A house is very much like a portrait,’ says replica Christian Louboutin. ‘I cannot disconnect houses from people. The thought of arrangement, the curves and straight lines. It gives an indication of the character at the heart of it.’
The fanciful interiors are much more Chambelland than Louboutin replica . ‘It’s really Bruno who took care of decorating; he used to be an auctioneer. The château was owned by his family three centuries ago, but when the Revolution happened his great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Chambelland, was cut into 200 pieces and the property drifted from owner to owner.’ When Château de Champgillon came back on the market in the late 1980s, Bruno snapped it up and the pair set about restoring it, drawing heavily on 18th-century style. A number of pieces that had been kept in the Chambelland family, including an antique grandfather clock, were returned to their original home; other items, such as some 16th-century Spanish portraits and a woven tapestry by Alexander Calder, were purchased at Paris’ Drouot auction house, and more still were picked up by Louboutin on his travels .
Inside the barn conversion alone there are free-standing Indian rococo columns, Mexican totem poles and searchlights from the Suez Canal. ‘If there is something I like, I buy it and then find somewhere for it. I buy first then I think.’ The restoration of the chateau is an ongoing project — ‘restoration in France is never finished!’ — but of Louboutin ’s five homes, it is Champ gillon that he holds most dear ‘because this is the one most painted with history’.
In 1987, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris announced a major exhibition of Roger Vivier ’s work, and Louboutin became the assistant and secretary of this go-to shoe designer for chic Parisiennes.