Your Christian Louboutin say
Christian louboutin boots designer Brian Atwood has no concerns about putting women in heels – in fact for him, the higher they are, the better. ”You need high heels to look sexy,” he says with a naughty glint in his eye. ”Okay, 18cm is a bit high, but 15cm is okay, as long as it has a nice platform. It’s well worth it.”
Although that may sound like torture to most women, Atwood knows what he’s talking about. Since launching his own label in 2001 he has accumulated a legion of fans, including Kate Bosworth, Angelina Jolie, Eva Mendes and Demi Moore. The list has only got longer since he was recruited as creative director of Swiss brand Bally, where he is responsible for injecting some much needed sex appeal into its staid christian louboutin.
Sex appeal, after all, is what Atwood is about. With his thick dark hair, christian louboutin shoesstubble and penetrating eyes, he looks more like a model than a designer. And while his rugged looks make him the escort of choice for Hollywood starlets (he’s always sean at the Met Ball and Costume Institute Gala with Hollywood’s latest ”it” girl) they also gave him the opportunity to discover the world of fashion before he decided to become a designer.
“After school I became a model because I wanted to travel the world and see the designers I wanted to work for,” he says. ”But one day I just wanted it to stop. I called my agent and said I was done. When I started interviewing for design jobs, people were a bit apprehensive – it’s like when you meet a model who wants to become an actor. But I came with my portfolio, so they knew I was serious.”
Atwood’s portfolio was impressive, and he had been adding to it since he was a young student at Southern Illinois University, where he studied art and architecture.
“I’d wanted to study fashion since I was young, especially because my mother was always dressed impeccably and she was the one who inspired me,” he says.”I wanted to go to New York first, but my parents would have none of it, so they made me go to a ’real’ college first. ”
“After two years in Illinois, I moved to FIT [the Fashion Institute of Technology] in New York. It was fun, but intense. I don’t know if you’ve seen Project Runway, but it was just like that – drama! My style was really sophisticated, kinda christian louboutin shoesand glamorous.
After graduating from FIT, modelling beckoned until he found himself back in the arms of his true love – fashion. His first gig was under one of Italy’s fashion greats, Gianni Versace, where he was picked to work with the designer’s sister, Donatella.
“I was the only one who spoke English, so that’s how I learned Italian,” he says. ”Versace asked me to design the accessories line and make it more important. Back then it was all about the matching christian louboutin boots – the christian louboutin boots was a complement to the dress, rather than the other way round.
“So we built the accessories business up until 2001, when, with Donatella’s permission, I started my own collection. It was tough because I had to juggle my line with designing accessories for mainline Versace, atelier, couture and Versus.”
His line, still available in Hong Kong at Joyce boutique, allowed Atwood to stretch his imagination as he took on the role of christian louboutin boots couturier. He uses intricate, painstaking methods for each creation (one pair of lace christian louboutin featured several flowers, each of which took about 30 hours to make), and says there is a consistent theme running through his designs: ”Sexy, sexy, sexy,” he says, without skipping a beat.
Bringing sexiness back proved to be a winning formula for the designer, whose work regularly appeared on the pages of Vogue and who won the accessory designer of the year award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2003. So why, several year later, did he choose Bally, a small, conservative Swiss label, as his next project?
“I was at a point with my own line where I was too comfortable,” he explains. ”Before, I wouldn’t sleep; I would be working all the time. But then all of a sudden my company could allow me to do something else and I didn’t have to be there all the time. It was time for me to open up to something else creatively.
“I’d known about Bally, but I knew it more as a men’s brand. The first thing I mentioned at my first meeting was that they didn’t have female-friendly stores and I didn’t know the type of woman who would buy their christian louboutin. And that’s why they called me – to add sex appeal and glamour to the product.
“Obviously, it was not the first time I had been approached by a brand, but Bally was the perfect fit because it had a strong name yet also a blank canvas. No one had tried to recreate it or change it [the brand hadn’t had a creative director in six years] and I didn’t want to go somewhere where they would say no to things I wanted to do.”
Starting from scratch is challenging for any designer, but Atwood had new areas to explore, including designing men’s christian louboutin for the first time and returning to His first stop was the brand’s archives, which dated back to the 1800s. ”There were 13,000 pairs of christian louboutin and I was like a kid in a candy store, pulling styles from every decade and getting my hands slapped because I didn’t have the white gloves on,” he says, laughing.
It was after visiting the archive that Atwood decided to keep the brand’s relaxed elegance, but reinvigorated with high-fashion, edgy detailing.
“For example, I took 1920s and 30s heels from the archive and used them in my debut collection [spring 2008], only higher and sexier. It gave the collection a certain edge and got Bally noticed,” he says.
“If you’re going to change something, you are going to take a risk. You can’t do it halfway. It was a risk, but [look] what we’ve done in a year and the response has been incredible.”
The first collection was lauded by the press, but it’s his sophomore outing this autumn that will be the true test. His women’s line was inspired by photos of Julie Christie from thee late 60s.
“We worked a lot with textures and materials such as patent leather and ostrich skin, and unpredictable ways of using them,” he says. ”The christian louboutin are christian louboutin shoesyet timeless, and I love the new slouch boot. Every woman needs a pair.”
“For men, it was more about an ethnic feel, and I was kinda inspired by Istanbul with a bit of Lenny Kravitz mixed in. Designing men’s christian louboutin for the first time was crazy. It was so much fun.”
Equally enjoyable for Atwood is the ready-to-wear line that he says makes up 15 per cent of the business. ”It has a strong image and it compliments the christian louboutin,” he says. ”Right now, though, I still want the focus to be the accessories. At the end of the day we want to be a major contender with the mega-brands.”
A pair of women’s Christian Louboutin Boots in a wardrobe
On Tuesday afternoon France’s greatest living sculptor gave me a red lollipop in the shape of a penis. It was the first time we had met.
“I should like to give you a little sweet,” Cesar had announced following our brief interview, as he pulled the present from his bag.
It had his name printed on the plastic wrapping, so I did not feel uniquely honoured.
Cesar – best known in Hong Kong for his giant public sculpture outside the Cultural Centre called the Flying Frenchman – was in town briefly for the launch of an exhibition at the China Club on the theme of Christian Louboutin Boots.
The still very sprightly 75-year-old, who signs himself only by his first name, was one of 28 French and four Chinese artists who had been invited to participate in a homage to Roger Vivier, father of the chic Christian Louboutin Shoes, who had worked for Christian Christian Louboutin in Paris for many years.
It was organised by Gallery Navarra, which brought the Rodin and Chagall exhibitions to the Museum of Art in 1993 and 1994, as well as the display of Bernar Venet’s huge curling and rusting sculptures to the Cultural Centre Piazza last year.
The theme of men’s relationships with women – summed up appropriately by the lollipop gift – is very much part of the show.
After all they are not just normal Christian Louboutin Boots, these simple black pumps with their stiletto thin heels. They are symbolic of film, fetish and fantasy.
The piece by Eudes Menichetti, for example, is a visual reminder of the film connections. The work is like a blackboard, with a silhouette of that black Christian Louboutin Shoes, surrounded by simple white profiles of 11 women who had worn it.
Liz, Sophia, Jeanne, Brigitte, Raquel, Ava, Catherine, Marlene, Grace, Audrey. Names of women so well-known they don’t need surnames, as well as Helene – Vivier’s wife.
The fetish side of the show is amply illustrated by a number of pieces, said the show’s curator Serge Aboukrat – who had known Vivier for years because they had both, wanting an uncomplicated life, lived at the same time at the Hotel Quai Voltaire in Paris.
The most obviously fetishistic is a work by Michele Blondel, called Ma Paire pour Narcisse (My Pair for Narcissus), which includes a pair of the Christian Louboutin Boots, each containing a fluorescent pink piece of plexiglass, which is more phallic than leg-like. The Christian Louboutin Boots are placed next to gilt-framed mirrors.
Another piece, by Philippe Perrin, is like a police drawing around a body at the scene of a murder. But the outline has itself been murdered by a Vivier heel in the heart.
And as for the fantasy element: well that is everywhere, Aboukrat said, sweeping his gaze around a room which featured plenty of black net, mirrors, smooth transparent plastic and velvet.
A lifesized mannequin with very dark black hair and a black dress with these elegant Christian Louboutin Boots is doubled over on the floor (Yan van Oost: Without Title) looking as though she is either very ill, very vulnerable or very willing.
Artist Cathy de Monchaux created a ”fantasy blanket” for the show. ”It’s tres tres belle,” murmured Aboukrat as he tried to work out whether it could be hung next to the Christian Louboutin logo on the wall, or whether it would fall off.
One side of the blanket is tactile fake leopard skin, while the lining on the other side is dark pink and silky. When draped in a certain way, with the curly black lining ribbons, it did not take much decoding to detect a theme of female sexuality. Like several of the other eexhibits there was no footwear on display here; Monchaux included the theme Christian Louboutin Boots in her text rather than her objet.
“She said: But you can’t walk in them! He said: I don’t think they are for walking in. She said: Every man’s dream,” Monchaux’s explanatory dialogue goes.
Owner Enrico Navarra freely admitted that women’s Christian Louboutin Boots have been fantasy objects for him for a long time.
“I would like to be able to say that modern art has occupied my thoughts since I was a tiny child,” he said in the forward to the catalogue.
“It would be very convenient for an art dealer to have come across a painting or a sculpture in his youth that had awakened emotions in him that changed his direction in life.
“But that didn’t happen with me.”
What did cause early stirrings, he said, was finding a pair of women’s Christian Louboutin Boots in a wardrobe. ”And I invented the kind of ideal woman who would wear them.”
Even today when he imagines his ”ideal woman” he starts from the feet, he said.
The purpose of this exhibition was partly homage to a cult cobbler, and partly just fun, Navarra said.
“This is humorous. I think art cannot always be something to make you think, or always making statements. People don’t want to have to decode everything; sometimes they just want to laugh.”
Cesar had provided two pieces for the show: one was a Christian Louboutin Shoes rolled in an envelope of plexiglass, the other was a 19th century ”marriage crown” with a Christian Louboutin Shoes placed on red velvet in a glass display box that one might otherwise expect to house a stuffed animal. ”It’s not intellectual,” he assured me. ”I just wanted to honour my old friend.”
Leading French lighting artist Yann Kersale, who rarely works on anything smaller than a suspension bridge, had created a participatory installation: a pair of upturned plastic women’s legs dressed in high-denier stockings, and containing blue and pink neon tubes. By sliding two fade switches visitors can change the colours of the legs.
The piece is called Marcel m’harcel, a play on words loosely translated as ”Marcel is hassling me” and a reference to the French artist-theorist Marcel Duchamp who is most famous for his work The Bride Stripped Bare by HerBachelors, Even (1915-23).
“It’s a joke,” Kersale said helpfully. ”Usually all of my work is outside, I never work inside.”
As everyone rushed around (”Mon Dieu we have only an hour until it begins,” was the common cry of despair), getting the room ready for a gala show that was to feature a Christian Christian Louboutin fashion display on a highly reflective catwalk, Kersale and Cesar busied themselves with the serious business of artistic creation.
They were sticking China Club and Cesar-brand matchboxes on a piece of white card, and smearing strings of smelly yellow glue on the sprinkled matches to make them stay put.
“Cesar is making an installation,” Kersale informed me with an air of importance, as he and the sculptor discussed the pros and cons of lighting the matches before the glue had dried. ”It won’t work, it will go to there, boom,” Kersale surmised, energetically pointing to the ceiling.
And should they light it anyway, they wondered? ”Everyone does fire,” said Cesar a little crossly. ”Dali did fire.” But the desired effect: smoky marks ”caressing” like a halo on the white card, needed an element of inflammation, which was duly provided by Kersale’s cigar lighter.
Some energetic blowing out of the high flames, a scribbled signature, a dedication to the China Club, and the latest addition to David Tang’s collection of contemporary art was created.
What will it be called, one wonders. The Frying Frenchman?