I was supposed to be a ballerina when I grew up. That was the plan. My madame thought I was special and kept me after class to train me for the Royal Ballet. My mother said it would take too much time away from school and promised me it was no life for a young girl. So that was that. Much to Madame’s dismay, I hung up my ballet slippers and did not return the following term. Mum was probably right. The amount of physical strain a young ballerina’s body endures and the dedication required to pursue a career is nothing short of heart-wrenching. You think the modelling industry is bad. Nevertheless, when I come across a place such as Repetto, something inside me can’t help but wonder, what if? What if I had made it to the Paris Opera House, toured the world with the Bolshoi Ballet company and married my tragic Russian co-star? What a life that could have been! Alright, you can stop rolling your eyes now.
Repetto is ballet shoe boutique heaven. Established in 1947, Rose Repetto created her first ballet shoe in a tiny workshop a minute away from the National Opera of Paris. Only a decade later, Brigitte Bardot personally requested Rose to create the “Cendrillon” ballet flat, which contributed to Bardot’s iconic image from the film, And God Created Woman.
I walked into this Paris shop and gasped at the rows of ballerina shoes laid out perfectly on ceiling high shelves. I thought of Madame, I thought of my favorite pink leotard and the skinny little body I used to have wearing it. If you ever did ballet as a young girl, this wonderful boutique is a must visit. Not just for the nostalgic factor but for the fashion ballet flats Repetto now sells like hot cakes to Parisian ladies.
I highly recommend visiting the adorable Repetto Website to watch the captivating short film on the life of a ballerina and the making of the ballet shoe.
Images by Messy Nessy