The Ballet Flats Are Making a Comeback…
Synonymous with noughties style, the classic ballet flats have slowly slithered back into the trendscape with steady sightings over the past few seasons. The first glimpses of the probable return of the ballerina were spotted on the Spring/Summer 2021 runways. Since then, the classic style has made a steady return with sightings at Dior, Chanel, and Miu Miu runways, among others.
Dating back to the 1950s, their popularity could be credited to designer Rose Repetto, who crafted a pair for French silver screen icon Brigitte Bardot in the film And God Created Woman. Later, Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face put this elegant style on the map. In the ’90s, style supermodels Kate Moss and Sienna Miller fell for the ballet flats’ effortless allure and were often spotted sporting these easy chic essentials. Not so long ago, Kylie Jenner was seen offsetting her prairie dresses with a pair of ballerinas on her private jet. Sofia Richie often styles her tweed Chanel ballet flats with a pair of blue jeans. One wonders what makes them so relevant even after so many decades.
Aashni Shah, Founder of Aashni + Co, sees the resurgence of ballet flats as a nod to nostalgia. “The return of ballet flats reflects a strong yearning for simplicity, versatility, and comfort,” she says. Aashni considers Chanel ballet flats as a good investment. “When a luxury brand has a timeless appeal, and has more demand than supply, the resale value of an item will always be significant. This, in turn, can be a factor to consider in terms of investment. If you genuinely love the brand aesthetic and craftsmanship of Chanel, and you can comfortably afford them, then their ballet flats would no doubt be a valuable addition to your wardrobe,” she adds.
Drawing inspiration from the two-tone slingback pumps that Coco Chanel commissioned in 1957, Karl Lagerfeld crafted Chanel ballet flats. This classic style has been recontextualised in an array of materials from satin and sequins to patent leather, and the heritage house’s signature tweed. Cecilia Morelli Parikh, co-founder of Le Mill, sees ballet flats becoming more and more mainstream in the near future. “Be it an edgy Miu Miu pair or Alaïa’s famous fishnet and strass pair, the comeback of ballet flats is something that’s surely making its mark in the luxury fashion industry. When it comes to Chanel, be it a pair of ballet flats or an evergreen tweed jacket, anything from the French luxury house is an investment piece. Chanel as a brand has a timeless appeal and will never go out of style,” she quips.
Entrepreneur Pernia Qureshi notes that ballet flats offer the best of both worlds: elevated style while staying comfortable. “It’s for women who wants to look elegant without trying too hard. If high-heeled shoes are not styled correctly, especially during the day, they can make your look seem dated. Ballet flats are a feminine girl’s saviour,” Pernia says.
Although a cliché, ballerinas can certainly take a look from day to night as they can be styled with any kind of clothing like boyfriend jeans, mini skirts, trousers, and more. “While Chanel’s classic ballet flats are probably the most well-known, several other brands also offer similar styles at a friendlier price. The brand Pretty Ballerinas in Mayfair London comes to mind as a store that would have a wide selection. They have been doing handmade footwear since 1918,” she shares.
Entrepreneur Roohi Jaikishan is thrilled about the return of ballet flats. “It’s an absolute pleasure to see ballet slipper’s interpretation in myriad styles, from Miu Miu and Chanel to Dior and Maison Margiela. It is certainly a good investment,” she adds.
Luxury blogger Shreya Kalra who recently bought a pair of Chanel ballet flats shares, “I think any shoe style that marries comfort with elegance makes for a good investment. Bonus if they are by Chanel.” Moreover, they’re easy to style. “You could go the obvious route and pair them with day-appropriate dresses, voluminous midis or maxi skirts like me. Or, take the Scandinavian route, where I personally find a lot of inspiration, and soften a formal-ish look featuring tailored wide-leg trousers with a pair of ballet flats,” she adds.
Whether it’s The Row’s Ava shoes, Loro Piana ‘Rebecca’ ballerinas or the Boden snaffle trim ballet flats—one’s spoilt for choice this season. Classic, comfortable, and resonating with the all-pervading air of quiet luxury, this style is a shoe wardrobe essentials and worth investing in.