Christian Louboutin: The World’s Most Fabulous Shoes, Channel 4 - TV review

'I think that I make very useless work and I’m very proud of it'

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The Independent Culture

When women complained to world-renowned shoe designer Christian Louboutin that his high heels were difficult to walk in, his reaction was very telling: “I thought, one day, I really want to design shoes which will not be made to walk at all, and so there will be no possibility to walk in [them].” That thought led to a well-received fetish collection photographed by David Lynch and is typical of the wilfully frivolous attitude to business displayed in last night’s Channel 4 documentary, Christian Louboutin: the World’s Most Fabulous Shoes.

These objects of desire are not designed with commerce or comfort in mind, but they are supposed to make the wearer happy. Louboutin revealed that a picture of Princess Diana looking sadly at her feet was the inspiration for the very first pair of shoes he designed under his own name. “It would be nice to have something to make her smile, when she looked at her feet.”

Luckily, you didn’t have to be overawed by Louboutin’s creative process to find this year-in-the-life snapshot amusing. Toast of London’s Tracy-Ann Oberman delivered the need-to-know info in a voiceover as arch as the angle of those famous red soles: he goes everywhere on a Vespa accompanied by Safquat, his Bangladeshi butler. His close, personal friends include Catherine Deneuve, Kylie Minogue and the Queen of Bhutan. He owns four homes around the world, and those shoes cost an average of £600 a pop.

Not that Louboutin’s customers are complaining. They feel sexy and that’s all that matters. “It’s very important to design things that you don’t need,” he summed up confidently. “I think that I make very useless work and I’m very proud of it.”