Monthly Archives: May 2012

For the love of cinema

For the love of cinema

This story was orginally published in 2012. It has been updated. 

Bonjour les amis. Somewhere on the beautiful Côte d’Azur, in a glitzy old city named Cannes, one of the world’s most prestigious Film Festivals has just begun. What a perfect opportunity to talk about movies.
I have fond memories of Sunday afternoons spent at the movies with my family as a child. First, there were the Disney classics, La Belle au Bois Dormant, Blanche-Neige, CendrillonMy parents still love to tell the story about the day I made half the kids in the movie theater cry during Bambi. We lived in Toulouse then. Apparently, after Bambi’s mom got shot by hunters, a little girl’s voice rose in the dark and silent movie house: “Where is Bambi’s mom?,” she asked, worriedly, her voice quivering. The legend says I shouted back without missing a beat: “Elle est moooorrrttttteee!!!” (“She is dead!”) as I, and all the young children around me, started bawling. Good times.

Gone too soon?
Bambi and “Maman”

As my brother and I entered our teenage years, the movies changed. There were the Louis de Funès or Jean-Paul Belmondo (“Bébel”) comedies, or the new James Bond films (Roger Moore was a popular 007 back then.) My parents did not often select high brow movies. Le cinéma, in my family, was pure escapism. We laughed, we cried, we traveled to imaginary lands, and I remember how hard it was to get back to reality, when we finally exited the theater. It still is today. 

La Grande Vadrouille:
A hilarious buddy movie set during the German Occupation
While on the run, a bigoted French bourgeois
seeks refuge in the Jewish community!
 Jean-Paul Belmondo leads a stellar cast
in this hilarious French period rom-com

Overtime, I developed into a voracious cinephile. During my college years, I made the most of generous student discounts and would see about three movies a week. My tastes were eclectic, with a strong preference for French and American cinema. Like many of my countrymen, I watched movies in “V.O.”  (version originale,) in English, with French subtitles. I realized early on there was a lot to be learned about the English language for those of us brave enough to skip dubbed versions. That new found knowledge came in handy when I spent a year in Atlanta, GA. as a college student, and was able to express myself in a more practical way than other international students whose English was more – shall we say – academic. 

France celebrates the movies in June!
One ticket purchased = all other tickets priced at $3.50!

Going to the movies was always a special treat. Things are a bit different today. For one thing, prices have gone up drastically. And then there is the issue of modern movie theaters. You know the ones. Super-size complexes. Neon lights. Giant screens. And the food. Ah, the food. Don’t get me started. 

I am easy. Take me back to the theaters of my childhood. Those of you who lived in France between 1982 and 1988 may remember Eddy Mitchells La Dernière Séance (the Last Show,) as fondly as I do. Eddy, a veteran French singer and a great admirer of American popular culture, re-created the old movie magic on French TV screens. Thanks to him, France fell in love with Hollywood’s golden era all over again.

“Monsieur Eddy” (a.k.a. “Claude Moine”)
“La Dernière Séance” was a famous Eddy Mtichell song
before it became a TV show

Set in the 1950s, the monthly show was shot in an iconic movie theater located outside of Paris, le Trianon. The venerable building, inaugurated in the 1900s as a theater, café and dance-hall, had survived heavy bombings during World War II. Monsieur Eddy orchestrated its great comeback for six wonderful years. 

Le Trianon, Romainville
Monsieur Eddy arrives: the show is about to start!

I faithfully watched every episode of La Dernière Séance. Listening to the great, nostalgic eponymous song during the show’s credits was icing on the cake. For three hours, the audience would travel back in time, as Eddy Mitchell’s deep and knowledgeable voice regaled us with anecdotes about old Hollywood stars and studios. Each show started with a cartoon (usually Loony Tunes) followed by a dubbed, black and white American movie (imagine watching Turner Classic Movies.) Then came l’entracte (the intermission,) and Eddy, the epitome of cool, chatted with l’ouvreuse (the usher,) bringing back childhood memories of every French kid’s favorite treats. Finally, the second movie would start, another classic, shown in English with subtitles. One thing is for sure: We did not mind staying up late with Eddy Mitchell on the first Tuesday of each month, from 1982 to 1988! 

Eddy knew his stuff… whether dealing with a classic or a B series flick.
(Check out the dude in the blue shirt!)
Is it me, or did candy taste better at the movies, back then?
“Bonbons, caramels, eskimos, chocolats!” –
(“candy, caramels, ice cream, chocolate”)

Long gone are the magical neighborhood theaters Eddy and I loved so much. Imagine my misery when I visit the local multiplex theater in my little corner of American suburbia today. These buildings are about as welcoming as the average supermarket. Then there is the question of the overpriced, oversized food. The horrible smell of that vile nutritional horror dubbed as “le popcorn.” Everyone around me acknowledges two facts: 1. It tastes awful. 2. It is expensive. Then why is this an all too familiar scene as I try to watch the overpriced, often disappointing movie?

Remember Pépé le Pew? Well, let me tell you folks, when I visit a theater these days, I kind of miss the old friend…

Stay away Popcorn People!
I’ll sit next to Pepé! 

What’s an olfactory challenged French Girl to do? I did consider investing in one of those, but can’t afford one for now. This set up would be so handy for my movie nights with the girls, though…

The good news is that I own an extended collection of scarves and turtlenecks, and found a new use for them when I visit the local theater…

I fear going like this would be a bit too obvious.

What can I tell you? When in Rome, there are things I just can’t seem to do like the Romans! Besides, my old buddy Obelix the Gaul often said so… “These Romans are crazy!

So wherever you may be this week, in a city, out in the sticks, or in Cannes, France, enjoy the show. I will try to do the same!

This is my 100th post! Thank you for sticking with me. A bientôt!

01/03/16: Here is a great article a French Girl in Seattle reader, Pankaj Solanki, forwarded to me over the Holidays. You may want to read it if you love French cinema (and are a Netflix subscriber.)
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67 Responses to For the love of cinema

  1. So much to enjoy in this lovely post, Véronique! I love the story about your exclamation during Bambi and how true that you can learn so much watching foreign language films – the culture and the everyday phrases not found in text books. I know how much French films improved my French. What a great song by Eddy Mitchell too. We are fortunate to have a small old-fashioned cinema about fifteen minutes away (we were there last night!) Everyone stands for the National Anthem before the film and they still have an interval with a lady selling ice cream from a traditional tray! I had thought about writing a post about it!

    • This neighborhood movie theater of yours sounds very interesting. Any theater with an “ouvreuse” selling ice cream and candy during the intermission is worth visiting in my book… as long as there is no popcorn. I hate the popcorn!

  2. J’adorais ces dernières séances! C’était une autre époque, souviens-toi: Les garçons en pull sans manches, la raie des cheveux bien marquée, les filles en tite jupe et socquettes blanches… Ah ces années là!…

  3. I miss the magic of the neighbourhood theatres of my childhood, with seats in the balcony and an intermission for drinks. Somehow the multiplexes seem soulless by comparison.
    Thanks for sharing your cinematic memories and congratulations on your 100th post.

    P.S. Is the dude in the blue shirt, Ronald Reagan?

  4. First of all, congratulations on your hundredth post! Very exciting! I am more of a book person than a movie person, perhaps because of my experiences in modern movie theaters, as you so aptly described!

  5. Oh, Veronique, this post made me laugh so many times. Your Bambi story is priceless! I know what you mean about big, stinky mega-plexes and just hate them. Have you been to the Majestic Bay theater in Ballard – smaller, old fashioned, and worth the trip – although they have the same popcorn as everyone else. Or the Big Picture in Ballard. They serve wine! Now that’s my kind of movie experience!

    Congrats on your 100th post! Bisous!

    • The Majestic Bay theater sounds like a great place, and I will look it up after I return from Europe this summer. We have a Big Picture theater here in Redmond. I love going there, and agree about drinking wine while watching the movie (sometimes it helps forget how bad the movie is… ) One peeve though: They still serve the horrible popcorn but they serve it in Champagne buckets. Classy! Ha!

  6. Elle est morte!!! Oh I’m laughing because when I was maybe 3 or 4, my mom took me to see Bambi ( most likely it’s first release) and I squalled so loud we had to leave. Great post V.

  7. Bonjour VS – I loved your blog today, funny, poignant and a little sad – nostalgia always makes me sad. The video was wonderful. I have fond memories also of seeing movies with my mother decades ago. Remember Oklahoma and Ryan’s Daughter? Incredibly when we went to Ireland in 2010, the tour guide pointed out le bois where Ryan’s daughter (don’t remember her name) and her soldier lover had their trysts, sigh. I miss seeing you – hope you are enjoying the great weather.

    • Bonjour Cherie. Of course I remember Oklahoma and Ryan’s Daughter. In fact, I am pretty sure “Monsieur Eddy” featured them in that great movie show of his back in the day! Hope to see you soon!

  8. Congratulations Veronique on your 100-th!
    This one is so touching and resonates deeply.
    I grew up in Moscow. American movies except westerns were a rarity but French and Italian were available and much loved. Belmondo, Philipe, Delon, Gabin, Jean Marais, Trentignan were icons of handsomeness.
    Bourvile, De Funes, Fernandele, Noiret were very popular. Fantomas series were our Harry Potter+ James Bond.
    Michelle Mercier was our pin girl, not to mention BB, Anouk Aimee, Deneuve, Girardot, Marina Vladi.
    And yes, I’m still nostalgic of those giant colossal hand painted posters which promised a glimpse into the other world. It was a miracle. It was time of Cinema not movies. Going to see The Movie was an event.
    Gerard Philipe and Bebel turned me into francophile when I was a pre-teen.
    A few special theaters offered retrospective screenings that’s were I enjoyed all the classics.
    Later I studied French theatre, drama and cinema. Moved to Canada…
    …And Bebel hasn’t lost his charm with growing old. He is great in Les Miserables.
    Thank you for bringing up sweet memories.

    • Thank you so much Natalie. I see I am dealing with a “connaisseuse” and love most of the artists you listed in your comment, bien sur. Ah, “Bebel”! What a smile he still has, that old charmer! “It was the time of Cinema, not movies,” how right you are. I keep wondering why it felt so special back then. Have we become so spoiled and blase about everything that we just tick “movies” off of our weekend to-do list? It sure felt different then. Thank you for your kind comment. It is very much appreciated, as always.

  9. Love this post! And you are absolutely correct about the ginormous (and yucky) movie theater complexes here. My husband and i would much rather stay home, eat our own popcorn, (or maybe a delicious Klondike bar, or some such,) and watch a film in our own living room. No bad and expensive ‘food’, and no crowded icky restrooms. The other day, in fact, we watched ‘Diabolique’, the 1955 version with Simone Signoret, (love her,) and loved the subtitles. I was proud of how much i understood without having to read the bottom of the screen. I took a couple years of French in high school, and that is it! Anyhow, i’m talking too much. So congratulations on your 100th post! It’s a fabulous one..


    • Merci, Mary. I remember “Diabolique,” with the great Simone Signoret, but really disliked the remake with Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani. Good for you for watching it in French. Movies are a great way to learn colloquialisms and improve your pronunciation. Lovely to hear from you. Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. je ne sais pas ce que tout ça va evoquer pour nos amis US, mais là, tu m’as offert un gros coup de nostalgie!M. Eddy, les glaces Miko! (soupir) Ma grand-mère etait ouvreuse de cinema, et j’ai été presque elevée dans une salle obscure, alors des souvenirs comme ça, j’en ai plein la tête!C’etait le bon temps! maintenant, les salles sont cheres, les gens mangent et discutent. Cannes est completement dénaturé par Canal + qui en a cassé toute la magie. je pourrais parler pendant des heures de cinema! et lisais-tu Ciné Revue?Bon, j’arrête sinon je vais bloquer ta boite à com! Au fait , je suis de retour à Nice.
    A bientôt!

  11. Je suis tout à fait d’accord avec toi… c’était mieux, largement mieux, quand nous étions petits. Ah, c’est fini, tout cela… cinéma Paradisio…

    Bon courage pour affronter l’affreuse réalité pop-cornisée de nos jours… 🙂

  12. So true, so nicely written… and I also watched Eddy (almost) each week. There are still a few “real” cineams left in Paris. Have you tried the “Studio 28”?

  13. I had to be taken out of Bambi when I was three years old because I was crying so much. My parents didn’t take me back to the cinema for years afterwards!

  14. I think you should invest in Apple TV and have patience for your favourite films to be released! I barely visit the cinema unless I am in Avignon for all those reasons that you mentioned…
    I love movies… can’t help myself… Such a great post Veronique… xv

    • Lovely to hear from you Vicki. We do use Apple TV at home, but I still miss the experience – and big adventure, when we were little – going to the movies once was. Looking forward to meeting you – peut-être – in Nice, France in a few weeks…

  15. Sadly, most of the movies I have seen in recent years (except TinTin) have been on the back of the airplane seat in front of me… love your Bambi story – I would have been crying right there with you!


  16. You have evoked so many memories in my mind. Going to the movies really is a special story. Every person has their own special memories. For example, it was possible to skip one class and go to the movies 🙂

  17. Great post! I feel as if I’ve been to the movies, Veronique. You brought back many of my own childhood memories. Going to the movie theatre every weekend was routine. Funny how I still have vivid memories of some of those movies. The chef and I don’t often go to see movies these days, we just rent them on Netflix. We enjoy foreign films!
    Thanks for a fun post. ~ Sarah

    • Merci beaucoup Sarah. Netflix has been a wonderful supplier over the last few years. So is Apple TV these days. I even have a few movies downloaded into my faithful travel sidekick, the MacBook Air, and my new Nook, for an upcoming trip. One can never have too many movies, right? 🙂

  18. Wonderful post and felt like a blast from the past for me. Your story about Bambi brought back memories that I am sure many of us can relate to.

  19. Huge congrats on your 100th fabulous post Veronique, always so much fun to read. Like all above I have memories of the Bambi ‘tragedy’ and also I distinctly remember my sister and I weeping copiously through ‘Lassie go Home’, really when you think of it some of those old family movies could be quite traumatic oui! Such a shame they couldn’t save Le Trianon, I’m grateful every time I go that the Paradiso, Luna and Astra theatres have survived, so much nicer than the big complexes AND it would seem that viewers of foreign movies are more likely to be content with a coffee to drink in the movie rather than crunchy crisps or the vile smelling popcorn haha! Looking forward to reading many more posts, till then, take care.

  20. That Bambi story is priceless and makes me adore you even more, if that’s even possible. 🙂

    And is that George Clooney buried in popcorn?!? Lol.

    I agree with you, going to the movies has definitely lost its glamour. I live in the headquarters of AMC so we’re always experimented on when it comes to our theaters. We have theaters that are also restaurants. We have theaters that are also bars. We have luxury theaters (that cost $30 per person, not joking) where its leather plush recliners and butler service. Too many IMAX theaters. Popcorn bars with 25 different dressing options (cheese, ranch, caramel, etc). I could go on. It’s out of control.

    That’s why I prefer to stay home and netflix. I can’t afford to get swept up in it all. Ha!

    • Well, merci bien, Mademoiselle Jenny 🙂 You have good eyes too: That IS Monsieur Clooney on the picture! I personally can’t believe how creative AMC is to attract people into its movie theaters. One can only hope as much attention is spent MAKING new movies (sadly, I fear this may not be the case…)
      Great to hear from you!

  21. I couldn’t agree with you more, the old theaters had som much more charm.

    There’s a Louis Malle film, “Zazie dans le métro”, and when I was a little girl living in Beaulieu-sur-Mer (my dad was in the Navy) I had the exact same haircut Zazie is wearing. I’ve never seen it anywhere else and I still love it.

  22. My mother is French and my father American. I grew up mostly in the US, but spent 2 months of almost every childhood year visiting my grandparents in Brittany.

    As a kid, I remember watching movies on TV with my papy. Always silly, always slapstick, they were utterly forgettable movies that I adored watching because they made my grandfather guffaw.

    In fact, it wasn’t until much later that I realized that French Cinema didn’t actually refer to the brand of farce I’d grown up watching with my papy. 🙂

    • Sweet story, Gwenn. Yes, the French love their slapstick comedies, or at least they used to… Your grandfather sounds a lot like mine! Thank you for sharing your childhood memories here. Come back soon!

  23. MA BELLE!!!!!!!

    OH, moi aussi, ça fait longtemps que je te rends visite! Comme tu sais, l’école nous exige tant d’énergie! Comment ça va? J’adore le cinéma français et j’ai appris le français grâce aux films. les films de Pagnol surtout m’intriguent!

    Merci pour tes commentaires aujourd’hui et reviens la semaine prochaine et suis les liens à PARIS!!!


  24. Bonjour Veronique. =) Congratulations on your 100th post! Obelix reminds me of my youth in Toulouse. The last time my mom came to visit me in america, we went to see ‘Happy Feet’. She looked so happy eating her popcorn and even sneaked in a slice of cheese cake. But the kicker was after the show – I noticed she bought some white tennis shoes. I told her, it’s time for her to go back to france.=)

  25. Congratulations on your 100th post – it is an achievement and all your posts are so well crafted. Yes, I also remember going to the movies when I was growing up in France and I get nostalgic. I remember taking my mom (who was a seamstress) to see a movie of Brigitte Bardot so she could copy her coat – she did and all my friends envied me. Maybe we should go to the movies tomorrow – we have been traveling so being cool in a movie theatre would be nice (it is supposed to be 90 F (32 C) in the shade here tomorrow.)

    • Thank you Vagabonde. Coming from you, this means a lot. Excellent story about Brigitte Bardot and the dress. Things were different then, weren’t they? I guess today, most women would look online and purchase a similar dress… Stay cool in the South!

  26. Veronique a wonderful post and I too adore going to the movies. It simply takes one away to another world of adventure, love, mystery.

    Do come and see my interview with Leslie of Segreto Finishes and enter to win her Fabulous Book!

    Art by Karena

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The Repetto ballet flat story

The Repetto ballet flat story

The ballet flat: Il était une fois, une jolie petite chaussure… Once upon a time, there was a pretty little shoe…  Charming. Chic. Classic. Comfortable: The ballet flat – la ballerine, in French –  seduces women around the world. Check out your favorite retailers or online stores in the spring, and you will see it everywhere. Offered in…

68 Responses to The Repetto ballet flat story

  1. Lovely post as always, Veronique! I do not own a pair of Repettos…trop cher! But for an American brand, I am partial to my Tory Burch Reva flats, which I received as a gift from my very chic aunt. My feet are very prone to blisters, and these shoes are the most comfortable ballet flats I’ve ever tried on. Perhaps not as comfortable as Repetto? I will never know!

  2. You have dazzled us with a rainbow of Repettos… I know some frogs and tadpoles around here who have a few too… seems like they could never go out of style… A fine weekend to you, whichever color of flats you may be wearing… 🙂

  3. Well my dear, you’ve posted a blog that made my heart sing!!! J’adore Repetto flats…from a distance. Usually through the window on Rue de la Paix! Their windows are enough for me. I’m afraid my days of wearing these are long gone but I do love to see the new and colorful editions each season, not to mention that fabulous WALL of toe shoes!

    • Dear V. I know your expert eye has already captured that Repetto “vitrine” to perfection. Looking at your photos would be the next best thing to actually stepping inside. I am planning on doing just that in June and will report back.

  4. just D-E-L-I-G-H-T-F-U-L…repetto is my favorite but love the cece j crew-you NEVER cease to amaze-gosh i miss my monday morning coffe and v dose….so HAPPY when you post – well i am off to go purchase the devine coral ballet flats from the j crew ballet boutique!!! have a glorious week end-your faithful reader here in philly-

    • Yeah! g is back!!! I hope you are well, my friend, and that your dad is feeling better. Thank you for stopping by today. Why did you have to mention the Cece coral flats? Why?! I was going to try and resist until I go to France but now that you have talked about them… Arggghhhh…

  5. Well you have just given me another life goal: to one day own a pair of Repetto ballet flats! These are so lovely and dainty and seem so comfy! I own several flats, but they are generic brands. I wore heels four straight years in a row as a news reporter. For the past two years I have been wearing flats, and I will probably never go back to heels.

    Awesome post! (As usual). 😉

    • Aren’t you happy that so many of the “life goals” I have given you already all involve visiting France? 😉 Heck, if you are super organized, you could probably achieve most of them in one long, carefully planned trip… Bon weekend, Jenny!

  6. Dearest Véronique,

    LOVED this post for your juicy writing and for the history that you always manage to interweave. La B.B. muah… But I’m not a favorite of ballerina flats. I have only one pair and they have ankle straps in navy blue and those I adore.
    In general, comparing these great stars with their race horse legs with the average woman is quite different. Therefore they most of the time do not ‘lengthen’ the silhouette of a woman in a flattering way, but rather stomp it off. But sure, all those with a bit of problem feet they certainly embrace these Repetto style ballet shoes.
    Love to you,


    • Good point Mariette. We don’t all have B.B.’s, Audrey’s or Zizi’s long legs, but you are pretty tall, as I recall, Dutch girl. What should I say? I will deal with my “stomped off” silhouette since ballerines are a fairly new addiction for me. Hope my hubby can still spot me in a crowd! 😉

    • Merci Richard. Ah, la Grande Catherine. J’ai bien cherche des photos d’elle en ballerines mais n’en ai pas trouve, helas. Passe un beau weekend ensoleille a Antibes, et bonne election dimanche!

  7. Such a fabulous post, as always Veronique! I love how you always manage to teach us something that we didn’t know–even about such French icons. I am actually a driving moc girl (gasp!) but do love the comfort and the all around wear it with anything of a good ballerine. Yay for BB and Audrey!
    Bon weekend!

    • Bonjour Heather. Nothing wrong with driving mocs. In fact, a pair of Tod’s driving mocs has been on my wish-list for years. You would look great in ballet flats, too, you tall, red-headed American girl!

  8. I didn’t know that Brigitte was the one who started the trend – fascinating! As a former ballet dancer, I adore Repetto. Thank you!

    • Bonjour Barbara. “B.B.” started many fashion trends in her time. I have only mentioned a few here… She was quite influential, and still is, from the look of things. Great to hear from an actual ballet dancer! Bon weekend!

  9. what a wonderful post! I have never heard of Repetto, and I even took ballet in college! Can you believe it? I’m off to Google him and admire more of his shoes.


  10. Very much enjoyed your post, and learned about Repetto. During the 1960’s in the U.S., the Capezio brand was the shoe of choice for young women. Do you know it? I’m not even sure the brand survives today…I think not.

  11. I have to admit, I’m not big into fashion…but I admire it, what an art form! I think I have seen more high heels in Vegas than I have drank wine in France. I feel like they are getting higher by the minutes Veronique. Is this a good fashion? It’s so nice to see something new…like flats. =)

    • High heels… I can’t say I am a fan, even though I probably should, given the fact that I am the size of the “average French woman” according to statistics (read: “short!”) — I’d still pick a pair of comfortable ballet flats over vertiginous Christian Louboutin heels. Probably would look out of place in Vegas, then, eh?

  12. you are so funny -i was laughing out loud to myself-my dad is healing everyday- some very scary/serious stuff-and some life changes for all of us- but everyday more and more like himself-back to neurosurg doctor in another 2 weeks-we shall see-i hope that is not too much of a downer or too much info on this beautiful space-and what is this i read you will be attending the summer sales in france….OH PLEASE DO FILL US IN and please know i read your comments everyday to see what everyone else is saying-YOU ARE THE BEST! lovely weekend my friend thanks for your very thoughtful words!

  13. You have chosen a wonderful selection of photos here displaying all these lovely Repetto shoes. I love to wear ballet flats especially in the summer – my favourite pair (so comfy!!) are by Dune but are amazingly similar to those Chanel ones (less expensive however!) My mission now is to own a pair of the BB ones! I had ballet lessons from age four to seventeen and had pointe shoes although I can’t remember the brand so maybe I have already owned several pairs of Repetto!!!!

  14. I had no idea Repetto was actually so close to me in the Basque Country. There is HOPE for an affordable pair (or 2) during a braderie. I would love a pair in black and another in red (mat!) GREAT article!

    • You’d better believe I would attend that braderie if I lived closer, too. The young lady this story is dedicated to, Marion, told me you can snatch a pair for 80 Euros (basically half price) during the event. Not a bad deal.

  15. Thank you for sharing so much background on Repetto and for the images of my Miss Audrey!

    Please, one in every color!!

    I have featured an Interview with Tina from The Enchanted Home…


    Art by Karena

    • One in every color would be quite fun. Imagine what a cheerful and colorful closet you would have! Enough to brighter any rainy day (come to think of it, every female Seattle home owner should have one of those!) Thank you for your visit. I will stop by The Enchanted Home today. Congrats on the interview!

  16. The best shoes there are. I am glad they are back in fashion. Used to wear them at the same time BB and Audrey wore them. Yes that long ago.:))) Big fashion then too. Have a nice weekend.

  17. The Repetto flagship store is a must-stop on each visit to Paris and I snap away. I do not actually own a pair of Repetto ballet flats but my sister Nanette who danced and taught dance wore out about a hundred pointe shoes over the years. The chandeliers, the brass ladder and the wall of shoes just sings to me on each visit and that does not even count the creative and amazing windows.

    I love your complete story here and the links… plus the tip about J Crew…


  18. Excellent post, I’m not sure if there is an outlet for Repettos’s here in Perth Veronique, but believe me I will definitely be finding out asap, because all of a sudden I feel that I really need a pair haha! There is a brand here that I quite like called ‘I love Billy’ they are reasonably priced with many, many styles and really comfortable too. Loved the images of ‘Repetto’ wearers, they do look good on long slim legs, mine are not so long but I still love the ballet flats. till next time Veronique….

    • Bonjour Grace. Outlet store in Perth sounds doubtful but you could always hit the sale in Paris one of these days… Lovely to hear from you, as always. PS: Is it still hot, hot, hot and sunny in Perth?

  19. Truly, if I had to choose one brand & style shoe to wear for the rest of my life…I’d be very pleased if they were only Repetto! Fabulous post!! Thanks for the smiles.

    • You’re welcome Suzanne. Funny that both you and I mentioned Madame Sarkozy 🙂 Well, she is going to have a lot of free time now, and since she has a brand-new baby, that’s a good thing. I am happy that little girl will have her dad at home more often now. I bet, deep down, he is happy too (and he has earned a break from all that madness anyway.)

  20. “Un délice!!!” This was such a delight. It brought back so many sweet “souvenirs” of my French past. Thanks for the lovely walk down memory lane.

    I love your posts. They always make me smile, which, as you know, is something the French do all too rarely.

    Bises, M-T

  21. I used to wear ballerinas but after so many years of walking my feet need more “comfortable walking shoes..” What a well researched post with such fabulous illustrations – un plaisir à lire.

  22. Wonderful post! I always learn so many interesting things from you. You do your research! I wear ballet flats, but I was never a dancer. 😉
    Happy Mother’s Day!

    • The Repetto factory is located in St Medard d’Excideuil, in the Perigord region. They hold “braderies” (sales) several times a year, and Repettos can be snatched for as low as 40 or 50 Euros a pair then! Bonne chance!

  23. Hello, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your wonderful post on ballet flats – so much I did not know, but loved learning! Ballet flats should be in every girl’s wardrobe! I do appreciate you sharing and am happy to be your newest follower,

  24. How I wish there were an American store to buy these from! I am nervous to order them from France and not be able to return them if they don’t fit my fussy feet.

    Maybe an excuse to return to Paris some day?

  25. I have several ballet flats in my wardrobe, despite the fact that I’m short. I think there is no such woman that wouldn’t love them for their comfort.

  26. Great story about Repetto’s company, for me one of the most beautiful ballerinas makers in the world. IDespite being a young man, I used to wear ballet slippers from this brand for my ballet classes and I really love them. Good quality and price. Then I started , sorry I hope you dont mind, to wear ballet flats (ballerines)after had an injury at the top of my foot and discovered how comfortable and practical this kind of shoes are. I only tried twice Repettos ballet flats very comfortable but out of my budget, so I only wear Sam Edelman Felicia flats that are more affordable and also comfortables and by the way I also have a pair of TB Revas in black for dressy outfit. Finally I think ballet flats were and maybe will be unisex shoes in the future.
    Bonne journée

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