Blue Suede Shoes

See Manolo Blahnik’s custom shoe sketches for Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis epic
By Bailey Slater | Fashion | 29 June 2022

It’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go, cat, go. But don’t you dare step on Elvis’ iconic blue suede shoes, because for Baz Luhrmann’s latest rock ‘n’ roll epic, they were handcrafted with love and affection by a one Mr. Manolo Blahnik.

Yes, the iconic Spanish designer – and arguably the most famous shoemaker in fashion – has brought his world of fanciful footwear to Hollywood. This isn’t the first time Blahnik’s work has taken on a starring role, having formed the foundation of Kirsten Dunst’s many, many fabulous costumes in Sofia Coppola’s pastel-hued retelling of Marie Antoinette back in 2004. But Elvis constitutes a completely different ball game for the designer, swapping out the colourful, aristocratic codes of 18th-century Paris for rubber-legged stage performances in Memphis and Las Vegas. “The 1950s in general is an era that I am so often drawn to, particularly in my menswear designs, with some of my past and more recent collections inspiring the pieces for the film,” Blahnik explains of his methodology, later adding his affinity for the star made his work on these styles “a joy to create.”

The film also sees Blahnik reunite with Academy award-winning costume designer Catherine Martin, who worked closely alongside the designer on another Baz Luhrmann epic: 2001’s Moulin Rouge. “To have at one’s disposal such extraordinary Italian ateliers was a luxury resulting in beautiful, gorgeously crafted shoes,” said Martin. “Blahnik’s brilliance and extraordinary craft is something I have admired for many years. To work with him and create something unique yet historically truthful was an incredible privilege.”

Elvis is currently screening in cinemas worldwide.

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