The ebullient luxury shoe designer famous for his red soles, Christian Louboutin, is the subject of a new exhibition called The Exhibition(ist), in one of Paris’ most spectacular buildings, the Palais de la Porte Dorée.
Usually, a fashion-related exhibition of this kind would be held at the Decorative Arts Museum or the Palais Galliera (Paris’ fashion museum), but Louboutin was born and raised in the 12th arrondissement where the Palais Dorée is, went to school just behind the venue, and watched Indian and Egyptian films in the local fleapits. These influences, both urban and exotic, can now be found in his eclectic creations.
The Palais Dorée is also a museum that young Louboutin would visit, and the story goes that a sign at the entrance forbidding women to wear high heels (because of the delicate wooden floor) was his first inspiration for designing shoes!
The exhibitions is arranged in eleven sections:
— Antechamber, with the famous ‘no high heels’ sign that started everything off
— Early Years. Les premières influences, l’apprentissage du métier…
— Treasure Room. A pyramid shaped rotunda with some of Louboutin’s most iconic creations
— Nudes. A series of flesh-coloured shoes started in 2006
— The Atelier. A look at the steps (often over a hundred) that go into creating a shoe
— Suggestion & Projection. Decked out like a granny’s living room, but with some surprises in store…
— Bhutanese Theatre. Some of Louboutin’s creations made for stage shows, including a hologram of Dita Von Teese made specially for the exhibition
— Biography. A huge digital fresco, unique to the exhibition, showcasing moments from the life and career of Louboutin
— The Pop Corridor, showing how Louboutin’s work is now part of the popular consciousness
— Fetish. A collaboration between Christian Louboutin and David Lynch, originally created in 2007
— An Imaginary Museum. Louboutin’s influences and inspirations, represented by an eclectic mix of art objects from different civilisations and cultures
For even more info about the crazy world of Louboutin, there’s a new documentary – Sur les pas de Christian Louboutin – which will be shown on the Arte channel (not sure whether it will be subtitled) on 13th March at 10.30pm (also available online here), and the catalogue of the exhibition is now available (256 pages, £32.50 here at hive.co.uk).
Christian Louboutin The Exhibition(ist) is at the Palais de la Porte Dorée (here) from 26th February – 26th July 2020
Open every day except Mondays from 10am-5.30pm (7pm weekends)
Admission: 12€ / 9€ (includes access to the museum and aquarium)
To read the full press kit for the exhibition in English, simply click the ‘fullscreen’ button at the bottom right of the image below.