Shoes feature in many of our most powerful myths and fairytales, from Cinderella and Puss in Boots to The Wizard of Oz. Modern-day social anthropologists often trace the popularity of high heels to the rise of “stiletto feminism”, which encompasses both traditional femininity and power. FIB’s brand new short film, “LOUBOUTIN – LEGEND OF THE RED SOLES” explores the power which heels wield over us all – taking a closer look at footwear pioneer Christian Louboutin’s creative impact on the craft.
Artists have long explored the shoe as a fetish object. Andy Warhol was obsessed – he first drew them simply as fashion illustrations, but they became the focus of a series of famously sought-after screen prints in the 1980s.
Tarantino makes sure to have women’s feet star in all his films, and Helmut Newton frequently fetishised high heels in his photography. So what is the big deal with the heel? Just a handful of luxury stalwarts are so synonymous with a colour that consumers can instantly equate the shade with the name.
The Famously Red Heel
So, how does a brand own a tone, and should smaller labels try? When LVMH agreed the $16 Billion deal to purchase the Tiffany and Co., the luxury conglomerate was also buying a particular shade of blue. Pantone 1837, also known as Robin’s egg blue, is in the minds of consumers globally, Tiffany Blue, so powerfully does it signify the storied American jeweller’s visual identity and heritage. And just like Pantone 1837 means Tiffany, so does a certain lacquer red colour means Louboutin.
In examining the history of accessory and shoe design, these shoes are more than just a status symbol, concept, or trademark/counterfeit disaster, they are legitimate works of art in their own right.
Red-soled shoes are also the centrepiece of Louboutin’s childhood fascination with costuming, cited as his biggest inspiration in turning into a fashion designer. Louboutin’s personal predilections before fashion design were first hinted at in episodes of nocturnal mischief.
– Written by Joshua Croasdale and Paul G Roberts – Voiced by Paul G Roberts Edited – Produced by Nicholas Cairns and Lauryn Bennett – Narrated by Annalisa Piccio –
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