The Design Museum in London has announced that it will present the first UK retrospective of French shoe designer Christian Louboutin between 28 March and 1 July 2012, with the intention to celebrate a career that has pushed the boundaries of shoe design.
Louboutin’s shoes, with their instantly recognisable red soles, have always been regarded as a unique fusion of fashion, craftsmanship, engineering and sculpture. The exhibition at the Design Museum intends to celebrate Louboutin’s career to date and showcase 20 years of designs and inspiration, revealing the artistry and theatricality of his shoe design from stilettos to lace-up boots, studded sneakers and bejewelled pumps.
Drawing from Christian Louboutin’s personal archive, the exhibition will present his celebrated shoe designs, referencing the origins of the iconic red sole, through to the latest Louboutin collections including a range for men as well as handbags. The exhibition will also try to present Louboutin’s personality and creative approach by examining the many sources of his creativity: the realms of performance, cabaret and the showgirl; fantasy and fairy tale; art and architecture; film; landscape and travel.
The exhibition will also focus on handcrafted shoe designs that incorporate innovative ideas, forms and materials. To this end, there will be a special section dedicated to the shoes designed for ‘Fetish’, an exhibition that took place at the La Gallerie Du Passage, Paris, in 2007, as a collaboration of photography between Louboutin and David Lynch.
At the core of the exhibition will be the exploration of Louboutin’s design process, taking the visitor through every stage of the design journey, revealing how a shoe is constructed, from the initial drawing and first prototype through to production in the factory. Looking beyond design and production, the exhibition will also explore the company’s innovative store design in which Louboutin is closely involved.
Photographs by Philleppe Garcia, from the Christian Louboutin book published by Rizzoli.