I was mega excited to receive an email inviting me to the press conference and preview of the much-anticipated Christian Louboutin exhibition at the Design Museum. I am a huge fan of the man who created all those beautiful red soled shoes worn by fashionistas across the globe, and so couldn’t wait to get up close and personal with some of his most iconic designs.
The Press conference took place on a beautiful sunny day at the Design Museum, with a panel made up of Christian Louboutin, Deyon Sudjic of the Design Museum, Simon Stacey the creative director of Household, and Diane Loveday the exhibition creator. The following is a snapshot of the question and answer session. along with some of the images I took of those beautiful shoes.
Q. How does it feel to have an exhibition at the Design Museum?
CL. Today is a beautiful day – it is a great thing. It is a big honour and quite a journey through 20 years. A way to see what was missing, what was forgotten and revisit memories – some good, some bad, but all about my life. It was a bit emotional to see my work that is so closely related to my life.
Q. Do you think seeing your shoes on plinths, not feet, might affect design?
CL: I never think a shoe is completed until I see it on someone’s foot, seeing that the balance is fine, that the heel doesn’t break. Shoes need to be worn, it takes its full form on the foot, although shoes by themselves can be beautiful.
Q. Take me back to your internship at the Folies Begere. Is that where you love of shoes comes from?
CL: Shoe love comes from two loves, showgirls and cabaret. Coming from Paris this was very important. Seeing the Cabaret over and over again you enter the world and see it from different angles. I thought the showgirls looked like Birds of Paradise. I wanted to give something to these girls, but because I saw them as birds I didn’t see them as wearing costumes, rather as in feathers – like birds. So I felt the only thing I could design was shoes.
Q. Are there further ideas/projects for the future?
CL: I don’t have much ambition, but I do have another project actually…
Q. What do you hope people take from the exhibition?
CL: I hope they realise that this is design. In my atelier in Paris people are surprised at how you design a shoe – all the tiny elements that allow a woman to walk. I am happy people will see behind the scenes – how a shoe is constructed.
Q. Why do you think women love your shoes so much?
CL: It’s for women to answer! I was surrounded by women, my older sisters, my mom. I like to think I am a friend of women, when I design I’m the man who loves women, the designer and the man – this is all combined in me when designing. Like to think I understand women, I’ve never met a woman who wanted shorter legs!
Q. Chloe Green has designed a range of shoes with green soles – what do you think about that?
CL: It’s good. She’s following her name and putting her name on her shoes.
Q. What feminine ideal do you design for?
CL. I imagine women naked when I design for them! Again I have to go back to my three sisters. I used to complain to my mother that I was surrounded by 300 witches when I was younger because my sisters had so many different aspects and facets to their personality.I’ve never really been interested in a feminine ideal – in perfection.The idea of a muse – a perfect person doesn’t interest me.
Q.Would you ever consider designing clothes?
CL: No, NO and definitely No! I’m not interested in clothing. I was once propositioned about doing a collection by a very famous house. I said – ‘Are you crazy?’
Q. How much does comfort matter to you?
CL: Think this came from an interview I did where I said comfort is not important when I design a shoe. I want people to say how beautiful a shoe looks, not to say how comfortable it looks. The showgirls at the Folies Begere when I was 17 used to buy capaccio veal to put into their shoes to make them more comfortable, so comfort when wearing shoes is important, but I don’t like the idea that my shoes would be the epitome of comfort.
To view all of the images from the day, please visit my Fashion-Mommy Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/fashionmommywm