Designed as an invitation to discover Christian Louboutin’s rich universe, the unprecedented exhibition explores every facet of his multi-referential work, in an institution that has played an important role in inspiring his vocation.
From the beginning, Christian Louboutin infused his designs with a great wealth of motifs and colours inspired by his love of art and different cultures. Flamboyant, daring, open to the world, generous and at times caustic, the designer’s creativity is informed by a passion for travel and references from the worlds of pop culture, theatre, dance, literature and cinema.
In revealing Christian Louboutin’s inspirations and creative processes, the exhibition showcases the designer’s vision through a selection of the most precious works from his personal collection and loans from public collections. A large selection of shoes are on display, some of which have never been exhibited before.
These historic and artistic pieces are shown alongside a number of exclusive collaborations which pay tribute to Christian Louboutin’s admiration for craftsman’s know how. Some examples include stained glass panels created by the Maison du Vitrail, a Sevillian silver palanquin and a cabaret sculpted in Bhutan. The exhibition also unveils collaborations, never seen before, with artists who are important to him: the director and photographer David Lynch, the New Zealand multimedia artist Lisa Reihana, the British designer duo Whitaker Malem, the Spanish choreographer Blanca Li, and the Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi, amongst others.
Born in the 12th district of Paris, close to the Palais de la Porte Dorée, Christian Louboutin was fascinated from an early age by the architectural beauty and ornamental richness of the institution, which was one of the earliest influences feeding his love of art and applied arts. He borrowed a whole repertoire of forms and motifs from the Palais for his first designs, including the Maquereau shoe – made of metallic leather and directly inspired by the iridescence of the fish in the Palais de la Porte Dorée’s tropical aquarium. It was also at the Palais, a masterpiece of Art deco, that Christian Louboutin, then a young adolescent, noticed a sign forbidding visitors to wear high heeled shoes. This sign subsequently inspired the iconic Pigalle shoe which has been reinvented over the course of the seasons.
To make your visit safe, we are implementing the following measures:
- Mandatory online reservation with time slots on the Palais de la Porte Dorée website.
- Mandatory use of the mask throughout your visit.
- The access is limited to few people at a time in the exhibition spaces. Markings on the ground allowing the respect of safety distances.
- Provision of hydroalcoholic gel at your arrival at the Palais de la Porte Dorée and the
entrance of all exhibition spaces.
- Maintaining a distance of 1 meter from other visitors.
- Respect social distancing and sanitary gestures.
About the Palais de la Porte Dorée
The Palais de la Porte Dorée was built by Albert Laprade for the International Colonial Exhibition of 1931. It is located in the east of Paris and represents an exceptional Art Deco ensemble and is listed as an historic monument. As an official palace, loaded with symbols, its layout benefited from the input of great artists and craftsmen of the time: the sculptor Alfred Janniot, the painters Pierre-Henri Ducos de la Haille, Ivanna and André- Hubert Lemaître and Louis Bouquet, the interior desi- gners Eugène Printz and Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann, the ironworkers Gilbert Poillerat and Raymond Subes.
It houses the Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration and the Tropical Aquarium.
PALAIS DE LA PORTE DORÉE
MUSÉE NATIONAL DE L’HISTOIRE DE L’IMMIGRATION
293, avenue Daumesnil – 75012 Paris