Red Soles But Perhaps Not Red Jewels: Musings of Designer Christian Louboutin

By Cynthia Sliwa — August 08, 2014

The best fashion designers, like the best jewelry designers, have a distinct aesthetic and a definite point of view as to what is beautiful.

In the August 2014 issue of Vogue, contributing editor Plum Sykes interviewed esteemed French shoe designer Christian Louboutin on the occasion of sampling his new nail polish collection in Paris. Sykes writes: “So when I heard that Christian Louboutin, he of the exquisitely sexy platforms, was bringing out a scarlet nail polish–one that had taken three years to perfect, one that might match the celebrated red soles of his shoes–well, heart palpitations set in.”

0814 Louboutin article p 1 Vogue REV

During his interview, Louboutin expounded upon  “his in-depth philosophy of nail color” and revealed that “he has strong views about which colors work with which shoe.” For instance, “for the Pense à Moi shoe, a fantastic fuchsia-and-orange satin concoction, he says wearing the dark-violet Lova [nail polish] would look very YSL.”

Louboutin discussed his philosophy of color further, relating it to jewelry:  “You can always, he says, match your nail color to a stone in a ring, or the setting. With gold settings, he warns, never wear crimson nails, and with emeralds, a pale pink like Madame est Nue would be chic.”

No crimson nails with gold jewelry?  Here is where the heart palpitations should set in. It’s not clear whether rubies set in yellow gold are considered a no-no by Monsieur Louboutin, but his insistence on putting red lacquered soles on all his shoes irrespective of their color suggests that red nails should similarly be appropriate with metals, and jewels, of any hue.

I can only assume that by “crimson” Louboutin was referring to a deep purplish-red, which is a cool red hue with blue undertones, as opposed to a warmer red that would indeed work beautifully with yellow gold. It seems quite possible that the nuance of his meaning was lost in translation.

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