Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Toronto's Design Exchange (DX) exhibition celebrates French shoe designer Christian Louboutin

Pigalle Ring Strass by Christian Louboutin. Photo by Luke Hayes.
A Christian Louboutin exhibition presented by Holt Renfrew opened at Toronto's Design Exchange on June 21 and runs through September 15, 2013. Curated by the Design Museum London in conjunction with the French shoe designer, it celebrates Louboutin's career that has pushed the boundaries of high fashion shoe design. 

Inspired by Louboutin's travels and personal inspirations, the exhibition reflects on his 20 years of design, revealing the artistry and theatricality of shoe designs that range from stilettos to lace-up boots, studded sneakers to bejeweled pumps. Here are some of the highlights: 

  • Shoe collections are displayed on a whimsical carousel, along with decor inspired by dressing room mirrors, reflection and illusion
  • Influenced by music, a large spinning top with a stepped piano keyboard displays shoes around a central mirrored column
  • A landscape and architecture area is displayed in the form of a topiary garden
  • An atelier section features imagery and decor taken directly from Louboutin's personal atelier
  • Showgirls and the iconic red soled shoes are highlighted in a section featuring a live Dita von Teese hologram
  • One-off designs allow visitors to engage with them via magnifying glasses, which give a detailed look into the ideas, forms and materials that make up the creations
  • Various shoe silhouettes may be explored in projected shadow form, allowing viewers to challenge their perceptions of what compromises the perfect silhouette

Biography section of the exhibition. Photo by Luke Hayes.
The Design Exchange (DX) is Canada's only museum dedicated exclusively to the pursuit of design excellence and preservation of design heritage. At a crossroads of multiple disciplines from furniture and architecture to graphics and fashion, DX exhibitions and talks reflect popular contemporary culture.  The Design Exchange is located downton in the historic Toronto Stock Exchange building. Toronto is also the home of the Bata Shoe Museum.