Monday, August 27, 2012

dancing shoes

The ballerina flat is the epitome of French elegance and timeless style.  There is a story that the ballet shoes originally worn by the dancers at the French ballet had heels, but after Marie Antoinette walked to the guillotine in them, well, the ballet shoe lost its heel.  Since then, they have been been a stylish addition to any woman's wardrobe--who can forget Audrey Hepburn in the movie Funny Face, gliding about in her capri pants and perfect little flats?  The Repetto shoe was created in 1947 as an actual ballet dancing shoe, but the company has since then grown to become an ideal of this chic little shoe off of the stage as well. They have expanded to include loafers & other flats of all kinds.
While the original ballet flat is understated elegance, it now can be seen in as many styles and colors as you could imagine--the rounded, pointed or capped toes, suede, leather, animal hair, patent, studded, striped. This fall the ballerina is still a must have for every closet--whether you are in a cropped pair of pants or skirt, there isn't any thing as simply chic.
I was given a pair of Chanel black calfskin ballet flats before our first trip to Paris, and I wore them so often that I resoled them last spring and they made a second trip there--they are one of my most favorite pairs.
My friend Monica took me to some of her favorite shopping spots in Paris last spring and the first thing I did is purchase a pair of blue suede ballerinas.  Everywhere you looked, the women were wearing them. I covet the Lanvin flat almost as much as the Chanel, and this pair of chic red Lanvin ballerinas would probably make the best Christmas present ever, if Santa is reading this.  I'd say I have been good.  Most the time.  Size 39 please.
DVF (that's Diane von Furstenburg for those of you who haven't shopped in the past 30 years) is known for her beautiful dresses, but her handbags & shoes are just as lovely.  In Sun Valley this past week I found the most incredible pair of espadrille/ballet flat shoe, the Botswana that has a leopard calf hair front, and a gold edge combined with a solid back that can be folded down to alter the ballerina into a slip on.  I might have bought them there if one of the salespeople had bothered with me at all.  So I went home and ordered them online. :)  Hello?
You don't need to be a demure lady to wear these shoes, this studded pair by Alexander McQueen -- in a skull embellished leather are perfect for your rock & roll girls, although I have to say that I actually wore out my Rock & Republic Lanie Ballet Flat in black and reordered it in red suede--this shoe proves you don't need a heel to have an edge.