Before the return of the classic pump, Manolo Blahnik’s shoes often felt a bit mature for the fashion market. While the ultra-hip among us were teetering around in six-inch platforms, Blahnik, who refuses to entertain such notions, was still selling pumps hand over fist to clients with more traditional taste and waiting for the pendulum to swing back his way. And swing it did.
Now that Manolos are hip again, Blahnik’s design team seems to be playing a little faster and looser with his design conventions to appeal to a more fashion-forward audience. Mixing prints had been trendy for a while, and anyone who’s tried it knows that finding two prints that clash in just the right way can be difficult. With pink leopard layered over a more subtle red and blue print (in velvet, no less), do the Manolo Blahnik Algona Velvet Ornamental Pumps make it work?
Strangely, perhaps, I think the print-on-print look works really nicely. From a distance, it looks like all one pattern, but up close, the differentiation becomes clear. I love a bit of an illusion, so that’s right up my alley. The crystals, on the other hand, give me a bit of pause. It’s a very Blahnik detail, of course, but I wish it were either more intricate or completely absent – go hard or go home. As it is, though, this is a simple pump that’s anything but simple. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $1075.