Manolo Blahnik isn’t one to hold back.
Here, the legendary designer sounds off on the advantages of aging, his obsession with Jessica Lange, dream dinner-party guests and more.
For more on the iconic designer’s big year ahead, click here.
Male fashion icons:
“There’s an incredible collection of old boys I love, but they’re all dead. I liked the obvious ones, like Cary Grant. He was divine. I loved Gary Cooper because he was in the adventure movies and so chic. Nowadays, I’m not mad about the looks. Many men are badly dressed: It’s a collection of blue jeans and cowboy hats and big fat tummies or over-exercised bodies.”
“I’m in my early 70s now – which I guess is a dangerous age – but I’m very happy. In one year, I’ve changed a lot. What’s happened to me is mental, not physical. I’ve never been diplomatic, but now I am completely blunt. What I say is the truth, and I feel better about it.”
His dream dinner-party guests:
“Jessica Lange would be at the table of honor. I would have [photographer] Eric Boman, [artist] Peter Schlesinger and a mix of actors and writers. I love writers more than anyone else.”
The proliferation of designer labels:
“Every bloody designer is doing shoes, and so many of them are hideous. They don’t know how to make a shoe. They’re impossible to wear, they’re badly made and they cost a lot of money.”
“I don’t work with a mood board. I think about fabulous faces, like Joan Crawford’s. Unretouched, she was the most exquisite girl in America in the 1920s. [I love pictures] taken in the days before Photoshop and digital retouching. “
One of his favorite photographs: “I remember sitting for Mr. [Irving] Penn and how kind he was. In 2002, he was photographing me for The New Yorker. He said, ‘Call the office and get me a heel.’ So he photographed me holding a heel, and it was divine. I remember that like it was yesterday. It doesn’t seem that long ago.”