November 4, 2009
Christian Louboutin start at $595 for patent leather and go to $1,345 for the must-have button-weave strappy sandals that Sarah Jessica Parker wore on oprah. Get on over to Bay Bloor Shoe Repair & Hand Bags at 1240 Bay St. where owner Alphonso Gallo has sourced the iconic red rubber used on Louboutin's soles from France."I got it through one of my suppliers," says Gallo, who has applied the rubber to 20 pairs of customer's soles already.One woman kidded that she even wants them on her Crocs.Gallo also uses it to patch real Christian Louboutin shoes. You can't tell the difference."I used to spray the bottoms red before," says Gallo, the sole man. "This is much better."Despite his reputation for high heels and shoe dcolletage, designer Christian Louboutin admits to being a fan of flats. "It is as difficult to walk well in flats as it is to walk well in heels. It is, in fact, a less easy trend than most expect, but it gives a genuineness to the silhouette."The exhibit shows that designer footwear is more affordable now than it was at the beginning of the 20th century, but it's all relative since most women, no matter how style-obsessed, still find an $800 pair of Carrie Bradshaw favourites a hard hit on the pocketbook.What Manolo Blahnik was to the 1990s through now, Andre Perugia was to the Twenties and Thirties. Imagine Josephine Baker and her leggy cohorts can-canning in five-inch ocelet-fur-lined mules.One can easily imagine Baker et al in the footwear of the contemporary designers on view at the exhibit: towering snakeskin boots by Jimmy Choo, beaded black-and-orange lace-up Manolo Blahnik sandals, and the wickedly high-beaded Christian Louboutin pumps made even sassier with their signature red soles. Great shoes transcend eras.