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the littlest fashion critic

Thursday, September 13th, 2007
By raincoaster

Say hello to TeenyManolo‘s competition.

Francesca Myers, fashion critic

Don’t worry, that’s not a dirty joke in that balloon; it’s a reference to The Fashion Weekly Daily, where Francesca made her print debut as a fashion critic. And how, you ask, would such a young tyke (only seven!) land a plushy gig like that in the cutthroat world which is fashion journalism? Eschewing such grubby pathways as years of grad school or ramen-fuelled unpaid internships, she did it the old-fashioned way: Mom got her the gig.

From Jezebel, which website I vastly prefer to The Daily‘s PDF-centric, browser-crashing monstrosity:

Elle editor-in-chief Roberta Myers’ 7-year old daughter Francesca made her critical debut. When asked what her mom has taught her about life in the front-row, she replied:

You have to look out for FANCY… Fashion in general is really pretty.

Love it! After all, who needs 800 words when it can be done in just 10?! (Also, tell us “Look out for FANCY!” doesn’t sound like something that could have passed the lips of the great Diana Vreeland.)

Actually, it does.We still can’t hate her because she’s connected. And why can’t we? Because she’s wearing the gorgeous Lilly Pulitzer sundress, and it is a widely-known fact that, however outrageously priced the Pulitzer may be, it, like the Pucci, is the physical manifestation on Earth of the visions in unicorns’ happiest daydreams, and thus the wearer is +18 protected against snark.

It’s true. You can Google it.

The shoes, however, are not Pulitzer, and thus can come under some well-earned fire. I understand beach thongs. At the beach. I understand equally that even the sainted yet dependable Dr. Scholls sandals are really just low-heeled mules and thus technically shoes, rather than mere flip-flops, and I understand moreover that children and grownups all over the world should be schooled in this difference, repeatedly if necessary. Looks like Mommy learned this lesson! Look out for inappropriately-casual!

New York Fashion Show Front Row: Mules okay; flipflops not okay.

Not even if you’re seven.

The Unicorn Chaser

Monday, September 10th, 2007
By raincoaster

Our own version of BoingBoing’s patented Unicorn Chaser.

We’ve had some complaints about the post below this (and it is indeed strong stuff if you came here looking for tips on back to school shopping), so we are offering, in lieu of smelling salts, recourse to our #1 favorite mindwash of all time: the ever-popular, mindless, yet irresistible force of nature that is We Like tha Moon, by the Spongmonkeys (and no, that’s not a spelling mistake). This is so strange, yet so cute in a Terry Gilliam Was My Babysitter kind of way, that it gets both the “That’s Just Wrong” tag and the “The Cuteness Abounds” tag.

Toddlers like this song even better than stoners do. Not that I know any stoners. Oh, perish the thought!

And lookie: here’s the lyrics.

We like the moon
coz it is close to us.
We like the MOOOOOON!
But not as much as a spoon
coz that’s more use for eating soup
and a fork isn’t very useful for that
unless it has got many vegetables
and then you might be better off with a chopstick.
Unlike the moon
It is up in the sky
It’s up there very high
but not as high as maybe dirigibles or zeppelins
or lightbulbs
and maybe clouds
and puffins also I think maybe they go quite high too
maybe not as high as the moon.
Coz the moon is very high.
We like tha moon
Tha moon is very useful everyone.
Everybody like the moon.
Because it light up the sky as night and it lovely and it make the tide go
and we like it
but not as much as cheese.
We really like cheese
we like zeppelins
We really like them
and we like kelp
and we like moose
and we like deer
and we like marmots
and we like all the fluffy animals.
We really like tha moon.

Airport A Go-Go

Friday, August 31st, 2007
By Glinda

McClaren Stroller

I had always marveled at Mariska Hargitay’s cheekbones, and then when I found out her mother was Jayne Mansfield, it all made sense.

And look at her son, so cute with his blankie!

They are sensibly pushing him around in a McClaren Quest Sport stroller. Mariska has excellent taste, because this is exactly the same stroller I bought for my son when we were ready to move him out of his infant system. She joins Gwen Stefani and Sarah Jessica Parker in sharing my stroller preference. I am such the trendsetter, I know!

I can’t say too many good things about this stroller. It is an umbrella stroller with heft, but not added weight. It has an all aluminum frame construction so it won’t fall apart in a year, and which makes it easy to push around without feeling like you are trying to steer a bus. It turns on a dime, and it is very comfortable for the young ones. It folds up very compactly and have I said already that it weighs practically nothing? I have been known to lug it around by the shoulder strap. With no complaint. At Disneyland no less! And I think I only clipped maybe one or two people with it. Because they weren’t paying attention, of course.

Also, my husband loves it because he is 6’2′ and McClaren strollers were the only ones that made the handles high enough for him to be comfortable pushing it instead of having to walk like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Trust me, he has never been able to use that excuse to not push the stroller.

And speaking of husbands, Mariska’s is sporting some pretty fierce loafers!

The Prince and the Pea

Friday, August 31st, 2007
By Glinda

I have always wondered why clothing manufacturers insist on putting huge, sometimes multiple tags on children’s clothes.


They drive my son nuts.  He was known as a toddler to frantically clutch the back of his neck and simultaneously howl his disapproval of the tags.   Like the princess of the fairy tale, he was so sensitive to any sort of uncomfortable fabric that he refused to even lie down until it was gone.  I know, I know, I won the lottery with this one, didn’t I?  I would have to remove the offending garment from his delicate personage, get some scissors, and cut off the tag right then and there.  At first I tried to plead with him to just go to bed and deal, since the primary offenders seem to be pajama manufacturers, but it was futile. By now, it is routine for me to inspect all of his clothes pre-donning and wield the scissors when necessary.


And I think that somewhere out there are people who take great delight in trying to find the scratchiest material known to man, just so they can attach it to the back of pajamas for a three month old.   They must be in cahoots with the scissor industry or something.


I was delighted when I learned that some companies were beginning to ban the tags and instead print the information on the article of clothing itself.  I actually try to look for clothing with the printing, because it just saves me time and I’m lazy like that.                                                              



However, not enough of them are doing it because I still need to regularly hack off those tags.





Bandanna Nation

Thursday, August 30th, 2007
By Glinda

(Scene: An American living room)

Mom: You know dear, I’m reading about a show with kids that CBS is filming.  They’re looking for participants.  I’m thinking little Jimmy might have some fun. You know, get him out of school and let him stretch his wings a bit. 

Dad: What’s it about?

Mom: Well, it says here that if we sign this little contract, little Jimmy would basically be out in the New Mexico desert, unsupervised, in conditions that could kill him.  And, there may or may not be doctors around that could help him if he gets hurt.

Dad: Hmmm.  I’m not sure I like the sound of that.

Mom: Oh, and if he does die, CBS and the producers are absolved of any and all liability. 

Dad: (scratching his head) Sounds kinda fishy. Can they really do that?

Mom:  Honey, it’s the media, they can do whatever they want.  He will do manual labor in order to keep himself alive, and he may or may not contract a sexually transmitted disease.  Which won’t be CBS’s fault, either.

Dad: I’m leaning towards no.

Mom: But listen, if he gets picked, he will be paid five thousand dollars!  And every episode, he has a chance to win a gold star that will be good for an extra twenty grand! 

Dad: Where do I sign?

Mom: Right here.

Mom: But wait, I’m really not sure about Jimmy wearing one of those bandannas.  It makes him look a little dorky.  I don’t even like the word “bandanna.” It’s just awkward.

Dad: It’s five thousand dollars! Maybe even twenty five thousand!

Mom: You’re right.  What’s a little humiliation?  Give me that pen.

Kid Nation

There is No Known Cure

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007
By Glinda

I hadn’t expected it really.


But it is that time of year, and of course, there it was.


The Back-to-School sale.


Now, my son is still in preschool, so I had planned on carrying over into fall the majority of his summer clothing. Because where I live, you can wear shorts during the day well into October and sometimes November. But, he had the nerve to go through a growth spurt just at the wrong time.  I scolded him on the way over to the store. “Don’t you know,”  I glared at him through the rear-view mirror “that you are only allowed to grow when the weather has changed?  No more growing in the off-season, Mister!”


When we arrived, I begin looking through the racks, and suddenly, I was no longer aware of my surroundings.  My son could have climbed out of his stroller and attempted to hitchhike his way across the state, and I would have been none the wiser.


The colors and styles of the clothes began to blur, all I could comprehend was that they were 60% off.

And before I knew it, I was standing there with six shirts, four pairs of shorts, a sweater, and a waffled long sleeved Henley.

Nervously, I looked across the rack and saw another mother clutching even more clothes than me.  Her breathing was shallow, and she looked as if she didn’t know exactly where she was.


We had both fallen victim to what experts like to term the “Sale Induced Trance” or SIT for short.  SIT gives us the ability to sort through dozens of items placed in the wrong section with lightning speed.  It also gives us an almost superhuman ability to work out proper percentages in our brains, even if we have to use a calculator to tip at a restaurant.


By some stroke of fortune or perhaps just too much caffeine, I was able to shake off the effects of SIT.  Because even though the Ralph Lauren shirt was only six bucks, it was pink, orange and blue.   Even Mr. Lauren can’t make me purchase something so badly color-coordinated. I put it back on the rack to join its fellow ugly brethren, of which there were more than just a few.


At the checkout register, I caught a glimpse of that same orange, pink and blue combination.  It was my fellow shopper.  I sighed and walked out of the store. SIT had claimed yet another victim.


Sale Induced Trance

Woman exhibiting a classic SIT symptom: the glassy-eyed stare



who’s that girl?

Monday, August 27th, 2007
By raincoaster

raincoaster!I am not the kind of girl who would be at a blog like this at this time of the morning, and in fact I am not, being safely tucked up in bed till the bell rings for lunch, as all good bloggers should be. The Autopost button is my friend.

I’m raincoaster, and it seems the best way for me to introduce myself to you is the same way I introduced myself to the Manolo: with attitude. This is the email that got me this cushy gig in burgeoning Manolopolis.

Greetings to the illustrious Manolo, whose growing empire rivals those of the Ottomans and Romanovs, except better-dressed and without the bloody revolution part.

To say that I was excited by the blog job opening at Teeny Manolo would be to understate the case to a near-criminal degree. I am a longtime acolyte of the Manolo (and grateful recipient of the Manolo’s linkie luv) as well as a highly experienced blogger, blogging instructor and consultant, and former nanny and retailer of clothes for teenies. During my time in the totwear trade, I was sometimes delighted by clever, practical, and attractive clothes, but more often (it must be confessed) I was appalled and shocked into bitter sarcasm by the vast tide of bogswill being passed off as proper clothing for youngsters, boys in particular.

What did little boys ever do to get stuck with SAILOR SUITS for Tinky Winky’s sake? And cheap, shiny nylon sailor suits with scratchy seams that make the baby Jesus cry, or would, if he had to wear those instead of the lovely robes that Mary picked out for him on that trip to Jerusalem.

Please accept this application for the position of Teeny Manolo Blogger. Currently I have three active blogs: raincoaster, for my bitter ravings; running through rain for students of my courses on blogging for personal growth; and the Shebeen Club, for my literary group (who would love to host the Manolo for an evening, should he pass through Vancouver). I average between four and twelve posts a day, and yes, I can modulate the snark at will.

I hope to hear from you soon: if you need an old-skool resume, just let me know. You can also check out my profile on LinkedIn.

Actually, you cannot, because I’m really terribly, terribly shy. With the encouragement of my readers and the support of my magically self-replenishing mug of Sumatra Full City Roast, I’m slowly coming out of my shell. Alas, those who get a look at me in broad daylight not infrequently request that I return to it, but that is neither here nor there.

Being hired by the Manolo is a thrilling time in any young blogger’s life. The limos, the clubs, the private planes to Paris! As newly-minted secret agents reporting to M, it’s hard to decide if Glinda and I are the James Blondes of the Teeny world, the Charlie’s Angels (I get to be Kate Jackson, okay?) or the twin Laura Holts of Remington Steele Investigations.

Rest assured that with us on the case, your Teenys are in good hands. Indeed, like another great detective force, we always get our Manolos.


(ok, not really)

Teeny Manolo

Monday, August 27th, 2007
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, welcome to Teeny Manolo!

The Manolo wishes to introduce you to the two bloggers who will be writing in this place, the Glinda and the Raincoaster.

Here are two excellent and witty bloggers whom you will want to read every day, not only because they write well and can make you laugh, but also for the useful information and important advice they will dispense to you.

Naturally, the Glinda and the Raincoaster are also ardent believers in the Manolo’s Philosophy of the Super Fantastic, especially as it can be applied to the children and the child-rearing.

“But Manolo,” you may ask, “how can the little childrens be super fantastic?”

To which the Manolo can only reply, “Children are naturally super fantastic! They are curious about the world, are able to delight in small pleasures, and have the potential for innocent joy. Are these not important characteristics of Super Fantasticness?”

For the example, the Manolo well remembers his his own childhood, how the teeny Manolo spent hours making the tiny shoes to be placed upon the tiny feets of the lizards that had been captured in the dusty refuse that ringed the encampment. Using the scraps of the twine and the ribbon and bits of foil recovered from discarded packets of the low-quality Spanish cigarettes, the Manolo would construct the most beautiful D’Orsay pumps for these reptiles, handsome shoes designed to account for their inhuman toes.

Thus you may see what the Manolo means by the childish capacity for Super Fantasticness, that even the smallest, dirtiest, and poorest child (all things the teeny Manolo was at the time) can still take intense pleasure in the most trivial of things.

This is why the Manolo started this blog, because he wanted to celebrate childhood as the time of joy and pleasure, for both the child and the parent. And so, let the Teeny Manolo blogging begin!

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
Copyright © 2004-2009; Manolo the Shoeblogger, All Rights Reserved

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