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Manolo Blahnik began the Winter 21 collection by indulging in his love for Italy. The shoe maestro draws on references across eras and disciplines – Italian architecture, design, people and places are prevalent throughout. The fanciful collection came to life as all before it, in the house’s atelier where Manolo’s visions transform from hand-drawn sketches to wearable works of art, at the hands of the most skillful artisans.
Seeking escapism, Manolo immersed himself in the work of great Italian artists. He explored depictions of Sicily by realist writer and photographer Giovanni Verga, translating the restrained elegance into a subtle pinstripe seen on the CARONTE shoe and RAYOLFLAT – the slightly exaggerated vamp conveying Manolo’s signature quirk. A new feminine floral print grew from Elio Vittorini’s novel ‘Il Garofano Rosso’ exploring the turbulence amidst 1920s Italy. Translated as ‘the red carnation’, the film adaptation uses the flower as a symbol of desire and devotion. Manolo introduces the motif in textured leather with decadent silk brocade on the MARGARO flat and in flocked mesh on the SOHEMIAS pump.
Manolo was equally moved by the work of Luigi Pirandello – an Italian dramatist regarded as pioneer of the absurdist theatre movement. He depicted the fun and frivolous spirit with exaggerated zig-zagging and serrated shapes on the CHICUELO and OLVIDEO boots. Another graphic element came from Italian architect and furniture designer Piero Portaluppi. Portaluppi’s signature cutout forms and curved balustrades led Manolo to develop a monochromatic repeating circular print seen on the BASIANA pump.
An admirer of historical fashion and figures, Manolo often discovers inspiration in the work of fellow designers and fashion of eras gone by. This season Manolo was drawn to the designs of Walter Albini, considering his work the pinnacle of sophistication and the essence of Italian fashion. Focusing on Albini’s androgyny and tailoring, Manolo created the PATROLA and PERRITA brogues for a practical yet elegant solution to everyday dressing. Switching gears to frills and flounce, Manolo captures the romantic flair signature to Rococo style with a series of ruffled flats and pumps. Rococo’s extravagant tropes are also reflected in ornate beadwork on the CATROUXI pump.
It wouldn’t be a Manolo Blahnik collection without an offering of elegant embellishments. In the early 1970s, the shoemaker pioneered the use of transparent fabrics in footwear. Now reflecting on the trend, he created a series with PVC panels, seen on the TORPEX boot and the FIBIONABI sandal. Manolo reimagined the delicate beadwork and use of sumptuous velvets by Corsican jeweller Lina Baretti to develop a sparkling golden tassel tied around the TENSA sandal and CAVASHI ruched boot. This season Manolo also introduces a baguette crystal accessory, employing its sleek linear charm and distinct edges to create understated styles that champion exquisite craftsmanship.
The Winter 21 collection offers fresh styles for the modern Manolo woman that will stand every test of time. Melding Manolo Blahnik’s signature flair, exceptional craftsmanship and vast imagination, the enchanting styles transcend seasons as wearable works of art.
Please click here to view the new Winter 21 collection.