20 years of Christian Louboutin exhibition

“When a woman buys a pair of shoes, she never looks at the shoe. She stands up and looks in the mirror, she looks at the breast, the ass, from the front, from the side, blah blah blah. If she likes herself, then she considers the shoe.”

Last Saturday I spent the evening ogling hoards of shiny red soled shoes at London’s Design Museum. The instantly recognisable soles mark the creative genius and iconic work of shoe designer Christian Louboutin who this year, is celebrating 20 years in the business.

Open until 9th July, the exhibition celebrates Parisian born Louboutin’s twenty-year career, showcasing the design process and inspiration behind the shoes, which includes stilettos, traditional courts, lace-up boots and studded sneakers.

Displayed theatrically, on plush velvet cushions and rotating carousels, over 200 pairs of shoes are on show, together with copies of Louboutin’s hand drawn designs and samples, which to my delight, are always prototyped for the size 37 foot.

The exhibition also includes exhibits from Louboutin’s controversial and risque fetish collection; the result of a collaboration with filmmaker David Lynch in 2007. According to Louboutin, “Most people see shoes as an accessory to walk in…however, some shoes are made for running — and some shoes are made for sex.”

The sadomasochistic creations were designed to be photographed rather than for wearing. I’m no stranger to the high heel – indeed my friends will testify that it is rare for me to put comfort before style when it comes to shoes – but these really are a work of torture. The shoes are displayed sexily, in cylindrical glass cases, next to provocative images of (brave?!) dancers wearing the creations.

For a sneak peek of the exhibition – a must-see for shoe and fashion lovers – check out these videos.

Booking Information

“Christian Louboutin” is at the Design Museum, Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD, through July 9. Information: or +44-20-7940-8790.

Tickets for the exhibition can be purchased in advance from Ticketweb. If the allocation for advanced tickets is sold out on Ticketweb, you can still purchase tickets at the museum on the day.
Last admission 30 minutes before the end of the session.
Morning session: 10am – 1.45pm
Afternoon session: 2pm – 5.45pm
Saturday evening session: 6pm – 9.45pm
Revive Wednesdays 6pm – 9.45pm every Wednesday in June

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