22 August 2011

Manolo Blahnik on Kate AND Kate's weddings!

There’s no doubting that Karl Lagerfeld is possessed of a certain wisdom and definite gravitas, but there’s something about Manolo Blahnik that inspires real love and devotion. He just seems like he’s so kind and gentlemanly, we just KNOW that he must know so many fashion people’s secrets, scandalous gossip and titbits, but that he would take them to the grave - and that’s why he’s lasted so long in the biz, and why everyone loves him so much. Oh, that and his elegant, perfectly-made shoes of course. After several years of towering platforms dominating the fashion landscape, during which time Manolo never once bowed to popular opinion and created super elevated ones himself, his thin soled, pointy toed spindle-heeled pumps and ankle boots are set to steam straight to the top of the A/W wish lists, as an atmosphere of 1940’s primness pervades the fashion consciousness. "Those 'furniture' shoes are finally over, or starting to be," he said with satisfaction, to WWD. In terms of being ‘in’ or ‘out’ of fashion, he says ‘I never had a perception about whether it's my time or someone else's time,’ said Blahnik. ‘I don't think I have a time.’

We believe him, especially looking  at his schedule as he approaches what his be his 40th year in the world of shoes, in 2012.

There’ll be a new book; authored by British journalist Camilla Morton, “Manolo Blahnik and the Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker," which Blahnik illustrated, which will go on sale November 1st.

He’s been flying around the world to visit his expanding empire – with many more square feet (chuckle) in US department stores, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks and Neiman Marcus, who describe their choice of Manolos as ‘spot on’ for fall, and as ‘offering a plethora of terribly refined shoes that will only enhance the abundant lady-chic choices throughout our ready-to-wear collections’.

He’s creating a special range for Lane Crawford, based on his archive of designs, plus more there will be space in Milan and Paris stores AND a branch of Manolo Blahnik in Abu Dhabi, in Dubai. The whole world is getting Manolo-ed.

He offered a few thoughts on the Royal Wedding, saying ‘I love pomp and circumstance, and I’m very respectful of tradition, [so the wedding was nice to see]. Kate and William are great [spokespeople] for England. They are so popular, and that will help the country during troubled times. They will bring in a lot of money. It’s nice to see them grow up, but it’s kind of depressing because you realize so much time has passed. I remember William running around at Kensington Palace with his mother.’ Eep!

Picture by Mario Testino for US Vogue


As well as the OTHER wedding of the year; Kate Moss’s, (which Manolo was responsible for the shoes); ‘We did them five times to get them the way she wanted. My workers are the best people. I wouldn’t be here without them. The shoes arrived the day before and there were too many jewels on the heel because of the long train. So we had women working up until midnight to change it. I’ve known Kate since she was a little girl. The wedding was divine. Kate has such a presence. You just have to feel it.’

Too many jewels? Not a problem that affected Terry de Havilland when he created a special pair for Kate’s honeymoon    

And one more thing that makes him feel his age? ‘Technology has been terrible for traditional businesses. I want to go buy a book at the bookstore and see a movie at the movie house, not download them on the Internet. Virgin Megastore has closed. There is only one HMV music store left in London. This is one of my great sadnesses. These things are being taken away from me. And email bores me. I love voices.’

He’s perfect. Just perfect.

-Naomi Attwood


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