Carrie's Manolo Blahniks get lost in translation

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The Independent Online

But, instead of providing a showcase for the shoes of the Spanish designer Manolo Blahnik, who became a household name thanks to the American series, Sexo en La Moraleja will take as its stylistic reference point the clothes of the Italian designers Dolce and Gabbana.

The Spanish show will be based on four women who live in La Moraleja, one of the most exclusive parts of Madrid, which is said to boast more famosos per square inch than any other part of Spain. David Beckham trains there with his fellow footballers from Real Madrid.

Sexo en La Moraleja will feature a former nude model and television actress, Ana Obregon, 50, as the Spanish version of Carrie Bradshaw, the diary-obsessed writer played by Sarah Jessica Parker. A darling of la prensa rosa, Spain's tabloid press, Ms Obregon is as well known for her turbulent love life as for her acting.

The only other actress so far named for the programme, which is due to start filming next year, is Beatriz Rico, 28, whose latest film was the Spanish-made El Desenlace [The Outcome].

Ms Obregon, also thought to be directing the series, has denied it will be a direct copy of the American version, which was based on a newspaper column by Candace Bushnell. She says it will only be loosely modelled on the original, which focused on the lives of the sexually gregarious PR Samantha, the demure art dealer Charlotte and the sardonic lawyer Miranda.

The original series, which was a success in Spain, put Manolo Blahnik's shoes on the fashion map in his own country. Just as the Spanish version of the series is about to start filming, he has returned to open his first shop in his own country, in Madrid. Another retail outlet will open shortly in Barcelona.

The opening in September, attended by Madrid's fashionistas and famosos, became a news item, such is the designer's fame by now in Spain. However, his shoes will not get a mention in Sexo en La Moraleja. Blahnik refused to be drawn into any designer wars yesterday. A spokes-woman in London said: "We have no comment."