From 26 February to 26 July 2020, the Palais de la Porte Dorée presents a major exhibition devoted to the work and creativity of Christian Louboutin, the internationally renowned shoe designer and a key figure in the fashion world. Designed as an invitation to discover Christian Louboutin’s rich universe, the exhibition explores every facet of his multi-referential work, in an institution that has played an important role in inspiring his vocation.
The show, titled “Christian Louboutin: L’Exhibition(niste),” was curated by Olivier Gabet, director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the boldface name behind such blockbuster fashion exhibitions as “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams.” More than a retrospective, the installation, which is spread across 11 rooms in the museum, is a celebration of creativity and the power of collaboration.
Alongside Christian Louboutin’s shoe designs, the exhibition features works by contemporary artists such as Pakistani talent Imran Qureshi, who in 2013 splattered the roof terrace of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with red paint in decorative patterns drawn from Persian and Indian miniatures. For this show, Qureshi created a similar installation featuring a pair of shoes covered in gold leaf.
Elsewhere there is a video work by New Zealand artist Lisa Reihana, who represented her country in the 2017 Venice Biennale. Visuals of Louboutin’s fetish shoes, culled from a shoot by filmmaker and photographer David Lynch, which were first unveiled in 2007, are shown alongside pornographic illustrations by Lynch himself. Another installation by British artist duo Whitaker/Malem features nine nude forms in the skin tones of Louboutin’s Nude shoe collection.
The exhibition also pays homage to craftsmanship: There are stained-glass panels created by the Maison du Vitrail; a monumental rendering of a crystal Louboutin shoe by Parisian sculptor Stéphane Gérard, ensconced on a silver palanquin throne fashioned by Orfebrería Religiosa Villarreal in Seville, Spain, and clad in embroidery by Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee; and a theatre crafted by Bhutan artisans.
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