Sex, style and Christian Louboutins: the solo exhibition finale
He’s dressed women’s feet in sexy, luxurious designs for the past twenty years and has created the most iconic sole in the fashion world. Renowned French designer Christian Louboutin, is in his own right a step above the rest.
And to celebrate his 20 years of unbelievable achievement and return back to the world of cabaret, the Design Museum in London has, since May, been showcasing Louboutins most loved designs for us all to admire.
As a shoeaholic myself, I managed to secure a ticket to one of the last days of the exhibition and what an experience! I’ve been to my fair chair of exhibitions and fashion shows, but Louboutins’ was spectacular, mesmerising and additive.
It really is the ying and yang of my work – to combine sexiness with elegance – Louboutin
As I walked up the stairs to the entrance of the exhibition the excitement kicked in, with shoes showing of all the colours of the rainbow were suspended from striped hoops – like you’d find at the circus – falling from the ceiling like a waterfall.
The entrance was naughty and enticing – like the feeling you get when trying a pair of Louboutins on. And just inside was the first hit – a blacked out wall scattered with red wooden shoe inners hung from hooks. I knew more was to come and couldn’t wait to explore the rest of the show!
The main room was spectacular – it was like I’d walked into an up market 1940’s burlesque club. The centre of room housed a large stage with black velvet curtains and an array of shoes that lined the edge – dimly lit by bulbs in gold shells.
The seating area was filled with women (and the few men who dared to enter this shoe haven) gawking at the centre of stage. Ahhh, of course the second hit right between the eyes. There, right in the centre was burlesque goddess Dita Von Teese dancing like a serpent with a pair of crystal Louboutin shoes either side of her. Then suddenly…. watch the video to find out!
People are living, sleeping and eating in your designs, imagine the responsibility
I wish I had walked in at the sooner to record the whole thing, but I managed to defy security for half a minute to catch this for you valuable Couch Design News readers!
Click here to see how the hologram was created and the full video with Dita herself.
The fun didn’t end there oooooh no! On the left side of the stage sat a vintage fairground carousel with shoes spinning in thick red cushions. It was a challenge to push through and get a glimpse with the amount of women umming and ahhhing around the display. On the right was a square box in the shape of hedge, showcasing Louboutins earlier, more eccentric work.
So what inspires his creations?
Louboutins’ inspiration has remained the same for 20 years but there has been a revolution in the design of the show. During the first ten years, his designs where more dressy and now they are a lot more sexy and sleek.
It really is the ying and yang of my work – to combine sexiness with elegance
Louboutin describes the shoe as a “pedestal on a woman’s foot”, giving them a sense of balance and imbalance at the same time. He believes it changes a woman’s body language and design with the naked body in mind – oooooo eerrrr Mr L!
He also draws his inspiration from culture, art and film. Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich were key muses in some of his work;
” The front and the back of a shoe evoke two different aspects. the front is about poise and allure, while the back is the the movement of the heel. After all, it’s Marilyn who moreover was always shown from the behind”
A formal garden design inspired his most famous work, the patent Pigalle pump that women wear with pride as a statement of success, sexiness and empowerment.
The Festish Room…
If there was a fetish element in a woman’s wardrobe I think it would have to be her shoes
This was the third hit! In 2007 Christian Louboutin collaborated with David Lynch to produce a series of shoes for an exhibition “Fetish”. And why not, most people see shoes as an accessory to walk in however shame shoes are made for running and others for sex.
The final rooms showcased a comical silent movie and many of Christian Louboutin’s treasured items, past creations, drawings and sketches in The Atelier area . There was also his very own trapeze, which hung from the corner of the room that he practises on when he has the time – a man of many talents indeed!
Overall, I spent roughly two and half hours taking in the twenty years of exquisite craftsmanship, creativity and passion Louboutin has demonstrated, and still does. My only complain is the annoying fact that no pictures were allowed to be taken. But I managed to sneak a few before being warned that if I defied authority again I’d be put out and I’m sorry folks I certainly didn’t want that as I was in pure shoe heaven.
Credits: Christian Louboutin, Design Museum, macaucloder.com