Manolo Blahník is conquering Milan with The art of shoes at Palazzo Morando
I have always loved the expression “be in someone else’s shoes”. Truly, I would have loved it more if I had ever had the chance of wearing Carrie Bradshaw’s ones. However, I have never walked down 5th Avenue in New York, I haven’t already met my Mr. Big and I usually wear flat boots.
By the way, I have good news for whoever grew on bread and Sex & the City like me: don’t panic, girls, you can live your dream!
From January 26 to April 9 Palazzo Morando is celebrating Manolo Blahník and his forty-five years of career with the exhibition “The art of shoes”, which allows visitors to see eighty drawings and two hundreds twelve of the Spanish designed most iconic shoes and discover a selection of ancient footwear coming from the archive of Palazzo Morando – Costume Moda Immagine. Soon also in Saint Petersburg, Prague, Madrid and finally Toronto in 2018, the King of shoes could have launched his retrospective nowhere but in Milan: the whole show is a tribute to his Italian sources of inspiration – and to Franca Sozzani, as he said during the opening event.
Someone – please, read it as “men” – may ask: “Why should I go to this exhibition if I’m not a shoes – addicted?”. My little naïve friend, you should because Manolos mix art with fashion. The legend told us that the teenager Blahník made his decision of creating shoes after having been caught by the perfect proportions of the feet in the Greek sculptures. Indeed, his interest in art and architecture has strongly influenced his collections: he has often “stolen” Goya and Picasso use of colours and reinterpreted shapes and movements from Classical and Baroque geometrics blinking an eye to contemporary artists and designers.
Fascinated by the cinema industry due to Luchino Visconti, he collaborated with Sophia Coppola for Marie Antoinette in 2006. Just
a request: “We want her to be sexy”. So he did, as you can realize in the Gala area of the exhibition, where sequences from the movie show the moody Queen focused on eating as much brioches as she can and surrounded by shoes.
Pleasantly impertinent, ironic and unpredictable like his Avion ballet flat, Manolo Blahník’s key of success lies in his golden rule: “Have fun – but please do not wear sneakers”. And in the way he makes women feel, of course. We love Manolo because he loves us, as his long list of muses proves – from Brigitte Bardot to literary heroines such as Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina. Since he loves us, he is fully aware of our weaknesses – you know, diamonds and gems are girls’ best friends but our hearts can melt for some flowers, and they are evergreen in his collections. For the same reason he is so sensitive to perceive the way a pair of shoes can make us feel more confident, feminine, provocative and independent. Manolos can shock and speak louder than words.
So what are you still waiting for? Maybe you won’t ever spend more than 800 euros for a pair of Hangisi, but thanks to The art of shoes you could feel a Milanese Carrie Bradshaw for a while. Only by paying 10 euros – and without taking the risk of falling off twelve centimeters of amazing heels!