Bow Pump Reviews: Diavolina via ASOS, Manolo Blahnik Lisane

After building a solid collection of basic work pumps over the years, my interest lately has been on shoes with unique detailing or in fun colors. I’ve always had a soft spot for bows (from Ferragamos to makeshift clip-on ones), and longed for a pair of heels with feminine, statement bows. Here are two suede contenders that I tried on this month:
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Upper right/lower left: Manolo Blahnik Lisane sz 34.5, Upper left/lower right: Diavolina sz US 5 (label says 36)
bowheels 1. Diavolina Suede pumps in fuchsia, also in black (sold via ASOS)
After being disappointed by the sizing, comfort, and quality of various ASOS-brand shoes, I pretty much swore them off for footwear. However, ASOS carries various brands in addition to their own, and offers the same convenient free shipping & returns. I’ve never heard of Diavolina before, but saw that they offer genuine leather/suede shoes down to a sz US 4 or 5 in certain styles.
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Sizing & Fit: I am usually between US 5 to 5.5 (5 in Ann Taylor, 5.5 in BR/J.Crew) and ordered a US 5 / UK 3 in these. When the shoes arrived, the bottoms said 36 and I was bummed thinking they sent the wrong size. However, they were a perfect fit and felt comfortable for the few minutes that I tried them on.
Quality & Design: Solid construction, genuine suede upper, leather lining and synthetic smooth soles. Minimal toe cleavage with classic 3.5" straight heel. Color is a true vibrant fuchsia in person, and the bow is comprised of three layers with patent sandwiched in the middle. My only qualm was that the bow lacked dimension and was a bit flat/rectangular for my liking.

2. Manolo Blahnik 90mm Lisane Bow (sold out online - similar idea for $45, or other Lisane bows)
Knowing that most department stores are having their final designer clearance, I contacted my Nordies sales associate with a few style #’s that caught my eye earlier in the season. These designer sales begin each winter with 30 to 40% off and progress until late Jan/early Feb, so I had low expectations at this point. I was ecstatic when he reported that the Manolo Lisane bow pumps (which I loved on Sarah) in "bordeaux" were left in a 34.5 and 35.5 for about 70% off retail. If you are interested in calling a store to check stock, the style # is 574768 and shipping is free.
bowheels3
Sizing & Fit: I normally would’ve gone right with the 35.5, however, I recently got to try on Kelly’s gorgeous Manolo BB pumps in sz 34.5. I didn’t even want to shove my foot in (in fear of stretching them out), but she assured me that they run big. Sure enough, those fit perfectly and so do these bow pumps in 34.5. I’m sure different styles may vary, but I would say this style runs half to one whole size big.

Quality & Design: When I opened up the box, the bows were like little works of suede ribbon art. I couldn’t stop admiring them. The construction is of noticeably good quality, and the uppers, soles, and lining are all leather (with “handmade in Italy” imprinted on the bottom). My qualms with this shoe are with the lower (3”) curved heel shape and longer pointy toe area, which together lend to a more matronly look.
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Verdict: In the world of bow pumps, the Diavolina’s are a youthful, fun contender whereas the Manolo’s are more classic and mature. The deep bordeaux color is more versatile for me personally, but the fuchsia adds a punch to outfits. A combination of the artful loop bows with higher, straight heels would’ve been my ideal shoe. Nevertheless, I loved the Manolo’s enough to keep. I sent the Diavolina’s back this time, but am certainly open to trying their shoes again.

For a fun Valentino bow-inspired option that is priced between these two styles, I love the Steven by Steve Madden "Ravesh" pumps as seen on MsKTReed’s Instagram.

In blush patent or colored leather (emerald, coral, or black):
steve_madden_ravesh Readers - Would you have gone with the fun fuchsia or the more mature bordeaux bows?

60 comments:

  1. I love the bright pink of the Diavolina but you can never go wrong with a classic Manolo!

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  2. Great review! Personally I prefer the Diavolina because its overall shape looks nicer to me, but I can see what you chose the Manolo!

    VeryAmy.com

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  3. the manolos for sure! But I typically favor classic over trendy.

    -Nico

    www.SatinAndsalt.com

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  4. I'd have done the Manolos. I like my clothes and shoes to just be part of an overall look rather than having one pieces stand out too much. It makes me feel like the clothes/shoes are wearing me. I do like the overall look of those bright shoes though, and I imagine it was a tough decision.
    The emerald ones are adorable though. I like that you are showcasing quality items, at a steal no less!

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    1. I have just found this blog. I am 70, a 0 Petite, and was a fashion consultant for 25 yr. I always told my clients that they wanted people to look at their faces, not at their feet. The Manolos, at their price point, will be much more likely to go with several outfits.
      GranPage

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  5. I absolutely love the fuschia color of the Diavolina and the big flat bow look, but I appreciate the more classic look of the Manolo's too and probably can see more wear with those throughout the year. You can't go wrong with either!

    xoxo,
    Suzie Q
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  6. What about Kate Spade bow pumps? Have you given those a try?

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    1. Not yet - they have some beautiful options, but I didn't see any in pointy toe styles.

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  7. thanks for the great reviews. i would have gone with the manolo's too because it's more classic and of the color! ;)

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  8. Off topic, Jean, but somewhat related as it pertains to shoes: how do you keep your Louboutin's...Louboutin's? Having purchased my first pair (at a massive, massive discount, thank you after Christmas sales!), I am now feverishly searching for how best to preserve the red soles. I know I read somewhere that Mr. Louboutin meant for the red to fade, as it would mimic a fashionable lady leaving her footsteps all over, but really, no offense to Mr. CL himself, I'd rather keep the color.

    Ladies, any thoughts? It's probably a much bigger deal as these as my first pair but I am in love with them and would really like to keep them in good shape!

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    1. Hi there - that's awesome that you were able to score CL's that you love on major discount! I haven't heard about the red fading and it doesn't look like it's happened on any of mine (incl' an older pre-owned pair). I protect them only by getting red Vibram rubber soles on the bottom so they don't wear through, but honestly, I feel that shoes are meant for wearing so I hope the desire to keep them pristine won't prevent you from getting good use out of your special purchase : ) The only other thought I have (if you're really concerned about fading) is possibly coat the soles with a clear sealant like nail polish - but I've never tried it nor heard of anyone doing so.

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    2. Hi! Thanks so much for the response. Perhaps 'fading' was the wrong word and 'wearing away' might be the better description. How do the Vibram soles work, are they applied on top of the original bottoms? Do they give more grip and then can they be replaced as well? And will any cobbler be able to handle this?

      I feel the same way about clothing, and hopefully once I get my shoes adequately protected, I can wear them and forget the worry. Thanks again, sorry for the many question!

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    3. No prob! Happy to help. Most cobblers can do this but I'd ask if they do many louboutins and also if you can see the rubber soles ahead of time. I go to one cobbler for more high end shoes, and another who does a great and cheap job for other shoes (but didn't have any red rubber soles and suggested black - eek!). Vibram is the more trusted brand of the rubber soles and what your cobbler should use, and yes it's applied on top of the original bottoms. They do give more grip and I've never had mine replaced again so I'm not sure. They look like this once applied (cost me about $25) http://www.extrapetite.com/2011/06/double-fun-amrita-singh-reversible.html

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  9. love the bordeaux ones you kept!! so pretty!

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  10. i agree with you on your opinion of the manolo heel shape, but i think the bows make up for it! :)

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  11. While I agree with you that fuchsia is more fun, ultimately the bordeaux and bows on the Manolos are the keepers. Like you, I favor bow that aren't flat and with more 3D construction to it. Congrats on the fabulous find! :)

    fauxionista.com

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  12. I don't think the Manolos look matronly at all.

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  13. The manolos are so gorgeous. Good choice! The pink ones are trendy and fun, but you can wear the manolos forever.

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  14. I really like the Diavolinas! I think about getting them in black. Thank you for your review, I'm usually a size 36 and it's good to know that I need to order one size up here (sizing on ASOS is so confusing sometimes - and return shipping isn't free here in Austria.)

    x
    Sabrina

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  15. Those are gorgeous, I love them on you! So glad you found out your size, I missed out on classic suedeManolo BBs in bright blue on sale because I ordered my normal size and by the time I figured out they ran big, my size was gone :( Boohoo!

    I also had some a bit of luck with the Nordstrom sales this year, I think we might have the same salesperson :)

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  16. It's super cute! I think you went with the right choice on the Bordeaux Manolos. :)

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  17. Dear lord, the MBs are gorgeous

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  18. I love your new Manolos! I've also been admiring them on Sarah on her blog and Instagram :) You both have fantastic style!

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  19. Those perfectly shaped bordeaux bows are fabulous! Such a great color for suede, too. About your surprise at the 36 fitting properly, I have seen some instances where a 36 translates to a size 5 (e.g. Kurt Geiger -- sale and free shipping, for those interested).

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  20. The bordeaux heels are amazing, such a great versatile colour and the bows are gorgeous. The fuchsia are a fun colour, but something I could quickly tire off and the bows do lack dimension. Good choice!

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  21. Hi jean would you do a review of how to pick a comfortable pointy heels? I once brought a Pedro pointy heels thinking it was the right choice as it fit perfectly. However I find that the heels were being stretched too big after a few wears and it slips off easily or my toe will be fully slide in and squashed into the pointy area. I really do prefer pointy heels more than rounded heels but its frustrating to find a right one. Please do consider doing a review on how to choose a comfortable pointy heels?

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    1. Hi there - I don't have too much experience with how to find the right fit in pointy heels, but I know you need to make sure there's enough width to accommodate the widest parts of the balls of your feet to avoid damaging/disfiguring your feet with wear. You can also try toe pad inserts to fill in extra space in length and push your feet up so your toes aren't squashed in the pointiest area. Sorry I'm not much help - good luck!

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  22. hi jean- i just called nordies in braintree and they said they have these lisanes, but they are only 40% off, not 70%. They said most likely you got it from a nord rack .. what store did you call for 70% off? Thanks!

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    1. They came from Nordstrom (not Rack) in San Francisco. Did they check that the style # was 574768 ? There's several versions and I think only the seasonal suede are that price.

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    2. yeah- thats the number i gave them. :( im on the phone right now with burlington. the one in braintree says absolutely 40%. am like, are you SURE. my friend says its 70%. haha :)

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    3. ok, got off the phone and they said they only have one in my size and its for sure only 40% off at $277.98. Maybe the associate you worked with made an error and you got lucky! Boo ...

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    4. crisis adverted- they are indeed only 40% off, but if you ask nicely, the associate can give you an additional 25% off because they are scheduled for further markdowns tomorrow ... making it a dun dun dun ... 70% deal. Thanks for the heads up Jean! Youre awesome.

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    5. and if youre extra nice, you can schmooze and get free rushed shipping. ooh happy day!

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    6. hi! i am experiencing similar issue. i can only get it at 40% off at $277. any tips on how to get that extra 25% off? THANKS!

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    7. Jean - do you think you can share your nordstrom sales contact info? would really appreciate it! i have called 3 nordstroms so far with same reply that $277 is final :(

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    8. Hi Cherish - Unfortunately I don't have his permission to share individual contact info on here and don't want to possibly draw attention to him for what looks like pre-saleing a price that actually began on Tuesday. I didn't realize that was the case and apologize. But according to anon above, the shoes should've been marked down on Tuesday to $208 and any SA should be honoring that price w/ free ship. Also keep in mind not to listen to the "% offs" because the 40% off at $277 actually indicates a prior markdown already (since the shoes retailed for $695, and 40% off that is $417). Good luck!

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  23. looking at these shoes I wonder if they would eventually distort your feet. (ie hammer toe) big toes pointing away from each other and interfere with the skeletal structure of the foot. I see older women in their 50's and they inevitably seem to suffer from distorted feet directly related to the fashions of the time. If these dont cause distortion they are well worth the money. I would appreciate hearing from long term users...

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  24. Wish you could have gotten best of both worlds. I hope you like your choice. I don't think the MBs are matronly at all! I wish the photos showed more of the beauty of the bows b/c they look flat in photos :(. Can't wait to see how you style them!

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  25. cutes! http://inpalace.blogspot.com.es/

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  26. Love the bows. The colors are so adorable!

    xx,

    www.loveandcompanyblog.ca

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  27. Hey love, thanks for crediting me! You are always so good about it that's why I love you (and your blog!). well one of the many reasons why I adore you (there's plenty more of course). I like the Manolo as well but I think you made the right choice by going with the more vibrant pair. I love the fuchsia pumps and I love seeing you in fun colors. As for the green Steven by SM, it's actually suede (not sure if it's real suede or faux). They run true to size (size 5)and feels really soft and surprisingly comfortable. You should def get those too! They are on my blog at the moment if you want to see more photos. I think they also comes in Coral (seen on Nordstrom.com but not in store) and I was debating on getting those too.

    What are your thoughts on the coral?

    KT
    www.KTRstyle.com

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  28. OOO I love these!

    http://the-glitter-life.com/2013/01/28/weekend-wrap-up-bulldog-100-spring-mani/

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  29. i love my lisane pumps! the bows are spectacular. i am so glad you kept them too!!

    xox P

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  30. I hate to be the skunk at the picnic, but I'm not a fan of the bows, too Minnie Mouse for me. Perhaps you'll prove me wrong with some great outfits, but they'll have to be very streamlined and neutral, because the bows themselves make such a statement. I'm much more of a fan of the old open toed sling back, peep toe, or if you are feeling more daring, what about a tee-strap? --April

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  31. Love both shoes but I really do believe the fushia pair looks so much better on you. I judged the shoe without thinking about the brand names and when I first saw a picture you had taken with both of them side by side, I immediately thought you chose to keep the fuschia pair because it looked more youthful and modern. I love the colour oxblood/burgundy/wine but I feel like this colour looks a little dull and with the curved heel, it looks very matronly. I think I would love your Manolo's in a better colour e.g. I adore Kelly's Manolo pumps in the colbalt!

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  32. I love bows in general and both shoes. But I think the complexity of the bow detail in the Manolos make it superior. :)

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  33. Hands down: the fuchsia pair.

    I think it is safe to say that many agree with a variety of points. The ones that gave thumbs-up often used the explanation of, "hey, can't go wrong w/Manolos"/"love Manolos" - name-dropping. (Don't get me wrong; I understand and appreciate the art from refined labels too. That said, it would never be right to compare them to, say ASOS if the labels were the winning argument.)

    That said, I feel a bit sad that the blog I once turned to for "chic/quality/classic for less" has now "sold out".

    I still admire your classic look and your systematic and and calculated outfit - it is a skill - but I cannot say your posts are a departure from what originally attracted me here. But, hey, I am only one of so, so many!

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  34. Excuse the typos!

    calculated *outfits

    *can say your posts

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  35. Jean, which size in these Diavolina pumps would you recommend to get if I normally wear a US size 6.5? Thank you!

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  36. The lisane pumps caught my eye months ago in Bergdorfs- I love burgundy and a bow detail. Since I have a burgundy suede pair of Ferragamo pumps and a burgundy calfskin pair of Manolos I held out on these.

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  37. Hi really sorry if this question has been asked before but what is the length of your foot? I'm trying to get an idea of how american branded shoes may fit on my small feet.

    Thanks!

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  38. I got the same pair of Manolo in black! I can't resist bow pumps! They are so adorable! I actually ordered burgundy from Nordie online, but found better deal in store at Saks. Love them!

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  39. May I ask what do you do to maintain your shoes so well after years of use.

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  40. Wow! this shoes is good for a stunning lift to feet and I hope get one pair for me.

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  41. Hello !! So glad I found your blog, it's a little jewel and I love it !!
    I'd have gone for the fuschia ones, because I agree with you on the matronly look given by the global shape of the Manolos, and the color is not my cup of tea either !
    For me, the best would have been the Diavolinas with the Manolo bow plus 2cms of heels <3
    You have tiny feet like me, how lovely ! :D

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  42. In January 2011, the newly engaged Kate Middleton stepped out of her car at a Yorkshire wedding and women everywhere wanted the look. Her black velvet hat (Jane Taylor?) and matching coat (Libelula) sold out in seconds. Her aubergine suede court shoes with satin bows (Mascaro/Pretty Ballerinas) and matching clutch with bow (LK Bennett) weren't unavailable because they were seasons old. The Lisane and Diavolina seem inspired by Kate's Mascaros but their attempts aren't quite right. I'll wait for better inspiration or a Mascaro reissue.

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  43. I acquired these New Balance WW847 for my spouse after months of looking in establishments. Anyway, our entire family owned a pair at one point and we need to state it is by far the most comfy, light-weight sneakers we have ever worn.

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