45 posts tagged "Manolo Blahnik"
Think Chinese foot binding died out with the Qing Dynasty? Think again! According to a report in The New York Times, well-to-do women are seeking out plastic surgery so their tootsies can painlessly slip into high-fashion kicks by the likes of Christian Louboutin, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Manolo Blahnik. “On the surface, it looked shallow,” offered podiatrist Dr. Ali Sadrieh, who performs a variety of face-lifts for the feet. “But I came to see she needs these shoes to project confidence, they are part of her outside skin. That’s the real world.” I’d have to imagine that his definition of the “real world” is a loose one or, at the very least, exclusive to moneyed locales like Park Avenue and Beverly Hills.
Wouldn’t commissioning custom shoes or, maybe, petitioning designers to make more wearable stilettos be ever-so-slightly less shallow, not to mention less expensive? You could also try my (only mildly less ridiculous) method of choice—foot Pilates—for which I’m frequently, and rightly, laughed at by my friends. Even better, you could just buy Prada, who, thanks to its embrace of wide soles, makes some of the most comfortable skyscrapers on the planet.
We’re the first to admit that heels are a powerful thing. Each season we manage to add a few (or a dozen) must-have pairs to our overstuffed wardrobes. And why? Is it because heels are sexy? Flattering? Outfit-making? Or just fun to wear? The Brooklyn Museum will explore these questions (and many more) with its upcoming exhibition Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe. On view from September 10, the exhibit will feature 160 heels from as early as the 17th century to today. A main focus will be the sculptural, architectural, and artistic qualities of high heels, which range from the wearable to the avant-garde. On one end of the spectrum will be designs by household names like Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Chanel, and Roger Vivier, on the other, conceptual styles by Iris van Herpen, Elsa Schiaparelli, Zaha Hadid, and many more.
Highlights from the exhibit include Marilyn Monroe’s Ferragamo stilettos from 1959; silk, metal, and glass mules by Vivier for House of Dior from 1960; Céline’s mink-covered pumps from Spring ’13; eight-inch platforms designed by Rem D. Koolhaas for Lady Gaga; and mind-bending 3-D-printed heels by Van Herpen.
In addition to the show, there will be a fully illustrated catalog with essays by Stefano Tonchi, Lisa Small, and Caroline Weber, as well as six short films inspired by high heels. The films were commissioned from artists including Steven Klein, Nick Knight, and Marilyn Minter. The full exhibition will also be traveling to other venues, which have yet to be announced.
Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe will run from September 10, 2014 through February 15, 2015 at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238. For more information, visit brooklynmuseum.org.
Seventy-one-year-old footwear designer Manolo Blahnik—the man, the legend—disclosed some real gems to The Guardian this weekend. Most interesting was his comment about his love life—or lack thereof. “I don’t fall in love with people, I fall in love with art. Relationships for me are a no-no,” he said. “Imagine having to talk to someone all the time or waking up with them breathing all over you. Not for me at all. I find it very uncivilized.” Wise words, though I wouldn’t mind having a love affair with a pair of Blahnik’s stilettos. The designer also stated that he is “old-fashioned and proud. I hate e-mails, but the Internet can be wonderful. I use it to buy rare books, and to binge-watch House of Cards on Netflix.” And he even offered up some life advice: “Remain dignified, dress well, be good to other people and you’ll be fine.” Who knew Manolo moonlit as a philosopher?
It’s been a decade since the ladies of Sex and the City last kicked off their stilettos. But even after all these years; a pair of blockbuster films; and a very real re-examination of what it means to live, date, and shop in New York, few women define our relationship with shoes like Sarah Jessica Parker’s Manolo-sporting Carrie Bradshaw. This week, the actress will launch a line of her very own with (who else?) Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus. The wares are simple, single-soled, everyday pumps, flats, and sandals that will retail in the $300 range at Nordstrom starting February 28. No sky-high spikes or flame-embellished mules here. Just Italian-crafted (save the Spanish-made espadrilles), warm-hued basics meant for the women looking for a taste of Carrie’s sartorial adventures. We sat down with Parker and Malkemus to talk about why color is the new neutral, what it takes to design the perfect—and not too cheap, not too pricey—heel, and how the SJP shoe philosophy has evolved over the years.
How did the collection come about?
Sarah Jessica Parker: The opportunities had been orbiting and I kept having a hard time saying yes—and that puzzled me. I would honestly lay in bed at night and think to myself, “What is the problem?” And I went to lunch one day with a group of successful women, and they were encouraging me to do a shoe line. They said, “Well, what’s the problem? You have all this money and all these opportunities.” And I said, “It’s just not about that, obviously. Do you know what? To be honest, what I would really love is to be a partner with George.” I didn’t know him super well, but we had spent the past twelve years working together on Sex and the City and I certainly admired his business and the way he conducted his relationship with Pat Field and me. And they said, “Why don’t you call him?” And I said, “You know what? Screw it. I’m just going to be brave. Because the worst he can say is ‘no.’”
George Malkemus: Which I didn’t!
SJP: And so began this thrilling conversation.
Can you tell me a bit about the concept behind the collection?
SJP: We wanted to revisit the single sole—where did it go? We found, much to our delight, that our reference points are the same, and we had an idea of this particular woman in our head. She wears color as a neutral and doesn’t think black totally is necessary. “Appropriate” footwear was not something that we were interested in. And we thought of all those great shoemakers from the late seventies, all those wonderful shoe stores…that’s how it all began. George found us a great shoemaker in Tuscany.
GM: Third generation.
SJP: We found a great person in Spain to make our espadrilles—to really make the shoes the way we wanted at a price point I felt comfortable with.
The shoes are an investment, but they’re not unobtainable.
GM: That’s the key word! Investment. That’s the thing we want to have. If you have a pump from Sarah Jessica’s collection, five years from now that pump will still be in our collection in many different colorways.
SJP: You shouldn’t feel regretful when you look in your closet and think, “Boy, that feels out of fashion.”
Well, these shoes are simple. There’s nothing super-trendy about them.
SJP: That wouldn’t be something I would do well.
GM: And I don’t think that’s what I would want us to do. I take personal offense when a woman spends huge amounts of money, and then after a certain amount of time, feels like she can’t wear it. Or, if she walks into a party and someone says, “Oh, my God! You wore those last wedding when so-and-so got married for the first time! And now they’re getting married for the second time and you’re still wearing the same shoes…and you’re still not married! Because you bought those shoes!”
SJP: Wow! What an amazing leap to those connections!