Christian Louboutin: L’Exhibition[niste] – Chapitre II In Monaco

Christian Louboutin: L’Exhibition[niste] – Chapitre II

Two weeks ago I attended “Christian Louboutin: L’exhibition[niste] – Chapitre II in Monaco. This was the second chapter of Louboutin’s first exhibition held in 2020 at the Palais de la Porte Dorée in Paris; the Monaco edition offered a new perspective with this second exhibition named “Chapter II”.

This was probably Grimaldi Forum’s biggest event of the summer, dedicated to the universe and the creations of Christian Louboutin, a legendary shoe designer and one of the most prominent figures in the world of fashion.

The set design stretched for 2000 m2 of the Espace Ravel in the Grimaldi Forum building and included additional items linked to the designer’s Monegasque inspirations and new collaborations. The retrospective was conceived as “a joyous odyssey spanning three decades of Louboutin’s creativity, tracing his curiosity towards culture and art in all its forms”, celebrating art through the creator’s eyes.

The shoes were the retrospective’s main protagonists, with a selection of exceptional creations including some unique models.

Christian Louboutin started his apprenticeship at the end of the 80s with Folies Bergère, a Parisian music-hall, for which he realized the costumes (he once said in an interview: “I’ve always loved anything having to do with theater – theatricality and movement, the movement of theatricality.”), then he worked for a while with Charles Jourdan and Roger Vivier, a famous Parisian shoe designer, who was one of his biggest inspirations at the beginning of his career.

Louboutin founded his own brand and opened his Paris shop in 1990. His first line with the iconic red sole came out in 1992, giving his shoes a distinctive look; by inventing the red sole, he found his signature, which is known and recognized across the world to this day.

Entrance of Christian Louboutin’s exhibition at Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

The first room of the Monaco retrospective was decorated with a set of eight stained-glass windows especially designed by Christian Louboutin and displayed the first shoes he ever designed. Most of those he made himself on a budget in his tiny apartment – the designs show the influence of Roger Vivier on Louboutin’s first shoe models.

This room reconstructed the beginning of his career, with the help of magazine covers, initial sketches and personal photographs, which recapture the buzz of the 80s and 90s, when fashion was still something fun and light-hearted, less intertwined with the concept of luxury. The room displayed some of his early creations like the Pluminette (Spring/Summer 1995, inspired by birds), Love (Louboutin’s “Première Collection”, Fall/Winter 1991), Aqua Girl (Fall/Winter 1998) and Pensée(Fall/Winter 1993, produced in a variety of different colors).

Princess Caroline of Monaco and Madonna were among Louboutin’s first clients at his Parisian boutique in Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Of his legendary career, the designer says: “It’s really a lucky star that has brought me to this point, more than ambition, dreams, or imagination. I let myself be guided by things.”

Some of Louboutin’s first shoe models

Throwback Thursday: Hermès Behind The Scenes – Milan, May 2017

Hermès Carré – Making Of

In May 2017 I had the pleasure to attend a special exhibition organized by Hermès in Milan, Italy. Ten artisans of the Parisian maison, which has more than 4500 people employed as “maîtres artisans”, came to the Brera district from May 11 to May 17 to share their experience. “Hermés – Behind the Scenes” allowed visitors to discover the craftsmanship and how they transform the materials creating bags, saddles, jewels, ties, watches, etc. The space became a giant laboratory, where the artisans worked and explained the core of their profession while answering the audience’s questions.

One of the most interesting parts was where the artisans showcased all the different phases to create the colorful carré, typical of the maison (for a carré to be authentic, it needs to have the carré title, the Hermés signature and the copyright).

This was truly a celebration of expertise and these meetings allowed visitors to understand what it means to be an artisan and to see the gestures of the trade in a very fascinating way.

Hermès artisan working on a silk scarf
La Maison des Carrés Hermès

The legendary Hermès artisans were from the ten “métiers d’art” – this is the way the maison calls the different production categories, like “le cuir” (leather). A documentary called “Les Mains d’Hermès” (Hermès Hands) was showcased in one of the adjacent rooms, perfect to delve deeper into the topic of workmanship. Seeing all those old ladies work brought to mind my maternal grandmother, who used to be so good at sewing and embroidering; a similar work for Hermès or one of these fashion houses would have been great for her!

The path of the exhibition stretched for ten areas dedicated to every single “savoir-faire” (on a surface of about 1000 m²) and people got to see the birth of each different Hermès item, witnessing the making of a dream.


Five Objects Of Fashion Inspired By France

For this “Five” edition, let’s take a look at five fashion objects I own that are evocative of France and its timeless glamour:

1) Karl Lagerfeld Signature Crossbody Bag: I fell in love with this bag in the spring of 2019 and it was gifted to me by my father on the occasion of my birthday.

I was a bit indecisive about which color to get (light pink or beige were my main options) but then I came across the black version and it really caught my eye. Besides the fact that black goes with everything, I felt it was the most practical shade for a daily use (it’s the ideal bag for me when running errands on foot, but also for a chic apéritif in the city; I would pair it with an all-black outfit, probably black jeans or faux-fur pants and a black biker jacket).

Three years later, it shows no particular signs of wear (apart from a little scratch on the golden Karl signature) and I still use it often, mostly in the wintertime.

I love the fact that it combines classic and contemporary elements, being a centerpiece for different styles; it also provides adequate storage in my opinion.

2) Chanel Paris – Riviera Eau de Toilette: this is part of the “Les Eaux de Chanel” collection, which was inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s travel destinations.