Saturday, June 2, 2012

London: Louboutin Anniversary Exhibition

So my travel posts are all going to be a bit out of order since I can't help myself but excitedly share some of the highlights!

As a shoe lover, it was of course hugely exciting to end my travels with a trip to the Christian Louboutin 20th Anniversary Exhibition at the London Design Museum. It was a bit disappointing that we missed meeting the man himself - he was presenting a talk a mere 18 hours earlier(!) - but we literally jetted into London and spent our last moments there viewing shoe porn, eating Pinkberry and enjoying Pierre Herme macarons (my favourite!).

The exhibition is compact, but beautifully presented, taking visitors on a bit of a visual journey through the mastermind's creative shoe journey. You're not meant to take photos in the exhibition but I just had to capture the breathtaking beauty in some way so snuck in some sneaky (albeit slightly dodgily shot) iPhone photos to share with you!
Shoe trapeze at the entrance

Shoe carousel!
 The shoes are presented in a rough chronological order, but also separated by 'themes' such as the Fetish room (more on that later), original early designs and special one-off pieces.

One of the 'highlights' is a Dita Von Teese hologram performance which playfully appears to be taking place right before your eyes on an elevated stage, with a staircase of beautiful 'performance' type shoes cascading before it.

This pair is one of those beauties and just so happens to be one of my sisters' favourite pairs in her collection!

The famous Anemone <3
Earlier I mentioned the 'Fetish' Room - this was a display setup solely for the David LaChapelle photographic collaboration from 2007. For those that don't recall, Louboutin made a series of purely exhibitionist non-wearable shoes which were provocatively photographed by LaChapelle, a style he is most well known for.

And of course I couldn't resist a shot of the famous patent black Pigalle 120s! I am yet to wear mine, but reading the blurb expresses exactly what this cult shoe is about - beauty and art in something wearable (or perhaps not so wearable, depending on who you ask).

And finally, Dita's very own cabaret strasses. These are amazing in real life - she has such tiny feet - and you can even see where the perspex sections are ripping from wear. Amazing!

So while this may not have been the best fashion exhibition I've been to, it was still beautiful to see a mock setup of his workroom, see videos and understand his long journey to Shoe God. I have a theory that perhaps this exhibition didn't seem so 'WOW" because shoes are so accessible - every season we see these shoes in real life in our local stores and even if we can't afford to buy them we can still for a moment try them on and fantasise over when we might be able to wear them. With other couture exhibitions I've been to (Jean Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino are the few I've been to), you're seeing true Haute Couture pieces worth hundreds of thousands which would never normally leave the atelier so they perhaps have a greater sense of allure.

Even so, if you're in London, I suggest you get your hot little heels down to the exhibition for a squiz. It's well worth it if you're a Louboutin fan and shoe lover!

Visit the exhibition at London's Design Museum until 9 July.


  1. ooohhh. Pigalles...
    I have Very Prives and they kill me. I love but am scared to wear them. They are half size too big, but NO WAY will i give them up.

    1. That's the way! Very Prive's can be hard to come by now so that sounds like a completely clever idea to me (though others may call us silly!

    2. LOL I know! I bought them cheap from a voguette, It looked like a display set and I think it was 38, black leather (not patent) with red peep toe. My wallet said no - i was on mat leave number 1 and my heart said yes. I pad it to the hills but it really kills my feet. Keep walking and act like it doesn't hurt. :)