Christian Louboutin lights up Paris' Opera Comique to celebrate 30th anniversary of the infamous red sole
Christian Louboutin loves theater. It's evidenced by the highly conceptual presentations of his seasonal collections. Always entertaining, for his fall/winter 2023 collection entitled 'The Loubi Show', which celebrated 30 years of the red sole, the sophisticated and celebrated "le fabricant de chaussures" and maker of dreams, once again wowed.
Packing the 18th-century Opera Comique to the rafters with celebrities such as Avril Lavigne, Ashley Park, Paul Forman, Coco Rocha, Elsa Hosk, Olivia Palermo, Ivy Getty, Law Roach, Morgan Stewart, and Rossy de Palma, the work of choreographer Sadeck Berrabah transfixed the audience.
Post-performance, Louboutin spoke to reporters about the about-face from last season's cabaret-inspired presentation.
"I have been following the work of Sadeck on Instagram for a while now. As a kid, I used to love kaleidoscopes, and when I saw the first video from Sabrack, it's like exactly like that; this is what he does," he said, adding, "it's in black and white, which is very graphic, and then we added my color red."
In the performance, Berrabah acts as the conductor directing fifty dancers on a bleacher-seat black set with a reflecting mirror above. The dancers perform a style of movement called 'tutting', described in a release as "an interpretive style involving intricate movements of the body and hands in geometric shapes performed in synchronized harmony."
Indeed, the effect of the dancers dressed in black catsuits and the pops of white and red moving in sharp unison was mesmerizing—live opera singers and string group performed flanking the stage in the boxes, which intensified the experience.
The dancers wore custom back and white Astribottas knee-high boots made exclusively for the show, and red and black gloves and soles punctuated the iconic red brand marker.
"He is a genius, and I immediately felt we are connected on so many levels when we met because he sketches, folds, and mirrors the movements, like architecture, which I love too," Louboutin said, adding, "I don't need to tell him what to do; it's all in his head. My team told him 'Christian has to come to see the rehearsal.' I said, 'no, I know the guy's work, so why?' I wanted to be surprised like everyone else."
The styling of the performance also brought to mind another 30-plus years throwback; the Robert Palmer girls. Perhaps Berrabh's and Louboutin's collaboration can usher in today's modern version. Or at least a new pilates workout as several moves accented the dancers' physical prowess.
Post-show, guests mingled in the ornate lobby to glimpse the fall/winter 2023 collection that playfully referenced flamenco motifs. The location was more than a design muse but a passion for the designer.
"Fifteen years ago, this building was slated to become a parking lot in the middle of Paris, but it was saved thanks to the legacy of an important French cultural minister, Malraux," continued the designer.
The politician stopped a lot of demolitions happening in Paris from the 30s to the 50s by establishing landmark laws.
The building and its legacy are worth preserving. At 30 years and going strong, the same could be said of Louboutin's work.
The following day across town, another Parisian footwear institution took the opportunity of Paris Fashion Week to put its name back on the style map. Maison Ernest, established in 1904 and supplied many of Paris' most famous showgirls with their dancing shoes, showed its latest collection on dancers at the infamous Crazy Horse Paris club.
While the brand has been reviving itself since current creative director Isabelle Bordji took the reins in 2012, it was recent sales activity in the U.S. that prompted the return.
“Our growth in the U.S. was organic through the website, so I think we have something to show that brings my spirit of Paris because my spirit speaks to all women, not just Parisian, who love glamour, femininity, and being free. We can share this all over the world. American women especially are attentive to details, to elegance, to chic, and I like the way they interpret it with a different personal touch,” Bordji said to reporters backstage.
The spectacle took the viewers through the journey of the brand over almost 12 decades in a series of vignettes that highlighted different aspects of the collection, which focuses mainly on the original lace-up boot style
“The boots are completely inspired by 19th-century boots I think that all the women want to be a star on the stage like a cabaret dancer. It's timeless this is how I interpreted it; it can be modern now, too, because they are still dancing at Crazy Horse,” she added.
Other highlights of the collection include gold mule styles that can be paired with ankle jewelry. They are also still dancing on Instagram and Tik Tok too, which has ushered in a broader definition of fashion and style homogenized to the taste of the masses rather than sussed out by professionals such as stylist, editors, and retailers whose view tends to be more discerning than netizens.
Maison Ernest has the utmost potential as a legacy Parisian house with its savoir-faie, but it currently isn’t as sophisticated as it could be. Being able to infuse some of that luxe, impeccable Parisian je ne sais quoi into the collection would be interesting to see.
Copyright © 2023 FashionNetwork.com All rights reserved.