Sunday, 27 November 2011

Manolo Blahnik: a Fairy Tale

Before working full-time as a BBC producer I had to make the most of my retail experience from my student years to cope with the high cost of living in London. 

Sarah Jessica Parker with the Manolo Blahnik shoe from the Sex in the City movie

By the time I left retail to embrace the false sense of security of a permanent position (my former department has sadly closed), my shop floor companions offered me a book by Camilla Morton 'How to Walk in High Heels'.

How to Walk in High Heels book cover

It was her first book and a UK bestseller which has been translated into twenty languages worldwide. Light-hearted and fun to read, to this day I follow Camilla Morton's recommendation about perfume, after the habitual spots, she suggests to spray perfume into the air in front of you and walk through it.

Manolo Blahnik and Camilla Morton. Source:

Middle East women always leave a trace of perfume behind them... No, I don't put that much on, but I love the way different smells evoke particular memories and cause a lasting sensation.

Perfume is a powerful weapon of seduction, as Diane Von Furstenberg has said when promoting her latest fragrance, but we should not underestimate high heels, they are also a killer.

Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex in the City with her 'Manolos'

In a Sex in the City episode, Samantha refers to them as 'f*** me shoes', and the man mostly referred to as the embodiment of women's passion for high heels is Manolo Blahnik.

Manolo Blahnik illustration for the book. Source:

He is also the inspiration of the latest Camilla Morton's book published this week in the UK, Manolo Blahnik and the Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker (HarperCollins), a fairy tale version of his life which includes whimsical illustrations by the man himself.

Manolo Blahnik illustration for the book. Source:

We're already familiar with the wonderful sketches of his shoes  from previous books Manolo's New Shoes and Manolo Blahnik Drawings (both published by Thames & Hudson), so you can expect the same elegance of lines and striking colours, it's like caligraphy, each person has their own design signature.

Manolo Blahnik drawings

This is the second book of a series of fashion fairy tale memoirs by Camilla Morton, the first was Christian Lacroix and the Tale of the Sleeping Beauty also from HarperCollins.  

Her writing style is captivating and her ability to makes us dream has a feel good quality. If you have a friend who loves fashion and high heels this may be the perfect Christmas gift! (Note to my friends - this is not a hint... Or is it?)

The latest Camilla Morton's book cover

Other related posts:
Shoes for Show
Christian Louboutin: Shoe Artist 
Business Power in High Heels