LouBhoutan - stepping up in style...

by - Friday, January 03, 2020

He built his empire on shiny, red-lacquered soles.
This signature quickly spotted on celebrity clientele and avid trend lovers, reintroduced stilettos back into fashion in the 1990s and 2000s. His innovative use of fabrications continues to garner acclaim from the world of style. Shoe maestro Christian Louboutin's love of opulence is well known, but his latest venture takes it to new heights. Literally!


Inspired by the small but mountainous kingdom in the Eastern Himalayas, the pièce de résistance capsule collection combines vertiginous platform heels in thirteen distinct styles handcrafted by Bhutanese artisans called LouBhoutan capturing the country’s rich cultural legacy. LouBhoutan is a range of shoe designs created with artisan students of Bhutan’s art academy, who learn the kingdom's traditional handcrafts prized by the nation. Among these are wood carving and botanical painting, both influenced by Bhutan’s native plants and colorful landscape.


Each shoe was hand-sculpted in wood and hand-painted, the fruits of a six-year partnership with the students of the School of the Royal Arts and Crafts in Thimphu, Bhutan. “The craftsmanship in Bhutan is exceptional and very particular,” said Louboutin. “The artisans have an extreme sense of color, and their architecture and artistry are very joyful. Bhutanese are astonishing people, they are very into secular traditions but with an intelligent and modern gaze of the world that surrounds them.”


Highlights of the collection include the Beauté du Ciel sandal, its graduated, hand-painted blues inspired by the changing skies over the snow-capped Himalayas, and the Bhoutan Beauty wedge, which features relief-carving referencing traditional nature studies. Unique artistry and precious ancient Buddhist symbols, such as lotus flowers, are other recurring themes together with iconographic swirling floral patterns.
The shoes are hand-wrought using traditional painting, wood-carving, metal-work, and relief embroidery techniques. The collection represents the highest expression of Louboutin's atelier expertise. Pairs are being sold exclusively in select stores globally as iconic collector's pieces from the brand.


Since Louboutin first visited Bhutan in 2012, it has been a pivotal influence on his work – he adores its traditional robes, the gho and kira, made from colorful handwoven jacquards and has expressed esteem for their exquisite wood carving. The LouBhoutan collection is similarly vibrant in spirit, but as luxurious as these shoes are to wear, they are also design objects in their own right. Louboutin remarks, “The Bhutanese are real virtuosos when it comes to working with wood. It is a multi-century-old practice, almost a habit. You can see the ease with which they manipulate it, following the direction of the veins to turn it into a beautiful sculpture.”
The emotional LouBhoutan capsule is very precious to him. Christian’s boundless creative universe extends to explore traditional Bhutanese royal craftsmanship in these magnificently hand-sculpted and hand-painted pieces. " My preferred shoes are the ones that mix different techniques," he notes. The exquisitely detailed wooden heels and platforms are combined with colorful iconic Louboutin mixed materials on the uppers. The result is an extraordinary union of creative universes.

LouBhoutan is clearly a step up in style... xoxo-Sonya

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