For New York Fashion Week Spring/ Summer 2017, Christian Louboutin created custom shoes for seven designers. From Frida Kahlo to La Belle Époque to Scarface this season’s designers took inspiration from a diverse range of women throughout cultural spheres—a theme Christian Louboutin often explores when creating his own collections.
We kicked off the week with second time collaborators Novis, who presented their SS17 collection at Gallery 287 in west Chelsea. Designer Jordana Warmflash chose to customise three existing styles in the Christian Louboutin collection, Habibabe 100, Pyrabubble 100 and Bikee Bike flat—each style artfully colour-blocked to complement the inventive collection of polished separates, dresses and gowns. Christian Louboutin manicures and pedicures created by editorial manicurist Alicia Torello added playful details to the presentation with Nude Salonu on models’ toes and cheekily minimal cubist nail art featuring Pop hues Batignolles and Wherever on a clean base.
Brooklyn-based Cushnie et Ochs chose a minimal coulour palette of black, navy, champagne and white with pops of Miami-influenced corals and flamingo pink for the season. Whether a two-tone jumpsuit, knit gown or dress, the look was sleek with slinky silhouettes and hedonic cutouts inspired by Michelle Pfeiffer’s character from Brian De Palma’s classic Scarface. Single sole sandal Anna with a 100mm heel was customised specially for the show in silver specchio as well as black, white, nude, blush and rose patent leathers, all finished with a sweet yet subtly sensual grosgrain ankle tie. Custom Christian Louboutin manicures and pedicures designed by Alicia Torello were minimal yet high impact with contrasting Nudes Just Nothing and Salonu on a sharp stiletto shape.
Over the weekend, Christian Louboutin sandals strutted down the runway at Tome. For our first season collaborating with designers Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin, we customised SS17’s lug sole Rocknbuckle Flat in two colourways consisting of neutral tan, brown, black and white, grounding their collection’s bold prints, relaxed and sophisticated fits and voluminous silhouettes. Graduates of the Vogue Fashion Fund in 2013, Lobo and Martin were inspired by the work and lives of women, represented both in recurring harlequin-diamond prints and also by the diversity seen on the runway, with models of various skin tones, ages and sizes
Following Tome’s collection, Jenny Packham premiered 31 looks at The Dock at Moynihan Station. The pieces were inspired by a diverse mix of strong, and thoroughly exceptional women ranging from Frida Kahlo and Dita Von Teese to Catherine Deneuve and Iman. Day dresses, gowns and elegant separates including wide leg trousers and oversized silk shantung blazers offered subtle nods to the style signatures of Packham's muses. Five Christian Louboutin styles were created or customised for the occasion, including Egyptian-inspired Spring/Summer 2016’sVery Sekmet flat, here in bespoke colours and also reinterpreted as 100mm stacked heel. From Autumn/Winter 2016, Tudor Bal, a richly embellished ankle-strap sandal, and a custom striped platform heel added height, while Victoire 100, here clipped of its wings, added even more glamour and edge to Jenny Packham's intricate and embellished looks.
As always, Zac Posen delivered a collection suffused with exceptional craftsmanship, but this season, he ventured for more unexpected nuances like the inclusion of airy surgical mesh and his renowned anatomical seaming on more casual day frocks. The result was a thoroughly modern, glamorous mix of easy daywear in bonded cottons and colourful jacquards, and a series of artfully constructed and irreverently beautiful cocktail and evening dresses. Whether the look was for day or evening, a fully custom Christian Louboutin shoe provided the finishing touch for our third season collaborating. A tough yet girly gladiator sandal was created in both neutral black leather, as well as a series of custom fabrics in colours and textiles matching the collection perfectly, creating the perfect counterbalance to a flirtatious and feminine collection.
Our last day of NYFW began with red carpet favourite Naem Khan, whose collection was colourful, intricately detailed and full of movement. His signature, couture-quality embellishments came out to play, including fringe, sequins, floral appliques and delicate lacework. Dedicated to Khan's mentor, Halston, whom he worked for in the '70's, the designer called the show an "homage to the effortlessly confident woman." Khan's confident women wore our Amazoulo 100mm sandal, customised for the catwalk in five colours ranging from neutral navy to audacious yellow, each in rich veau velours. Meanwhile, T-strap Burlinette 100 took to colour-blocked combinations, as well as a gleaming gold specchio leather.
For our grand finale, second time collaborator Bibhu Mohapatra chose to customize a Spring/Summer 2016 style from the collection, 120mm-heeled sandal Tacoluna. Highly architectural in design with a curved brass heel, the sandal—a favourite of Christian Louboutin himself – sauntered down the catwalk in colours and fabrications specific to Mohapatra's collection. For the looks, the designer took inspiration from a number of unnamed muses from the world of arts and culture during the French era of La Belle Époque. Referencing the elegant curves, lines, and embellishments that defined the time period, the resulting collection was feminine and optimistic, celebrating the power and strength of women, a perfect close to New York Fashion Week.