! It will be like the trip to the North Pole, with all of the natives riding on reindeer and drinking maple syrup vodka straight from the tree. Pack your skis!

Actually, the Manolo, who has been in Toronto only once, in February, found that the weather was marginally better than Chicago, meaning that one only wished for death when out of doors.

In such cases of extreme climate, the Manolo recommends boots; stout, warm and weatherproof boots, made of something like walrus skin, or narwhal blubber. Of the course, as this is the business trip, one must not wear something that would cause one to lose face with the natives, who, impervious to the weather, appear in public in their shirt-sleeves until their very breath freezes in the air and tinkles to the snow as ice crystals. At which point they put on the windbreakers.

Look, here is the Devine from La Canadienne, the waterproof boot with the slip-resistant sole made in Canada, by elves! It is perfect!

Devine by La Canadienne   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Help for the Boston Girl

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends has asked the Manolo the questions.

Dearest Manolo!

I hope you are well – I’ve been enjoying your column for a while now, and I think you are The Fabulousness.

I have two unique shoe issues. One is that I recently relocated to Boston, and the girls here still think it is ok to wear Uggs. No. Not happening. Boston is heading into the winter season, and I know I will need something other than my cute tall boots from Maestro Fluevog and the very excellent wedge heel Born boot. Something waterproof and warm yet stylish, and able to manage hurdles like “snow drifts” and “cobblestone” and “everyone here is 18 and I feel a million years old”. Am I stuck with fishmongerette boots from LL Bean?

The second bit is that I’m getting married in Hawaii next summer to my amazing, darling fiance. We’re having a casual small beach-y wedding, but I want to still look like a million dollars. I’ve seen some interesting shoes from the aforementioned favorite John Fluevog, but most shoes seem to be too clunky and hot for May on the beach. I want a shoe that isn’t a flip flop with the words “just married” on the bottom, or god forbid PLATFORM FLIP FLOPS, or the typical Miss Piggy maribou-type shoe with the feathers and impossibilty of a bit of sand. Barefoot? Heavens no.

Help me, Obi-wan Manolo, you’re my only hope!


This it is the most amusing letter, one that deserves the careful attention, but first allow the Manolo to quickly dispatch the question about the wintery boots by recommending the boots of the La Canadienne, as being both reasonably priced and suitable for the chilly weather. (How could they be otherwise? They are from Canada, where the bronze loonie dollars must be stretched to cover the extensive winter clothing needs.)

Look here is the Allure from the La Canadienne.

Allure by La Canadienne   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Does it not look toasty warm and stylish?

And now to the shoes of the wedding, the choosing of which the Manolo always finds most difficult.

It is difficult because many of the brides to be invest such intense romantic fantasy longing into the wedding planning; everything must be “perfect” if the wedding is not to be “the failure”.

And so the Manolo is often called upon by his internet friends to pick the “perfect” shoe for the “perfect” wedding, even though the Manolo knowns that the perfect platonic bridal shoe exists only in the mind of the Maker, and that we humans must make do with one of the imperfect shoes available to us.

Still, it is our duty to attempt to find the shoe that comes the closest to the eternal eidos and without rupturing the bank.

Add to this natural difficulty the whole problem of the casual beachy Hawaiian wedding for the girl who loves the Fluevog and the Manolo can only say, aaaayyyyyyyyyyyy!

However, after much of the searching, the Manolo has emerged with the Marion by the Pella Moda.

Marion by Pelle Moda   Manolo Likes! Click!

It is festively pretty with the sea-shell-like stone ornamentation, and the lower heel is sand friendly.

And now the Manolo must go lay down.