Red shoes have been inciting dance, drama and desire since 1845 when Hans Christian Anderson wrote the story of a girl who has to cut off her morally loose, red-shoe-clad feet for leading her astray. Earlier this year, Christian Louboutin sued Yves Saint Laurent for creating red-soled shoes in the house’s Cruise collection, believing it to be a brand signature he owns. In Powell and Pressburger’s tragic film The Red Shoes, a workaholic ballerina jumps in front of a train to literally stop herself from dancing.
But in 1956, fresh from her sensual dance scene in And God Created Woman, Brigitte Bardot, fearless of the consequences, commissioned Madame Repetto to make her a custom pair of ballet pumps – in carmine red. Repetto had already been making ballet shoes for the Paris Opera ballet for almost a decade and continues to attire the feet of its prima ballerinas, including Marie Agnes Gillot today. But this was the first pair made for recreational wearing.
In the spirit of Bardot’s commission, Repetto has launched a personal service for its customers: L’Atelier Repetto. Available in Selfridges, the service offers a selection of 250 different shades of lambskin, to match or contrast with a hand-picked lace and trim.
To celebrate, AnOther designed their own pair of Repettos and commissioned photographer Thomas Brown to create a dancing diagram. Follow the blue shoe to “jump frenetically,” Brown says. “Glide elegantly in the pink shoes, or perhaps follow each step to your own beat.”
Text by Agata Belcen
Agata Belcen is the fashion editor of AnOther Magazine and AnOther Man.