Manolo says, after the excess fabulosity of last evening’s Project Runway, the Manolo requires something calming and classic, something like these new low-heeled pumps, the Carolina from Elie Tahari.
Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back at your desk, slaving away again for The Man. However, today, unlike most other Mondays you are feeling perky and chipper and bubbly and…and…wonderful, for you think that you may possibly, might be maybe in love.
Of the course, you cannot be 100% positively certain, for the modern condition of your generation, which might best be described as detached irony mingled with studied diffidence, has rendered you incapable of fully evaluating such things.
But, there it is again, that incomparably wonderful tingly feeling in the exact center of your chest, together with the shortness of breath that strikes you at odd minutes, with the hot flushes and the sweaty palms.
And one could well imagine that this might be the onset of some terrible illness, except that these symptoms are usually accompanied by bits and pieces of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese, frequently wrapped around powerful mental images of that broad-shouldered, curly-headed young man with the liquid brown eyes.
So that one minute you are working on the Barfflefarb account, when whammo!
I think of thee!–my thoughts do twine and bud
About thee, as wild vines, about a tree,
Put out broad leaves, and soon there’s nought to see
Except the straggling green which hides the wood.
Yet, O my palm-tree, be it understood
I will not have my thoughts instead of thee
Who art dearer, better! rather, instantly
Renew thy presence. As a strong tree should,
Rustle thy boughs and set thy trunk all bare,
And let these bands of greenery which insphere thee
Drop heavily down,–burst, shattered, everywhere!
Because, in this deep joy to see and hear thee
And breathe within thy shadow a new air,
I do not think of thee–I am too near thee.
“WHERE THE HELL DID THAT COME FROM!” you shout silently to yourself, “I haven’t read Browning since I was thirteen!”
And now your heart is pounding in your chest and sweat is beading on brow, for you are picturing your beloved (“yes, ‘beloved’ that’s the exact word”) with his trunk all bare.
Ayyyyyy! What can this be but love?
The Manolo, who has experience in such matters, would now counsel you to relax, to enjoy what is the greatest of human emotions, terrible in it’s power, sublime in its effects.
Of the course, you will need shoes, beautiful shoes expressive of your condition.
Beautiful, simple, sincere shoes such as this pointy-toed pump from Christian Louboutin, for you have decided in this instant that you have been all wrong about Elizabeth Barrett Browning, that she is the poet after your own heart, the one person–beautiful, simple, and oh so very sincere–who understands exactly how you feel!
Round-toes have pretty much ruled the shoe world for the past decade, with a tenacity that belies their innocently girlish appearance.
But a decade is a century in fashion years (like dog years, but longer and potentially more fatal if underestimated) so it was inevitable that the point should return at some point. And lo, it has come to pass.
At Balenciaga – pretty much the bellwether for trends that the high street masses will be adopting – the gladiator sandals it knocked out last season have been replaced for autumn/ winter by shoes so pointy they will probably double as weapons for the requisite eastern European villainess in the next Bond film.
Even Marc Jacobs, who is surely Coco Chanel’s successor in his tireless promotion of the sweet and girly look, has pushed aside his beloved mouse pumps (literally, ballet pumps with little beaded eyes and whiskers fixed on the tip) for decidedly more grown-up and less rodenty pointier toes, at both his own eponymous label and in the current collection for Louis Vuitton. Similarly, the Lanvin woman seems to have matured from the pretty, round-toed mademoiselle she was just a few seasons ago to a full-on vamp, with black, sharp-toed teetering heels. “Round toes are on their way out and pointy toes are marching back into our wardrobes!” one fashion magazine gleefully announced this month.
And to celebrate the changing of the fashion guard, the Manolo recommends to you this handsome, comfortable, and reasonably priced, pointy-toed demi-d’orsay pump, the Cherry Hill from the Kenneth Cole New York.
Many thanks to the Manolo’s friend Linda Grant, who keeps the Manolo abreast of the English media
Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post
As you know, Easter Sunday is coming up fast, and I need a new pair of shoes suitable for the occasion. Can you recommend something that captures the joyfulness of the season?
Manolo says, how the Manolo absolutely loves the spring, when the flowers bloom, and the birds sing, and the bees buzz, and the bridezillas rampage.
Truly it is the season of joy and shouting.
And, even better, spring is that season when the young Manolo’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of shoes!
Happily, this year there are many seasonally appropriate shoes about which to think. Indeed, among the hottest trends of this new year are the colorful, bright and shiny shoes. All of the shoe stores are now completely full to the brim with marvelous patent leather shoes in reds, and yellows, and greens, and pinks, truly, the entire rainbow of colors is available.
Of the course, Easter requires something in the pink range, something that allows the toes to run riot in the open air, something like these coral-colored, patent-leather, t-strap, peep-toe pumps, the Ilga from the Bally. Do they not fully express the happiness one experiences during this time of the year?
Manolo says, the Manolo commends to you these marvelous white and navy peep-toe pumps from the Dolce and the Gabbana. Are they not beautiful?
What’s that you say, “But Manolo, it is not yet the summer time. I cannot possibly wear the white shoes before the Day of Memorializing.”
Ha! The Manolo scoffs as such fashion timidity.
Are you not the confident, super fantastic, adult person, one who is fully capable of charting her own way in the world? Indeed, you are fashionable woman, hear you roar!
Do not worry what the petty arbiters of outmoded fashion standards say, this is the beautiful shoe, one that can be worn anytime the weather warms. Remember the Manolo’s motto: If the shoe looks good, wear it!
Manolo says, here are the two shoes that properly celebrate the Day of the Presidents.
Above is the Washington from Betsey Johnson, shown here in the color of the silver dollar George Washington threw across the Potomoc River.
This is the Lincoln from Stuart Weitzman, the shiny-penny-colored driving moccasin.
Manolo says, it is not often the Manolo forcefully decries something from the hand of his muse, Miuccia Prada, but this kitten-heel flex pump from Miu Miu is just such the item.
There is no other way to describe this, except, it is just dumb.
Yes, undoubtedly in the wonderfully original and byzantine mind of Miuccia Prada, there is some sort of conceptual-y, ironic-y, post-modern-y thing going on, but here, in the execution of this idea, there is only dumbness.
This shoe could only be worn by the grossest of congenitally ignorant attention seekers. (Insert name of Hollywood starlet here.) Otherwise it is simply unwearable, and indeed, it pains the Manolo to even gaze upon it.
What is perhaps the most troubling for the Manolo is that only last week, the Manolo was praising one of the most beautiful shoes he has ever seen, the truly sublime Prada Corallo Oro sandals.
How is it possible that the same person could be responsible for both items?
And now, the Manolo must go lay down in the darkened room, the cool compress upon his forehead.
Manolo says, above you see the handsome dark navy and cream, mary jane pump from the Marc by Marc Jacobs.
And yes, the Manolo has already announced that 2008 will be the “Year of Color“, but as is so often the case, there is the counter trend to the main trend, running in opposition. So, for the example, the vertiginous platform heels of the last spring were countered by the Torey Burch ballet flats.
This year the counter trend to the colorful shoes are the shoes which combine white with black (or navy and cream, or other variations).
Here are the other example, the Stuart Weitzman peep-toe pumps.
Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
A very fashion forward friend of mine asked the question yesterday, “With regard to shoes for this spring, is beige the new black?” I said I would consult the Manolo who is the only person I trust to have the correct information about the shoes for any season.
Manolo says, there is no “new black”. Black is black and it shall never be replaced as the most essential color (or non-color) in the wardrobe.
This is not to say that there are not important color trends now at work in the world of feetwear, only that the Manolo has grown extremely weary of the phrase “such-and-such is the new black.”
As for these current fashion trends, beige shoes will be prevalent, but the more striking trend this season will be bold colors, and indeed, the Manolo has already declared 2008, the “Year of the Colorful Shoe”
We are already seeing festive shoes that are saturated with bright colors, rich variations of purple, orange, yellow, green, blue, and red.
Look here is the Jade from Via Spiga, the round-toed slingback shown here in the purple patent leather, but also available in yellow and orange. Is this not infinitely more fun than beige?
Manolo says, the Manolo has been feeling especially gloomy these past few days, and so naturally he does what he always does in such situations, look at the shoes.
These crazy, rainbow colored shoes from the Betsey Johnson have made the Manolo smile.
They are fun, and the simple line and lack of other ornamentations makes them wearable. Although, the Manolo suspects that the girl who would successfully wear such shoes would have to be charmingly wacky, the bit of the character, but also careful of avoiding seeming cartoonish or overly eccentric. It is the fine line that must be walked with these shoes.
How to wear such unusual shoes; such are the pleasant puzzles that can occupy the Manolo and take him away, however briefly, from the gloominess that has beset him.
Manolo says, over the next few days, the Manolo will be giving his forecast for the coming years shoe trends.
This next trend, which has been developing over the past year, has now fully arrived, and it is the brightly colored shoes. Currently we are seeing shoes which are saturated with color, not the primary color, but rich variations in the purples, the oranges, the yellows, the greens, the blues, and the reds.
In fact, the Manolo goes so far as to call this the “Year of Color”
This trend to color is visible at all levels of the market. Look, here are affordable shoes from Enzo Angliolini in bright orange and yellow.
And in the more expensive prices, here is deep purple satin slide from Ralph Lauren.
Yellow-ish platform shoes from Bruno Frisoni.
Two varieties of red from the Christian Louboutin.
So, add some colors to your feets this year.