It’s true. Some girls don’t wear high heels very often. Some girls prefer to have flat and comfortable feet. Can you believe it? I am not that girl, I mean, heck yeah I run around in my tatty Converse on an average day but, I’m a girl who likes her heels, and walking around a city all day with height is something I am known to do. Call me cray-cray, but I’ll suffer a little if it means I can get my sass on and feel like I’m strutting. I like that feeling. The strut. Not the ache and rub. But I’ll endure. I enjoy wearing heels, I genuinely do.
So when the V&A announced ‘An Evening with Manolo Blahnik’ I hot-footed it down to that place pronto, to meet in person, the ‘Holy Man of Heels’! After my gorgeous evening here with Cindy Crawford, I know these V&A events are ace; relaxed and informal and a great insight into iconic people. Packed in the small lecture theatre on a Friday night, the audience was, again, mostly women but we were all united, all adorers of this man’s magical SHOES! Swoooon.
Blahnik is a cute guy, a 72 year old Spanish man who gestures so much with his hands that the microphone he was holding was only intermittently near his mouth, so there was a genuine humour to the chat. He was talking with Italian Editor of W Magazine, Gianluca Longo. Watching the two men speak together with moving microphones, neither in their mother tongue was unintentionally and endearingly comical. Blahnik is a funny guy, he reminded me of my German Grandmother with his sweet humour; ‘After the war it was hard, we couldn’t get copies of Vogue’ he said as the room giggled, he too found the funny in his comment.
Blahnik chatted about his inspirations – many from historical references – Italian classicism, museums, ‘I love what the beauty in them tells me’, and old silent movies. His work is exceptionally well-known because of movies and TV. Sex and The city is the biggie which made us all fall even harder in love with his work. His shoes are iconic in status and I adore them. I love them differently to how I love my other favorites; Louboutin’s. Blahnik’s shoes feel more feminine,more theatrical, more enchanting and magical. But I love Louboutin’s equally for their unashamed sexuality and sharpness. I want to own shoes from both designers. OBVS.
Asked why he became a Shoe Designer, he seemed to feel he always had a natural obsession with shoes. He remembers his Mother going out in heels. I guess we all see our Mother’s shoes from close-up when we are young and it triggers a fascination. I personally remember drawing a smiley face into a hole in my Mum’s tights when she was standing doing the washing up. What we look at when we are young goes towards defining what appeals throughout our lives, I guess. Seeing women wear high heels from a youngsters viewpoint, from a low down angle, it would make sense to grow up loving women’s shoes.
‘My idea of fun was watching women in heels, they become something else in them’ Yes. Yes we do. And in yours Manolo, it’s even more wonderful.