This summer The Design Museum in London celebrates 20 years of Christian Louboutin's iconic career. Presenting an extensive body of work from Louboutin, the designs and inspiration behind the shoes are shown to the public, uncovering the secrets behind the theatrical, show-stopping shoes. From stilettos to lace up boots, studded sneakers to bejewelled pumps, Louboutin’s shoes, with their instantly recognisable glossy red soles are the epitome of elegance, glamour and femininity.
Christian Louboutin’s career has constantly pushed the boundaries of high fashion shoe design and the exhibition goes into detail on every single aspect of Louboutin’s life, referencing the origins of the red sole, his relationship with cabaret and looks at the allure of the handcrafted shoe. Drawing on Louboutin's assertion that every woman desires to be a show girl, the exhibition takes on the appearance of a show with special touches such as a larger than life Fabergé egg containing Venus in a pair of Louboutins, placed in the centre of the room, as if it were a stage set from the Folies Bergere. Each room is given a different setting, such as Louboutin's Paris Studio or a circus, and through the setting, a different part of the Louboutin journey is retold.
The main focus of the exhibition, however, will be the exploration of the Christian Louboutin design process. The creative and innovative layout of the exhibition means that visitors are guided on a journey through every stage of the design process, starting with the initial sketches and ending with the finished product. The scene of Louboutin's studio, complete with trapeze, is where the visitor truly comes into contact with the design process. The worktop table is littered with colour swatches, sketches and shoe moulds whilst a display cabinet at the side of room explains the process of adding the red soles to the shoes.
With all honesty, I can say that I have never seen so many beautiful items collected together in one room ever before. The spectacle of elegance and glamour is stunning making this exhibition a must see.
The exhibition is now running at London's Design Museum, Shad Thames until the 9th July. Admission charges apply. Visit the Design Museum website for more details... www.designmuseum.org
Photos: Philleppe Garcia, from the Christian Louboutin Book published by Rizzoli