Hagan Network

AN ARTIST’S HOUSE BY THE SEA: Christian Louboutin’s Inclusive Invite to La Vie en Rouge.



Christian Louboutin’s Inclusive Invite to La Vie en Rouge.

It began, one might say, when an exuberant Parisian boy visited the neighbouring Palais de la Porte-Dorée, which housed the Museum of African and Oceanic Arts – and a tropical aquarium. “My sisters accompanied me there almost every weekend,” legendary designer, Christian Louboutin reminisces, “I was fascinated by the iridescence of the fish and their elusive nuances .. . I began to explore the place. It was the beginning of endless imaginary journeys and influenced my creative imagination and passion for unknown universes and other worlds.” It was here, too, that a sketch forbidding stilettos settled in the creative consciousness that would go on to iconically fit feet around the world.

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“Owning a hotel is a very specific fantasy, no?” Louboutin muses, “It’s your place, but you can be anonymous. I like that idea – I like to feel responsible for something beautiful, but in a distanced way. ”

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Now an ardent traveller, Louboutin has “always loved to look at different civilisations through their objects, through their music, through their cinema, which tells you stories about something you’ve never experienced . . . inspiration could come anytime, anywhere – from architecture, objects, textiles, dance, or the way someone is moving. It can be anything. If you keep your eyes wide open, there is inspiration everywhere you look.” Indeed, it was those same open eyes that spotted a nearby bottle of red nail polish at a pivotal moment in designing his first collection that he used to create his signature red-soled motif. Years later, a celebration of his work at that same palais he visited as a boy brought such ingenious influences together, where under a palanquin of silver made by fifth-generation ecclesiastical metalsmiths in Seville sat an irreverently unfinished crystal shoe. “There are some iconic shoes that almost everyone knows about, such as Cinderella’s shoe,” says the iconographic creator, “but it’s also the unfinished shoe, because when you’re designing, the one you favour the most is the one you have in your head.” It is from that same imaginative head that the Vermelho Hotel – in the quiet Portuguese village of Melides – was conceived. A dream long in the making, Louboutin has been connected with the country since he fell in love with the place and the people while holidaying there in his twenties.