Icon-Icon Opinion :
‘My shoes are not designs, they are gestures.’ This is how this book, which deals with Manolo Blahnik and his creations, starts… Shoes that are like vividly coloured fancies — this book contains sketches that let readers grasp the very essence of his creations!
Author: Anna Wintour
Publishing House: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publication Date: February 2003
Here, collected together for the first time, are over one hundred exquisite drawings that Blahnik makes at the outset of the design process. These sketches are executed with such exuberance and deftness that they have become as sought after as the shoes themselves (they often fetch up to $15,000.00 at charity auctions). Inimitable in style, the drawings, beautifully reproduced in this book with special inks, vividly convey Blahnik’s unique vision. Whether it’s a Grecian sandal designed for Galliano, with a snake-like strap slithering up the calf, or an emerald- and bead-fringed satin mule, the seductive attention to detail in the drawings conjures up the shoe itself. Illuminating introductions by Anna Wintour and Michael Roberts explore why Manolo Blahnik’s shoes inspire such passion, and these are complemented throughout the book by the words of admirers including Suzie Menkes, Donatella Versace, and David Hockney.
Michael Roberts also contributes a photographic essay showing Blahnik at work in his studio, making sketches, preparing the wooden lasts, and supervising the production of his shoes at his factories in Italy. A final “scrapbook” section includes Manolo Blahnik’s own photographs of family, friends, and inspirational places.