Ready To Wear: At Chloé, almost every look came out finished with ballet pumps

By Susannah Frankel
Sunday 23 October 2011 08:08

The new shoes are flat, if the spring/summer 2011 catwalk is anything to go by.

They may be big and quite hairy, in an otherworldly and entirely fabulous Balenciaga kind of a way, or supremely elegant and barely there, a new ladies-that-lunch style, courtesy of Valentino.

At Chloé, meanwhile – where the forthcoming collection is remarkable for its more feminine interpretation of the still ubiquitous minimal style – almost every look came out finished with ballet pumps. And very pretty, if admittedly not entirely challenging, they looked too.

It seems only right and proper that six months ahead of time Repetto, purveyor of ballet pumps to discerning devotees, is introducing a new, bespoke service to its already considerable repertoire. This esteemed French company famously made its name when, way back in 1956, former ballet student Brigitte Bardot ordered a pair of its shoes in carmine-red lambskin. Part of the charm, now as then, lies in their lightness and elasticity, both of which ensure that the outline of perfectly formed toes shows through.

There may already be a spellbinding array of colours to choose from – from ever reliable black to putty pink and with many more in between – but now visitors to the Paris flagship store will be offered still more. The BB Ballerina – by now a classic style – is henceforward available in no fewer than 250 shades of leather. The colours of straps, borders and even laces can be adapted to suit each and every need, be it conservative (brown on brown, say) or more outré in flavour (lime green with a hot-pink lace, anyone?)

To ensure that the couture customer's credentials are recognised, a little gold "R" will be discreetly placed on the outer face of the right heel. A ballerina to compliment even the most unconventional shade of bridesmaid gown? Not a problem. Or why not match your pumps precisely to your bag in a pleasingly Grace Kelly-esque manner?

Shoes are hand-finished in the Repetto workshop and ready no later than three weeks after they're ordered. They're not cheap, but, unlike the proliferation of budget copies, they age beautifully. And that makes them not entirely unlike their namesake, neatly enough.

Repetto, 22 Rue de la Paix, Paris

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