Christian Louboutin Talks Naked Leopards and Paris Night Clubs That Inspired Fall ’19

Shoe maven Christian Louboutin has many claims to fame. Most involve his stellar red-soled footwear, but last night in Paris at a party to celebrate his fall ’19 collection, he revealed another that can only add to his enviable résumé.

He held forth about an ’80s costume party at the Palace — the legendary Parisian boite of that decade. “I was totally drunk, dressed half as a man and half as a woman. I caught my dress in a door, rolled down the stairs and landed right at the feet of Yves Saint Laurent,” he confessed. “There he was, wearing black tie, sitting quietly with his drink, but he told me, ‘Don’t worry, this is a party.’ I felt so relieved because if you can literally fall at the feet of Mr. Saint Laurent at the Palace and it’s fine, that proves it’s OK to party.”

Christian Louboutin fall '19.
Christian Louboutin fall ’19

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We discussed a part of his fall ’19 collection, named Palace Nights, an homage to the aforementioned venue, highlights of which were disco-ready strass-festooned pumps with geometric pyramid heels and artfully distressed metallic sock boots. The latter drew inspiration from just such a night.

Other gems secreted amid the foliage included a pair of black and red striped bandstand boots. They took their cue from a jazz musician in an old movie who removed his shoes to display similarly lurid Breton motif socks, he said. The season’s platform trend came well-represented with rainbow-striped wedges and platform Mary Janes. Fall’s protective vibe played out here in quilted bikers and padded motocross silhouettes.

Christian Louboutin fall '19.
Christian Louboutin fall ’19

Over the last few seasons, we’ve seen all sorts of permutations of the naked trend. But what would a naked leopard look like? Turns out that Louboutin was also pondering just such a question. His conclusion lay in a pair of clear Perspex sandals, intricately embroidered with big-cat beaded spots.

Said leopard would have felt right at home in the designer’s show space, a deco glasshouse structure in the city’s botanical garden, Le Jardin des Plantes.

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