When you think of Manolo Blahnik, your mind most likely turns to Carrie Bradshaw’s adoration and incredibly stocked closet of the esteemed brand. After all, his shoes are so gorgeous that the fiction fashion icon proclaimed, “I wanted to let you know that I’m getting married; to myself. I’m registered at Manolo Blahnik.” Since his first collection debut in 1972, Spanish-born Manuel “Manolo” Blahnik Rodriguez has brought classical elegance back to the forefront of fashion.
His legend status makes it even more surprising that the Spring 2014 collection was the first to show during a fashion week. “Everything is becoming so transparent,” the 71-year-old designer started, “with all this technology, with the blogs and tweets, and I wanted to get more in touch with normal people.” Luckily for us, that meant showcasing his luscious collection during London Fashion Week.
Inspired by the turn of the 20th century, the collection is filled with costume jewelry embellishments, vibrant colors, and a flair for the dramatic. Truly, the use of color blocking, tiered satin, and pleated silk harkens back to a time where women gladly spent a third of the household income on fashion and frippery. The modern twist? The use of braided leather and hyper-futuristic mesh ensure that the collection doesn’t become too stuffy. We especially love the use of tassels and the elaborate embroidery on many of the mules and kitten heels – they embrace Spanish history in only a way a Spaniard could. It might be over forty years since his first collection, but his attraction to sophistication and decadence has never wavered.
If you want to see this gorgeous collection in motion, Manolo Blahnik’s first feature film entitled Jealousy! showcases the old glamor collection beautifully. The silent film embraces the decadence and drama that epitomizes the era from which he drew inspiration, bringing it to the modern day.
If his mainline collection is a little too old world for your tastes, there is a very good chance that the fantastic and minimalist designs he created for Osman, Victoria Beckham, and Richard Nicoll’s collections are perfect for your wardrobe.
Agapax d’Orsay pump in leather & suede with a whipstitch trim and long leather ankle-wrap laces
Aghatax bootie with a striped canvas heel and multicolor suede fringe front panel
Ares double ankle-strap sandal in purple & red leather with a ruched thick toe strap
The classic BB pump is also available in several colors & height options (made-to-order) at the Neiman Marcus
BB Strap pointed-toe pump with a thin ankle-strap ; available in black suede at Saks Fifth Avenue
Biton t-strap pump in rust & blue canvas accented with tonal tassel fringe
Boniato pink suede sandal with multicolor color suede swatches at the toe; available at ShopSavannahs
Indian mesh pointed-toe pump with tonal lace embroidery and leather covered heel
Krivog slingback d’Orsay pump in patent leather with a loose knit toe and patent leather trim
Kuanta strappy slingback sandal in blue & brown leather with daisy appliqué
Llanis leather slingback sandal with a wide buckled front strap and whipstitch trim
Merlota strappy two-tone leather sandal covered with matching leather shapes
Natuk tricolor ruched leather peep-toe pump; available at Bergdorf Goodman
Nigata strappy leather sandal with two brass emblems connected to the ankle-strap
Norf two-tone leather sandal in raspberry & white with wavy cut-out straps and black leather trim
Taulida spectator wing-tip sandal, Bipunta cap-toe pump, Ronda snakeskin sandal
Persefa colorful leather t-strap sandal embellished with multiple silver-tone buckles
Plusanda d’Orsay sandal with contrasting embroidered lace; available at Bergdorf Goodman
Puktis d’Osay slingback pump in canvas with contrasting leather trim and leather covered heel
Quadrax colorful leather sandal with giraffe and zebra printed front panels
Reya silk satin d’Orsay pump in chartreuse, cream and red with a front ankle-tie
Rondinaia leather and canvas slingback sandal with a layered cut-out circular front panel
Rouer white leather pointed-toe pump with a tricolor layered leather detail at the toe
Snayl two-tone woven canvas slingback sandal with leather trim and covered heel
Trebula ruched silk santin sandal with a polka dot insole in black, burnt orange and fuchsia
Twiga strappy sandal in white and green leather with leather leaf appliqué
Worty snakeskin & leather strappy sandal with a buckled slingback strap
Zilax black leather sandal with a thin toe strap and silver-tone grommet accents; available at Bergdorf Goodman
Written by Shannon Weston