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Inside the Must-See Christian Louboutin Exhibition

Christian Louboutin Exhibition

Christian Louboutin’s L’Exhibition[niste] at the Palais de la Porte Dorée museum. Courtesy of Christian Louboutin

A new exhibition featuring the totality of Christian Louboutin’s universe, exploring every facet of the designer’s multi-referential work, opened in Paris last night. Farida Khelfa, Dita Von Teese, Fanny Ardant, and Vogue Arabia Manuel Arnaut were among the guests who gathered for an intimate dinner celebrating the debut and with a musical performance by Egyptian sensation Tamino. The exhibition showcases a selection of works from his personal collection and loans from public ones. The reveal of artistic pieces—stained-glass panels created by the Maison du Vitrail, a Sevillian silver palanquin, and a cabaret sculpted in Bhutan—showcase Louboutin’s fervor for craftsmanship. A vast selection of shoes are on display, some of which have never been exhibited before. Also featured the first time are never-before-seen collaborations with artists like David Lynch, Blanca Li, and Imran Qureshi.

“For now I see this exhibition as a celebration, more than a turning point,” considers Louboutin. “It’s a way to pay an homage—in place very dear to me—to some artists, craftsmen, places I like or admire. It is actually not a brand exhibition but much more a traveling in my head, in my world which is in a lot of ways vaster than just my brain. Before being a brand, I am a 100% full flesh heart and blood human being. And that’s what the exhibition talks about: the story of a human being.”

Christian Louboutin Exhibition

The Palais de la Porte Dorée. Courtesy of Christian Louboutin

The exhibition is at the Palais de la Porte Dorée, a masterpiece of Art Deco, located in the 12th arrondissement, Paris, where Louboutin was born. He recalls a fascination from youth for the architectural and ornamental richness of the palace, which influenced him from a young age. Motifs and forms that reference the institution, are seen in his first designs, including the Maquereau shoe, made of metallic leather and inspired by the fish in the tropical aquarium. Most notably, however, as a young teenager, he remembers noticing a sign forbidding visitors to enter wearing high-heeled shoes. It is this sign that inspired the Pigalle shoe, reinvented over many seasons. Christian Louboutin exhibition at Le Palais de la Porte Dorée, Paris

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