Manolo Blahnik

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9780060196844: Manolo Blahnik

For many years Manolo Blahnik was the open secret of the fashion world, his shoes de rigeur for any stylish woman. Then, with "Absolutely Fabulous", in which his name was mentioned at least once every programme, he became world-famous to millions. This book takes us inside his homes and factory, to show us his life and work.

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Review:

The Spanish designer Manolo Blahnik creates the most sought-after shoes in the world. On a supermodel a Manolo Blahnik shoe completes the perfect ensemble; placed on a pedestal it becomes a minor art object. Colin McDowell's Manolo Blahnik attempts to capture the genuine excitement generated by Blahnik's creations. It is only partly successful. The breathy writing style never rises above fashion-magazine gossip, though the shoes themselves extend beyond fashion into art and sculpture--even metaphysical meaning. The maestro never puts a foot wrong. The finest materials, gorgeous colour, and a sense of the theatrical combine in elegant originals that consistently surprise. We are told that, besides their whimsicality and sexiness, his shoes are extremely comfortable and well made.

Blahnik, "sculptor and engineer", carves each wooden last himself, normally from beech, and supervises the Italian workshops that turn his designs into treasures. His originality is explained by lack of formal training, but it is also clear that Blahnik's success is founded on hard work, eccentricity and boundless energy. The book's photographs and the designer's drawings (especially effective) present the shoes as formal objects in settings replete with rose petals and fashion-photographer textures. As a glimpse into the mechanics of the world of high fashion, Manolo Blahnik works well. Readers interested in contemporary culture, celebrities and the master's thoughts on toe-cleavage and other mysteries will rave about it. --John Stevenson

Book Description:

The last word on Manolo Blahnik, creator of fashion's sexiest shoes.

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