Glimpses of the self-described “cobbler” to the world of fashion and hundred-thousandaires everywhere, Manolo Blahnik, working at designs at home or on the factory floor are the liveliest moments of the diverting process-and-praise documentary “Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards.” Veteran fashion journalist Michael Roberts, a friend of Manolo Blahnik for three decades, directs, with behind-the-scenes interviews and testimony from a raft of the expected suspects who have praised, worn or touted his creations: “Sex and the City”’s Candace Bushnell, Vogue’s Anna Wintour, photographer David Bailey, Isaac Mizrahi, Rihanna, Paloma Picasso, Iman, Naomi Campbell, Rupert Everett and Andre Leon Talley.
The gentility of the overall enterprise is well-represented by Blahnik’s own estimation: “the images are exquisite and they represent real glimpses of my life; designing shoes, long periods working at the manufacturers, or enjoying the tranquility of an English country garden.” And, indicating his substantial joie de vivre: “I just keep going, keep going! I just want to keep making beautiful shoes!” 89m. (Ray Pride)
“Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards” opens Friday, September 22 at the Music Box.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.