1 of 9

From giant three-dimensional holographic performances to iconic creation displays, the Design Museum in London celebrated twenty years of design and inspiration by French shoe designer Christian Louboutin on 1 May, 2012.

Running till 9 July, 2012, the exhibition is a celebration of Louboutin's career till date, revealing the artistry and theatricality of his shoe design from stilettos to lace-up boots, studded sneakers and bejewelled pumps.

Drawing from Christian Louboutin's personal archive, the exhibition presents his celebrated shoe designs, referencing the origins of the iconic red sole, through to the latest Louboutin collections including a range for men and desirable handbags.

"I was brought up in a very feminine environment. I had three sisters, I had a father who was barely there," the AFP quoted Louboutin stating during a press conference to launch the 10-week exhibition. He said that as a result of his upbringing he grew up with "the biggest love and the biggest respect for women".

During the opening conference, the 49-year-old designer defended his comment last week that triggered a controversy. The designer had said that people who were unwilling to take the pain of his heels should not wear them.

"I am concerned with comfort. I know that it's important but I don't want to have this evoked in my design. My work is not about comfort but in the engineering of the shoes there's something that makes them as comfortable as possible," the Daily Mail quoted Louboutin saying.

A major highlight of the event was a massive 3-D holographic performance by star Dita von Teese. According to reports, the burlesque performer's silhouette morphs from a Louboutin shoe to dance on stage before she transforms back into a stiletto.

The exclusive exhibition will explore and examine the many sources of Louboutin's creativity. The exhibition will also focus on the handcrafted shoe, one-off designs which incorporate his highly innovative ideas, forms and materials. There will also be a special section dedicated to the shoes designed for "Fetish" an exhibition at the La Gallerie Du Passage, Paris in 2007, a unique collaboration of photography between Louboutin and acclaimed artist David Lynch.

Start the slideshow to catch a glimpse of the unique designs exhibited at the London Louboutin retrospective: