Manolo Blahnik

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Manolo Blahnik
Al Ghurair centre magazine
Manolo
Blahnik
says that perhaps it comes from the fact that
the word stiletto means a very thin sharp
knife. “It kind of gives the impression of being dangerous in some way,” she says. “You
could definitely use them as a weapon. But
really their style power is the difference
they make to an outfit… If you’re wearing
a cheap dress, but you’ve got good quality
shoes, you can look amazing. If you’re wearing the most fabulous dress, but with the
wrong shoes, you’d better stay at home.” According to Ana, shoe adoration is universal
amongst women. She says, “I rarely meet a
woman who doesn’t care about shoes and,
when I do, I just can’t believe it. I think, ‘Are
you a woman or what?’”
A poll by survey specialists The Grindstone reports that 16 per cent of women
would wear heels that were hurting them
because “power is everything,” while the
American Podiatric Medical Association
found that 42 per cent of women would
wear a shoe they liked, even if it hurt them.
Why? Because stilettos have transcended
from the role of fashionable footwear to
become a status symbol, an expression of
strong character, and our trusty go-to pick-
FEB 2014 / issue two
However, the ever-evolving identity of
fierce spike-heeled shoes has shifted slightly
once again. In the ‘50s stilettos represented
freedom from strict gender roles and the
opportunity to enter the workforce. In the
‘80s, they represented women’s ability to
be as successful and assertive as men. Now,
in the mid 2010s, not only do stilettos mean
we can own a board meeting, but, thanks
to Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw and
her relentless stiletto obsession, they mean
we take our femininity just as seriously as
we do our equality. Put simply, we can rock
the corporate world as well as any man, but
don’t judge if you find us drooling over the
glossy red-lacquered sole of a Louboutin on
our lunch break, or discussing the merits of
the latest leg-elongating stiletto trend at the
water cooler. Just because we are into girls’
stuff, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be taken
seriously. And, just because we want to be
taken seriously, it doesn’t mean we will abstain from girls’ stuff.
Dubai-based author Buffi Jashanmal
is a self-declared stiletto lover. At 5 foot 9
inches, she says that, for her, stilettos aren’t
just about a height advantage, but about a
confidence boost. “I think we feel empowered when we’re wearing heels.” she says.
“As soon as I put on stilettos, my attitude
changes – it’s like putting on a new personality. Being tall, a lot of people say I don’t need
them, but I love wearing them. They make
me feel sexy and confident.”
And it’s not just that we like wearing
stilettos for certain, special occasions. We
generally like to wear them all the time. Jashanmal continues, “There’s really nowhere
you can’t wear stilettos these days, which is
great because they instantly make any outfit
glamorous and sexy.” Jashanmal, whose first
book on dressmaking is about to launch,
was a contestant on Project Runway Season
10, where she included statement stilettos
in all her shows. She says, “Stilettos were an
important part of every look I created.”
Another fan of the spike is Ana Simonovic, whose blog ShoeRA.com has
been celebrating women’s shoe compulsion
for four years and is well known among the
UAE’s fashion lovers. She says, “I wear stilettos all the time… It’s about how I feel when
I’m wearing them… you feel more important and sexier, and that you are more noted
than when you are wearing flats.”
When asked what it is about stilettos
that makes them so powerful, Simonovic
Another perennial favourite of
the girls in Sex And The City,
‘Manolos’ are instantly recognizable – think light and strappy
with a variety of frills – and have
achieved cult status around the
world. In that 2000 episode of
SATC, a mugger demands that
Carrie Bradshaw hands over
her watch and her ring, and her
Manolo Blahniks. Carrie would
rather hand over anything but
her favourite pair of Manolos,
which sums up the impact the
shoes have made on the psyche
of fashion-conscious women
since the 1990s.
me-up when our ego needs an injection of
sparkle. Even if your toes are crushed and
your heels sore, if you look sensational, who
cares if your feet hurt? This is the thought
process of your average shoe-obsessed
woman. All practicality, reservation, budget-conscience and vertigo dissipates when
faced with a glorious, shiny pair of pristine
stilettos. Iconic. Beautiful. Powerful. And
there for her taking.
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