In August, I had the pleasure of visiting the Christian Louboutin exhibit at the Toronto Design Exchange. The exhibit was open for four months and attracted fashion fanatics such as, Christian Louboutin himself, the Beckerman sisters, and Jeanne Beker. It did an amazing job of demonstrating the growth of Mr. Louboutin and the development of his designs through various collections over the years. The exhibit originated in London, England at the London Design Museum, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the brand. When it broke attendance records, they decided to bring the exhibit to Toronto where it could be viewed by shoe collectors, fashion lovers, and women who only dreamed of owning a pair of the red-soled shoes.
The exhibit creatively displayed over 250 of Christian Louboutin’s shoes, sketches, and personal artefacts. It also included a recreation of the designer’s Paris atelier and a hologram of Dita Von Tesse.
Upon entering the exhibit, visitors were greeted by a slow-moving carousel with each swing holding a pair of beautifully crafted Christian Louboutin shoes. The carousel was pasted with significant images throughout the designers career and life.
Included in the collection of shoes displayed, were a rare pair that Christian Louboutin had created for Yves Saint Laurent, early in the designer’s career.
Christian Louboutin’s Paris atelier was re-created at the Design Exchange, displaying many of the designers sketches and tools that help in the design process. He wanted visitors to understand how much work goes into creating even the most simple shoe design.
Each pair of shoes was presented in a unique, aesthetically pleasing manner. The displays varied from secret gardens to giant spinning tops.
The designer even displayed the ‘Cinderella’ shoe that was created in a collaboration with Disney to bring to life the glass slipper from the famous motion picture. Only 20 pairs of the shoes were put into production.
As visitors exited, they walked past three variations of the ‘Pigalle’, the designers highest selling shoe.