I’ve been an admirer of Mr Blahnik’s for many years so when I discovered that there is a showcase of over 200 of his drool-worthy shoes at the Palazzo Morando, I dragged two of my new friends through the Milanese rain to feed my soul and allow my feet to go green with jealousy.

I don’t want to write too much here.  The images say it all.  But some info bytes for peeps that don’t know Manolo:

  • Born in the Canary Islands in the midst of banana plantations to a Spanish mother and a Czech father (if anyone needs a story to decry their past in favour of what they want to do with their lives, look no further!)
  • He was educated in Switzerland and then moved to Paris then London
  • He worked in a vintage clothing store and wrote for Italian Men’s Vogue
  • He holds an Honorary CBE (medal/pink ribbon – yes pink how cool? – that is an order of the British Empire) bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
  • Blahnik draws and paints each and every one of his designs – some before they are created and some after – but always in pencil and Chinese water colour.  These are works of art in themselves and over 80 of them were on display at The Art of Shoes showcase.
  • Blahnik designed the ostentatious footwear worn by Kirsten Dunst and her actress colleagues in the Sofia Coppola film, Marie Antoinette (image of three pairs in this post including the Chinchilla fur-lined kitten heels).  The visual juxtaposition made by Coppola between Blahnik’s footwear and the spectacular plates of delicious edible treats in the French Royal Court really visually communicate the opulence of the time which made the movie a cinematic sensation.

The obsession that Carrie Bradshaw has with Manolo Blahnik footwear in the Sex and the City series is what started me off on my own delight in his designs, but it was the Rosaurof shoe in silk brocade lined with chinchilla and silk velvet ribbon that took me beyond beautiful luxury shoes and into the realm of art. At this showcase I saw this shoe in the flesh..