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April 18 2014

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43 posts tagged "Manolo Blahnik"

Manolo Blahnik: For the Love of Lizards

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Shoe lovers, rejoice: Manolo Blahnik will present his Fall ’14 collection in New York for the very first time this Sunday. Having spent several seasons off the fashion calendar, Blahnik made a fashion week comeback in London for Spring ’14, and suffice to say, we’re pretty excited that he’s planting his heels in Manhattan this time around. “After the positive response in London, I thought, Why not do the same in New York City?” he said. ” I love New York and the people there. I wanted to give them a chance to see what I really do on a more in-depth scale.” The presentation promises to be appropriately glamorous, and will include a viewing of four short films directed by Michael Roberts that capture Blahnik’s childhood, fashion career, and Fall ’14 inspiration.

The first video in the series, “The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards,” debuts exclusively here on Style.com. The film explores Blahnik’s upbringing in the Canary Islands, where he spent his days exploring lush forests and making tiny foil boots for the reptiles he stumbled across. You might say his career was meant to be. “I always mention to people that my childhood was magical,” Blahnik told Style.com. “It definitely has an effect on my designs. For example, I am sure my love for botany came from being surrounded by unspoiled nature as a child. My memories of it are very beautiful.”

To view all four Manolo Blahnik films, log onto the brand’s official Facebook page this Sunday at www.facebook.com/ManoloBlahnikOfficial

Manolo Blahnik Is in a New York State of Mind

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Manolo

Stateside devotees of Manolo Blahnik’s polished pumps, rejoice! WWD reported this morning that the Spanish shoe guru, who presented in London last season, will hop the pond in February to debut his Fall ’14 collection at a Chelsea gallery in New York. Carrie Bradshaw would no doubt approve.

Photo: John Phillips/ Getty Images

Isabella Blow: Beyond the Eccentric

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2. Isabella Blow, 2002 (c) Diego UchitelCurator Alistair O’Neill only met the late Isabella Blow once. He was at an art opening with designer Julien Macdonald, one of the late, great Blow’s charges, whom he studied with at the Royal College of Art. “Isabella was wearing a famous Philip Treacy hat, which is in the exhibition. It had feathers around the eyes, which covered her nose and her mouth and her forehead,” he recalled. “I spent the evening talking to her and was completely fascinated. But all that I could concentrate on were her eyes, because I couldn’t really see her mouth. I could only just about listen to what she was saying, and I was just mesmerized by this image of these eyes being framed by the feathers. The combination of her intelligence and her laughing was really intoxicating,” he continued. “I’ve never forgotten that.”

On November 20, O’Neill, along with Shonagh Marshall and Central Saint Martins, will aim to bring the editor, patron, and muse’s work and wardrobe to life with the opening of Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at the Somerset House in London. Before her tragic suicide, in 2007, Blow was a pillar of London’s emerging fashion community. Having worked everywhere—from British and American Vogue to The Sunday Times to Tatler—Blow is credited with discovering such designers as Alexander McQueen (as the story goes, she bought his entire graduate collection after it walked down the Central Saint Martins Runway in 1992), milliner Philip Treacy, Jeremy Scott, and Hussein Chalayan, as well as models Sophie Dahl (whom she once described as a “blow-up doll with brains”) and Stella Tennant.

Alexander McQueen and Isabella blow

Aside from being a steadfast supporter of young talents (Treacy and McQueen both lived with her at one point, and she not only gave the designers financial and editorial support but also fed them ideas from her wealth of historical knowledge—fashion and otherwise), Blow, who came from a complicated aristocratic background, was known as a great eccentric—both in her behavior and her dress. Her infamous wardrobe comprised the most extreme pieces by all of the conceptual up-and-comers she helped along the way. And, of course, Treacy’s hats were her screaming signature. Following her death, her sartorial collection was to be sold at Christie’s to settle her estate, but Blow’s friend Daphne Guinness swooped in at the last minute and purchased every piece, because that’s how Isabella—or Issy, as she was known—would have wanted it.

O’Neill, however, did not want to simply paint Blow as an eccentric. “I thought it was important to distance Isabella from those literary ideas of the English eccentric, because they’re often quite tragic,” he explained. “And I’m not sure Isabella was fully tragic—she was quite brave, and very funny. She had a very bored and black humor.” Furthermore, Blow always wore her outfits—whether it be a metallic McQueen corset or an ensemble crafted from brightly hued garbage bags—in a deeply considered manner. “Isabella used her clothes, her hats, and her accessories as a means to modify and transform herself,” said O’Neill. “She had a great eye for silhouette, and her hats were almost a means of plastic surgery for her face, without going under the knife,” added Marshall. “She said they can lift you, they can make you look different, and I think that was something that she really indulged in.” Continue Reading “Isabella Blow: Beyond the Eccentric” »

On Our Radar: Sarah Flint

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Sarah Flint
Footwear designer Sarah Flint may very well be the only 25-year old who can offer this sort of reveal: “at our factory in Vigevano, Italy, they produce Manolo Blahnik, Oscar de la Renta, and Sarah Flint…” Then, she takes a deep breath.

Flint–who launched her eponymous line for Fall ’13 following an education at FIT, an internship at Proenza Schouler, and a technical program at Milan’s Ars Sutoria–is no doubt in good (albeit understandably daunting) company. She wrangled the factory connection through an ex-teacher who once worked as a patternmaker for Blahnik. The old masters certainly rub off on the youngster, too; her shoes are decidedly grown-up and, for the most part, gimmick-free, informed by “the idea of returning to where a design’s basis is the integrity and shape of its materials, rather than the big buckle or the all-over studs.” That focus on form and material is most evident in her charming origami-inspired styles, which feature leather fold-overs along the tips of slippers and peep-toes alike.

Flint also has another big name in her orbit: Heidi Klum. After the designer gifted Klum a pair of booties, the model came back and ordered two more–one in a color not yet in production. “Of course, we made them,” says Flint.

Starting at $545, Sarah Flint is available online at www.sarahflint.com, and at Edon Manor in New York City.

Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Flint

Francesco Russo Steps Out On His Own

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Francesco Russo

Francesco Russo left Sergio Rossi in February, but he hasn’t spent the six months between then and now kicking back. Today, he unveiled the new shoe label that bears not only his name, but also the address of his new Paris shop, 8 rue de Valois, across the street from the Palais Royal. “I want to do beautiful shoes, above the sense of time, above the sense of fashion,” Russo told Style.com. “It’s like Manolo. Manolo did the stiletto from the eighties until today. There was the time of the platform, he didn’t do platforms. He just did whatever he feels. I try to have that luxury. And the fact that I have my own name now, I can have that luxury.” True to his word, there are no platforms among the 25 styles in his Spring debut. Russo has done flat gladiator sandals and a 25-millimeter leopard print not-quite-kitten-heel pump; for the most part, though, he’s a stiletto man. His anti-trend stance means the palette and materials are quite restrained. Black, brown, shades of nude, and metallic silver encompass the color range, and the materials include leather, pony hair, and crocodile. Classic doesn’t mean conventional, however. Many of the shoes incorporate extraordinary work, a pump stitched together from small arches of crocodile being a prime example. As for the shop, it ‘s housed in what is said to be the city’s first restaurant, which went by the rather fitting name Boeuf de la Mode in the 18th century. The boutique will open for business during the couture shows in January. This week it’s acting as a showroom for appointments with big department stores.

Photo: Courtesy of Francesco Russo