What sells? Sex? Violence? Images of severed limbs? Apparently, that third one does the trick, because the AW '14 Louboutin lookbook features disembodied legs in boxes wearing stilettos. And they are really disturbing.
The images are a clear reference to Guy Bourdin's eerie footwear campaigns for Charles Jourdin back in the 1960s. Those pictures, of legs walking without bodies and lifeless women still wearing stilettos, are more than advertisements — they are art. The commentary about a woman's role in society (and the dangers accompanying that role) are palpable. With the Louboutin ads, the same concept just comes across as gruesome. In the words of Kate Finnegan at The Telegraph:
The objectification of women in calendars has always made me feel uneasy but this is on another level. Amputated limbs in a gift box? You can artfully arrange the beautiful tissue paper as much as you like, Monsieur Louboutin, but if those legs and arms are meant to represent real human limbs then they must have been separated from the rest of their bodies by some pretty revolting act of mutilation.
These images are sinister, but they don't provide commentary. You get the sense that you are looking at a horrifying warning sent to you by a leg-obsessed serial killer. The legs are carefully arranged amongst decorative tissue paper, as if they are trying to send a very real, very not okay message that a woman is simply worth the sum of her parts.
I'm not sure what these photos are trying to accomplish, besides possibly an ode to Guy Bourdin. One thing I do know, however, is that I won't be running out to purchase any Louboutins from this collection lest I get my legs chopped off at the knee while wearing them.
Images: Christian Louboutin