Christian Louboutin at 20: The Capsule Collection

Complete the sentence: “In 20 years, I will be _____________________.”

You’d be surprised at how many interesting answers you could come up with or how you’d find yourself totally at loss for words. In 20 years, you could be immersing yourself in a completely different culture in another country, probably somewhere exotic.

You could be hosting a Sunday barbecue party at your new classic country-style home in the suburbs.You could be driving your dream car. You could be driving your dream car with your dream boy. You could be married with kids. You could be married without kids.

You could still be living in the same apartment with the same flatmate. You could be working overtime (for the fourth straight time in a week) in your effort to climb up the corporate ladder. You could be miserable. You could be happy. You could be bored. You could be fabulous.

The possibilities are endless. And for Christian Louboutin, he picked only the best.

His was no Cinderella story as he practically worked his way to the top. But like the popular fairy tale, a shoe changed his life. Even in his early teens, Louboutin already had the makings of a designer as his favorite pastime was sketching footwear. He may have made a career detour—a landscape gardener, at that—but his true calling was too loud to ignore that eventually, he went back to his original passion.

In 1991, Christian Louboutin opened his first shoe boutique, and the rest was history. And what a glorious history it was. In 20 years, the French designer has emerged as a powerful icon in the fashion industry. Christian Louboutin has joined the ranks of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hermes, Balmain and other notable French designers who took the world by storm. Most, if not everyone, are already familiar with the label’s trademark red soles, 120 mm stiletto heels and sexy, low cut vamps. “I wanted to create something that broke rules and made women feel confident and empowered,” said the 49-year-old designer.

Indeed, it has been two decades of breaking rules and empowering women, and apparently, there is no stopping to it. In celebration of their unfailing commitment to shoe glamour and luxury, Christian Louboutin has released a capsule collection which is inspired by his most iconic designs over the past twenty years. The line is an eclectic mix of shoes, from heavily embellished sandals to over the knee boots. Here are some of his masterpieces:

Pensee

PenseeWhy red? The mystery of the red sole may have puzzled many for quite some time. Could it be symbolic of the red-blooded woman? Was it the designer’s lucky color? Actually, there was really no science to it except for probably an instance of sheer madness.

When he first saw the flower power Pensee, Loubotin admired it but not quite; he felt that it was lacking something. Out of nowhere, he took his assistant’s China Red-colored nail polish, smeared it over the black sole and there, he had a life-altering eureka moment. "It popped up exactly like my drawing and I thought, 'This is it,'" Louboutin narrated.

Bow Bow

Bow BowWhatever has gotten into the Parisian designer to create Bow Bow? If you ask the French house, they already came up with a rather witty answer: Bow Bow was born from ‘Chic-istan’. Incorporating transparent PVC in approximately 60% of the shoe’s overall material was probably yet another one of his moments of sheer madness that became a stroke of genius. This piece creates an illusion of walking in invisible shoes with your feet adorned by pretty little bows. It’s too cute for words.

Neuron

Neuron by louboutinYou can tell that the House of Louboutin went beyond their love of the arts and looked for inspiration in science. Judging by the peculiar design of this piece, the Neuron easily resembles the framework of the brain or a strand of DNA, like a science project of some sort which obviously deserves an A mark.

These strappy sandals are covered in suede accentuated with flat buttons on every level. While the red edition is undoubtedly eye-catching, the black one with crystal-encrusted buttons would dazzle on the red carpet or at any full glam affair.

Pluminette

PluminetteHaving spent a good part of his formative years slipping inside a Parisian cabaret, Christian Louboutin took a lot of inspiration from the flamboyant and sultry costumes of showgirl. In an interview, Louboutin openly admitted that he was never keen on becoming a huge designer but to just work for showgirls.

Since he had taken quite a different turn from his real dream, the French designer attempted to realize that dream through his shoes and very much succeeded; case in point: the Pluminette. You could feel Moulin Rouge at the tip of your toes with its charming feather adornments.

Rose Du Desert

Rose Du DesertHot sun warming bare skin. So read the prose in Louboutin’s online store. The words would seem to ring true for any wearer of the Rose Du Desert as these sandals are designed in such a way that it envelopes the legs without depriving them of the sun and the air’s bliss. On a more technical note, Louboutin takes gladiator sandals to a higher level in the Rose du Desert. Made of rich fine leather, this masterpiece is your best armor against fashion faux pas.

Sea.nn Girl

Sea.nn GirlRead as “CNN Girl”, these thigh-high boots are said to be created for a reporter stuck right in the middle of a war zone and has lost everything but her shoes. According to Louboutin (who let out a few laughs while explaining), he purposefully affixed a number of pockets for “her phone, a place to put her papers, and her pen”.

While Roger Vivier released OTK camouflage boots to honor victims of the Vietnam War, Louboutin also made an attempt to bridge the gap between fashion and conflict. And he did it without conforming to the usual military chic trend. For their 20-year capsule collection, the French label added a twist to the Sea.nn Girl: a couple of credit card slots.

Isabelle

IsabelleEvery chic knows that espadrilles are the ultimate summer must-haves. But wouldn’t you want something that can take you from a stroll on a sunny summer afternoon to a lovely dinner date on a chilly evening? Well, Isabelle is IT. These espadrilles are truly as beautiful as its name.

The monochrome floral and roman image print on the white fabric cotton adds a subtle romantic touch to it. If you want something ultra feminine, you may like the pink floral design or you can go for something wild like the leopard print edition. For a flirty appeal, you can tie its lace right above the ankles or you may opt to create a cute loose bow. Whichever way you want it, Isabelle will certainly make your summer sizzle.

Isolde

IsoldeThese shoes are not for the faint of heart; not because the heels and platform measure a risky 6.3 and 2.4 inches, respectively; and certainly not because of the spikes. Isolde is clearly intended for women with enough guts to defy society’s typical idea of elegance.

Just look at it: rows of spikes and pyramid studs line the straps and the vamp. To say that it’s so rocker chic is even an understatement! Your feet will gleam with the mirror leather and to put an icing on the cake, the platform is embellished with Swarovski crystals. Who can possibly resist? Isolde will definitely make good girls go bad. (Well, in appearance, at least.)

Lady Gres

Lady GresRemember that perfect girl back in high school? Well you must have encountered this specie at least once in your lifetime. The one with well-kept hair, pretty lashes and a picture-perfect smile. The one who was always a breath of fresh air, as if she walked in slow motion along the corridors, down the hall, etc. The Lady Gres is the perfect epitome of that girl—flawless, faultless, perfect.

These pumps can either compliment any outfit or be the very highlight. The ruched detail is so precise and the knot crown will always be a Louboutin classic. If you want something safe and versatile, take the beige one but the suede version in fuchsia color is outright bold and beautiful.

Daf Booty

Daf BootyIf you were born and raised in Paris, it is inevitable for art to run in your veins. No wonder Louboutin basically breathes it in and out. He was lucky to have been exposed not only to traditional Parisian art but to contemporary ones as well. Daf Booty is his personal homage to the French artists who have literally taken their art to the streets. These leather booties feature graffiti art from the upper down to its skyrocketing heels. With Daf Booty, you have a Magnum Opus right at your toes.

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