As the Spring 2018 runways in New York and London rage on, a documentary about Manolo Blahnik is debuting in cinemas around the world.
Directed by the fashion writer/editor Michael Roberts, Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards delves into the iconic shoe designer's past. An intimate portrait of both his life and work, the documentary uses recreated footage of Blahnik's childhood.
When it was time to film, Blahnik told Roberts (the pair are also close friends) that he would participate under one condition.
'I am a mess in front of the camera. I said to Michael the only condition is that I don't want to be filmed too much because some days I'm run down or sick,' he explained. 'I preferred all the people talking about me — if they want to. This is what the movie is about, it's like a documentary seen through the eyes of other people, although I'm there, yes.'
Still, the outcome is an insight into a eccentrically elegant genius. (He wears the hell out of a lilac suit.)
If you needed further convincing, the film also includes glowing commentary from just about anyone and everyone. André Leon Talley insists Mr. Blahnik is 'up there with Baudelaire', while Naomi Campbell and John Galliano discuss how the shoemaker is unlike any other. Even Rihanna, whom Blahnik dubs 'the new Grace Kelly,' makes an appearance.
After making its debut in New York, the film showed last night in London during fashion week at the Curzon Bloomsbury cinema. Guests included Charlotte Dellal, Isabeli Fontana, and Lulu Guinness.
So, what was it like watching a love-letter to himself on screen?
'I never believe anything like that – 'You're wonderful, You're wonderful' – it doesn't touch me. I'm not very good with compliments and things like that,' admitted Blahnik after the screening.