WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
The exhibition offers access to the brand’s never-before-seen archives, while the gold collection is all about celebration and lavish materials.
Manolo Blahnik’s gold collection blends new designs with some of the brand’s much-loved classics. Images courtesy of Manolo Blahnik.
SHOP MANOLO BLAHNIK GOLD COLLECTION
It’s been half a century since Manolo Blahnik got into the shoe business and created a family-run label, all about artisanal quality, fantasy and a whole lot of charm.
There’s plenty Blahnik has to celebrate, from creating some of the most widely-recognized shoes in the market, to infiltrating pop culture as Carrie Bradshaw’s designer-of-choice, and staying desirable over the years no matter the trend cycles. The brand is toasting to some of those achievements with a new virtual exhibition, opening on Nov. 18 and accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
The brand’s archives, including sketches, photographs, films and never-before-seen designs, will become accessible to view for the first time.
The new exhibition – called “Manolo Blahnik: A New Way of Thinking” – is taking place across five virtual rooms, retracing the brand’s history from the opening of its first boutique on London’s Old Church Street in 1971 to becoming a global powerhouse and dressing the feet of some of the most famous women in the world, from Princess Diana to Paloma Picasso and Rihanna.
The brand’s archives, including sketches, photographs, films and never-before-seen designs, will become accessible to view for the first time – “a dream come true” according to Kristina Blahnik, the brand’s chief executive officer.
Signature styles like the Hangisi and Maysale got the gold makeover for the anniversary collection. Images courtesy of Manolo Blahnik.
You start by entering the Palette Room, showcasing 80 sketches by the designer and the “untold stories” behind them; another room, called ‘The ’70s’ tells a more personal story about Blahnik’s journey from a window dresser at the Browns boutique to famous shoe designer, through films, newspaper clippings and photographs.
There’s also a room dedicated to friendship and women like Diana Vreeland who influenced Blahnik’s work and helped his brand take off, while the next virtual room is all about family, paying homage to all the team members working behind-the-scenes. Shoe lovers will also swoon over the ‘Gold Room,’ a space dedicated to some of the brand’s most extravagant creations from over the years.
The collection, described as “lavish, rich and quintessentially Manolo,” blends new designs with some of the brand’s much-loved classics.
In the same spirit of extravagance and fantasy, the brand is releasing a Gold capsule to toast its big birthday. The collection, described as “lavish, rich and quintessentially Manolo,” blends new designs with some of the brand’s much-loved classics that are as relevant now, as when the designer first introduced them. Think Hangisi pumps redone in gold leather and mesh; the Maysale crystal pumps reimagined in a regal gold fabric and brooch featuring citrine crystals; or signature knee-high boots featuring the most playful gold fringing.
Delicate charms and lavish silk was part of the gold capsule collection. Images courtesy of Manolo Blahnik.
Some of the standouts in the range include the Campanilla pumps and sandals, featuring a delicate gold charm bracelet around the ankle, inspired by a piece of jewellery Blahnik’s mother use to wear throughout his childhood.
The collection also shows the brand’s flair for one-of-a-kind materials and artisanal quality, from the custom-made gold lace featured on boots and loafers to the ‘Ignia’ pointed-toe pumps featuring feather embellishments across the foot – each one is wrapped in gold foil to create a real statement.
Prices range from 595 to 1,295 and the collection will be available to purchase on the brand’s website.
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