A Fashion Icon: The Classic & Timeless “Ballet Flats”

Everyday Classic: Ballet Flats
Everyday Classic: Ballet Flats

Classic “ballet flats”. Defined as “a shoe with a very flat, small half-centimeter heel or no heel, resembling a ballet slipper worn by dancers”, “ballerina flats” have become a constant in women’s footwear. Classic & timeless, indeed. The closed toe and slipper style construction, offers a low cut appeal which showcases the beauty of the foot. Of note, ballet flats have “right and left feet” which is unique in that traditional ballet pointe shoes have identical left and right shoes in a pair. Alas, who knew? Ballet flats provide a stylish alternative to heels. Designed to fit like a glove typically with a string at the top of the shoe to cinch and tighten, these flats which are often called “Skimmers” are available with a wide variety of materials, texture and styles. The choices in construction of these lightweight shoes certainly offers a personal choice to those that slip these on. Of course, the classic, standard “ballerine” is made in ultra-soft & supple leather shoes that are both stylish and comfortable. Timeless appeal that is universally adored for the united benefit of comfort and pure style. Casual yet elegant. Always in style…

If ballet flats have made a renaissance within the world of fashion, their past certainly deserves focus. Although flat shoes date back to the 16th century, history states that the shoes that were inspired and modeled after by ballet slippers began in Paris, France. The iconic name? Repetto. In 1947, artisan Rosetto Repetto crafted a pair of ballet pointe shoes for her son, French ballet dancer and choreographer, Roland Petit, who trained at the Paris Opéra Ballet school. The shoes that would launch further inspiration, indeed…

Rosetta Repetto:  The French Introduction Of The Hand-Stitched Ballet Flat
Rosetta Repetto (With Ballet Dancer Son, Roland Petit): The French Introduction Of The Hand-Stitched Ballet Flat

And of the first ballet flat? In 1956, Repetto was approached by French actress and film star, Brigitte Bardot to craft a pair of ballet slippers “fitted with a heel” for her film star role in Roger Vadim’s “And God Created Woman”. Bardot, who studied ballet at the Conservatoire de Paris wore a pair of red ballet flats created by Repetto in the film that would iconically launch Bardot’s ballerina style and “chic French style”. In fact, ballet flats often appeared throughout her films and daily ensembles. Bardot’sinimitable French style never failed to deliver elegance and carefree chic”. Of interest, what is referred to as the ‘BB’ style ballerina flats were named in her honor. Bardot is said to have been a purveyor of ballet-fashion that remains unrivaled. The lure of ballet flats had begun.

French Ballerina & Actress Brigitte Bardot:  Linked To Repetto's Creation Of Ballet Flats
French Ballerina & Actress Brigitte Bardot: Linked To Repetto’s Creation Of Ballet Flats

In 1957, it was British actress Audrey Hepburn (and also a proficient former ballerina) that would set fashion’s lure pirouetting when she donned a pair of ballet flats paired with skinny pants in the American musical film, “Funny Face”. From cropped pants to elegant gowns, Hepburn became another icon whose distinctive style paired with ballet flats would assist in adding to the classic, simple appeal and timelessness of the shoes.

1950's Audrey Hepburn:  Iconic Images In Ballet Flats
1950’s Audrey Hepburn: Iconic Images In Ballet Flats

By 1959 the demand for Repetto’s ballet shoes took Rosetta from her small shop near the Paris Opera to 22 Rue de la Paix, which still stands as the flagship store. Classics endure. The “Ballerine” or the “BB” Repetto Ballet Flats, over 50 years later, remains synonymous with Parisian “chic”. With unwavering appeal, Repetto has undoubtedly inspired countless fashion houses to create their own lines of these slip on beauties. As Repetto’s company chief, Jean-Marc Gaucher has stated “It feels like a slipper, it’s just like wearing a glove”. Alas, it is no wonder a shoe of quality and craftsmanship paired with timeless style prevails within the changing world of fashion.

Of course, the French ballet flat thrives in a world that pairs with heritage and great style. Shifting focus to Italy and the great Italian shoe, Porselli

Porselli:  Italian Luxury Of The Iconic Ballet Flats
Porselli: Italian Luxury Of The Iconic Ballet Flats

At the beginning of the 19th century, Eugenio Porselli worked as an artisan craftsman in a workshop in Milan, Italy that produced ballet shoes for classical ballet, including the Scala dancers. Porselli acquired the business in 1919 and what has followed is three generations of craftsmen producing an artisan tradition committed to quality. Much like Repetto. Today the Porselli brand Specializes in handmade ballet flat shoes. Renowned for its application of raw materials and fine workmanship, the ballerina shoes are referred to as “Walking Models”. The appeal of walking in style and comfort has certainly appropriately earned them the credit of “Walking” shoes…

The history of these hand stitched, hand crafted and stylish flats of Repetto & Porselli present an artisan quality that is authentic and legendary. Taken from ballet, fashion continues to be inspired by this enduring “Pointe of Style”

Enduing Appeal:  Repetto's Iconic Ballet Flats
Enduing Appeal: Repetto’s Iconic Ballet Flats
Timeless Style:  The Fashionable Appeal of The Ballet Flat
Timeless Style: The Fashionable Appeal of The Ballet Flat
Stylish Simplicity:  Ballet Flats
Stylish Simplicity: Ballet Flats
Timeless Style Of Enduring Appeal:  Ballet Flats
Timeless Style Of Enduring Appeal: Ballet Flats
Fashion's Appeal:  The Classic Ballet Flat
Fashion’s Appeal: The Classic Ballet Flat
Embellished Or Simplistic Style:  The Enduring Ballet Flats
Embellished Or Simplistic Style: The Enduring Ballet Flats
JCrew:  The Resurgence Of The Iconic Ballet Flat In Bold Colors
JCrew: The Resurgence Of The Iconic Ballet Flat In Bold Colors
Variations Of A Classic:  Ballet Flats
Variations Of A Classic: Ballet Flats
Bridal Delight:  Comfort Paired With Classic Style
Bridal Delight: Comfort Paired With Classic Style
Inspired By The Elegance & Beauty Of Ballet..
Inspired By The Elegance & Beauty Of Ballet..

Consider the enduring appeal of ballet flats. A constant in a woman’s wardrobe, ballet flats remain an everyday classic. Whether it is a bold color choice, a flourish of decoration adorning these flats or the classic and timeless supple leather shoe, ballet flats will endure to appeal to the world of fashion. For certain, as with anything in fashion, the ballet flat has evolved and even modernized in its renditions of a classic. Yet the classic and perhaps traditional ballet flats will always survive fashions changes and embellishments. Ballet flats will continue to thrive as a steady classic that women of all ages reach for. Dependable and timeless classic. For certain, never underestimate the power of a ballet flat. A fashion icon that is classic and timeless, indeed…

Kristin

“Ballet flats suit everybody”. “Happily, there are ballerinas for every occasion. Gold for day and black suede for evening is always elegant. With pants or dresses-everything goes! If you had to choose just one pair of shoes, these would be the ones”
-Ines de la Fressange, “Parisian Chic”

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