Christian Louboutin’s nontraditional view of women manifests through each of his collections in myriad ways; this season, an Autumn/Winter 2016 sub-collection of archetypically masculine styles are no exception. Taking inspiration from the transformative nature of the female psyche and embracing the undeniable sensuality of powerfully androgynous icons such as Marlene Dietrich, this season’s menswear inspired shoes are accentuated by master tailoring in a mix of traditional men’s textiles: flannel, wool and cashmere. Inherited from Louboutin Homme classics, these masculine silhouettes, including ankle booties, oxfords and derbies, expand upon past season favourites like Zazou and Platt Dance Flat, walking the line between formal and effortless, and boasting unexpected sex appeal.
Louboutin Homme’s longer, slimmer, sculpted Italian lasts were redeveloped to befit these women’s styles. In three variations, the formal dress shoe Masterpump Flat combines an ultra-slim Italian silhouette with a seductive, traditional cap-toe oxford. Tapping into the power of men’s dressing without sacrificing feminine grace, these styles are best worn with an unzipped sensuality. Masterpump Flat in slick, highgloss patent pays tribute to high-rolling entrepreneurs, while dark grey Fusain and crimson Orthodoxe on veau velours allude to brooding Ivy League academics. Meanwhile, Black velvet Masterpump Flat evokes the finesse and decadence of a men’s smoking jacket.
A more undone shoe, the F.R.W. L Orlato 55 elicits the ennui of chic La Nouvelle Vague actresses. Understated, with a more rounded British-style toe, F.R.W.L Orlato mixes a paisley printed Flanelle Cachemire and Orthodox flannel with a nappa toe on a sporty Cuban heel. Crafted with Italian Orlatura hemming, beaded leather outlines the colour-blocked portions of the shoe, lending subtle graphic lines.
With a commanding presence, the redefined Masterboot stomps in an edgy jet-Black patent calf and sumptuous Navy Blue veau velours. Donning a traditional Chelsea Boot build, with elastic siding and pull-on tabs, New Masterboot Flat is composed with sophisticated ease. Marching close is Gadessita 55, featuring a blocked Cuban heel and the same Chelsea construction. Gadessita rests a little higher on the leg for a more polished look in Black nappa and Caramel veau velours. Crossing over from the men’s collection, these handsome styles are appropriated for the women’s Autumn/Winter 2016 collection in an intoxicatingly feminine way that is uniquely Christian Louboutin.