With a prolific career that spans the better half of a decade, Spanish designer Manolo Blahnik has long cemented himself as one of the influential footwear designers of the 21st century. His namesake label has amassed a cult following of devoted fans worldwide and his creations have been worn by some of the biggest pop icons.
Blahnik’s autumn 2023 collection sees the designer tap into the bounteous history of 17th-century art in a peppy exploration of striking prints and motifs. House signatures return in a variety of heel heights and finishing details, crafted in a wide assortment of luxe fabrics. From the Zaborous pumps in buttery suede to the Chinci heels in velvety satin, each pair is handcrafted by master artisans and boasts comfort and opulence.
The shape and proportions were reminiscent of urban architecture, with the towering silhouettes and sleek nature resembling that of city skylines. Contemporary design tropes also present in many of the products, such as backstitch detailing and contrasting crystal embellishments around the body and toe of many pairs.
As always, bold colours return for another season—a hallmark trait of the brand by now. Joyous shades of crimson, lemon and forest are the focus hues this time, statement shades that will double as the perfect conversation starter. For those who prefer more muted alternatives, sensible options in monochromatic polka-dot and geometric grid round up the rest of the collection.
Blahnik also took inspiration from German-American actress Marlene Dietrich, who was a cultural maven remembered for her elegant visuals and effortless swagger. Her perfect balance of glamour and androgyny bleeds into several of Blahnik’s designs this season, most specifically the Hangisi buckled flats that feature contrasting gemstones.
Till this day, the brand still holds its own despite the rise of countless other powerhouses offering occasion footwear. As the iconic Sex and the City character Carrie Bradshaw once mused: “You can take my Fendi Baguette, you can take my ring and my watch, but please don’t take my Manolo Blahniks.” This statement sums up the ineffable impact Blahnik has on the fashion landscape, one that will stand the test of time.
The latest collection is available at Manolo Blahnik stores at Takashimaya Department Store and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.