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Christian Louboutin Exhibit to Kicks Up Its Heels at Toronto’s Design Exchange

Gone are the steampunkish engineering shows at the Toronto Design Exchange (housed in the old Toronto Stock Exchange) and stepping into place is a decidedly more fashion-forward exhibit: Christian Louboutin.

Christian Louboutin attending a photocall for his exhibition at the Design Museum London, England, back in April 2012.

While details have yet to finalized, this display of fabulous footwear drew more than 900 visitors per day last spring when it was held at London’s Design Museum in the United Kingdom. Curated by Donna Loveday and exhibited to wide acclaim, this exhibit draws from Christian Louboutin’s personal archive to present the designer’s celebrated shoe designs, referencing the origins of the iconic red sole through to the latest Louboutin collections.

It's expected that the exhibit will kick off in Toronto between June 21 and September 15, 2013 at the Toronto Design Exchange, Canada’s primary museum dedicated exclusively to the pursuit of design excellence and preservation of design heritage. Why not the Bata Shoe Museum you must be wondering? After all, it is the go-to venue for the designers du jour and yet, according to Bata curator Elizabeth Semmelhack, the Bata Shoe Museum had no room or time in its schedule for the show but will participate with talks and other supporting events. 

Hosting Louboutin's collection at the DX is also part of an ambitious three-year plan to increase visitors to a venue that, until now, has found more use as a party space (half of the DX’s $3 million budget comes from space rentals). The upcoming Louboutin exhibit is just one of many that will hopefully increase foot traffic.

Christian Louboutin attending a photocall for his exhibition at the Design Museum London, England, back in April 2012.

As was evident in London, the exhibition will focus on the handcrafted shoe, one-off designs which incorporate his highly innovative ideas, forms, and materials. There will be a special section dedicated to the shoes designed for "Fetish," an exhibition at the La Gallerie Du Passage, Paris in 2007, a unique collaboration of photography between Louboutin and acclaimed artist David Lynch.

At the core of the exhibition will be a unique exploration of Louboutin’s design process, taking the visitor through every stage of the design journey, revealing how a shoe is constructed, from the initial drawing and first prototype through to production in the factory.

It's all very reminiscent of the DX's last fashion-focused display, The Tutu Project, which featured pieces by Canadian fashion designers such as David Dixon and Juma, artists like Julie Moon and Tania Sanhueza, and jewellery designer Shay Lowe. It was an en pointe success and it's hoped that these big tent displays of fashionable fancies will continue.

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