It’s nothing short of a miracle that Grazia managed to get fifteen whole minutes of Mr Blahnik’s time. Manolo, who needs no introduction as to just how significant a footwear designer he is, is a very, very busy man...
His debut presentation at London Fashion Week today came complete with a film screening in the cinema lair of the Covent Garden Hotel, but with a book on the way (late 2014, we cannot wait) and collections created not only for his mainline but for the runways of Victoria Beckham, Richard Nicoll and more, plus visits to factories, a public speech at the opening of the hats Stephen Jones' created for the late Anna Piaggi in Milano next week… well, you can see why such one-on-one time is so precious.
Manolo Blahnik's Spring/Summer 2014 florals
‘This is my first film and maybe my last, because it’s too much work and too much anxiety!’ exclaims an exuberant Manolo in a shoulder-robed navy suit and green bow tie, ‘I’m not used to these things, but my niece does things like this so it’s ok.’ The decadent silent movie entitled Jealousy, features not only a divine array of turn of the century-inspired heels but also the rather dashing Rupert Everett (‘He’s a modern day Ronald Colman!’). Created two months ago and inspired by Manolo’s love for silent films of the past, he says ‘It’s totally removed from what people expect these days with modernity. And this is modernity interpreted by people who understand and know who I am.’
The devil's in the intricate detail: Manolo Blahnik S/S'14.
As for the incredible collection itself, there’s no one reference point to mention. ‘If you were to ever call someone eclectic, I am. This one is very much turn of the century mixed with a bit of Africana, mixed with Baldini, mixed with so many things…’ And in regards to the ladies who will wear them Mr Blahnik is on a mission to consider a younger faction who have more recently discovered his brand, as well as the existing faithful clientele. This particular event marks an important moment: ‘It’s another kind of young kid we’re reaching now, like your magazine, we need that,’ says Manolo. But don’t expect him to concede to pleasing platform wearers out there. ‘I hate them so much! They destroy [a look]. If you are young and tiny and you put platforms on, you look like so bad, out of volume, it’s all wrong… The only way I can… no, I can’t even. I don’t even like tall girls in platforms.’
Mr Blahnik's mules for Victoria Beckham's NYFW show [Getty]
Of course, no Blahnik conversation could be complete without talk of one of his most famous patrons: Sarah Jessica Parker. With the A-lister in the process of creating her own shoe line, has she picked up the phone to get Mr Blahnik’s advice? ‘I love her, I adore her and I’m grateful to her, but it’s nothing to do with me,’ he explains ‘She will be very successful.’ And talking of high profile and prodigious ladies, there’s been much chatter surrounding the already trend-sparking mules created for Victoria Beckham’s catwalk. ‘This is a shoe that’s never ever out of fashion. It’s an easy shoe. The courtesans used to have them, why? Because they kick it off and they didn’t have to fuss around with things. People don’t want too much fuss about shoes. They buy pumps or things that you don’t have to bother with. Even better they like mules.’ So there you have it – the official new shoes for girls on the go.