Monday 18 February 2013


I loved Manolo Blahnik's quirky illustrations at London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2013. You couldn't miss the leading footwear designer's colourful illustrations at the event at Somerset House - they were everywhere. It was like walking through a Manolo Blahnik Wonderland! 

Specially commissioned for LFW by the British Fashion Council, Blahnik's creative drawings and instantly recognisable flamboyant handwriting adorned the walls of the Courtyard Show Space, and also featured on show banners and other show material. Even the exhibition lanyards were printed with the designer's signature shoe silhouettes and were no doubt doing a roaring trade on eBay within minutes of LFW opening. I'm certainly going to hang-on to mine, as it's rare for such a functional piece to be a thing of beauty.

The portfolio of drawings were inspired by Blahnik's colourful career as a celebrated footwear designer and man-about-town.They also depicted British fashion editors and leading ladies who played important roles in his career, that kicked-off in the 70's. Grace Coddington, Amanda Harlech and Daphne Guinness were all included, wearing Blahnik's killer heels. The English countryside and the designer's beloved Scottie dogs also played a starring role. 

Blahnik's flattering and highly feminine footwear is worn by an endless list of A-list celebrities and coveted by a discerning shoe-loving clientele. The designer recently revealed that the LFW drawings were a tribute to the late-Anna Piaggi of Italian Vogue; a close friend who always loved visiting the UK and adored Manolo Blahnik shoes. In turn, Blahnik affectionately referred to the eccentric Piaggi as, 'The world's last great authority on frocks.' You can see more of Blanik's inspiring illustrations in Camilla Morton's book, Manolo Blahnik and the tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker.

If you are interested in seeing the images large-scale, you can also catch Blahnik's humorous doodles in a special window at The May Fair Hotel in London -  but hurry, they won't be there for long...

Manolo Blahnik at work in his studio, holding his signature pointed-toe shoe last. 
Photographed by his close friend Michael Roberts
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A Manolo Blahnik shoe design in ottoman silk with 
gold beading for Winter 1998
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Manolo Blahnik's drawings adorned LFW

Grace Coddington (in trademark black dress), Manolo Blahnik and friends

Blahnik's well-known signature, plus covetable shoe and ankle boot designs

Must-have footwear from the master shoemaker

Tina Chow in her Manolos with one of Blahnik's beloved Scotties

Daphne Guinness and Manolo Blahnik

Daphne Guinness flying high above Somerset House

Blahnik's signature drawings on the LFW showguide and lanyard

Manolo Blahnik in front of his LFW window at The May Fair Hotel
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1 comment:

  1. Just catching up on your blog - lovely visuals, as always. I particularly love the shot taken by his friend with him cradling his shoe last x


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