I have desired a pair of Repetto jazz shoes for ages. Do I dance jazz? Not a hope.... but, whilst Rachel and I were in Paris looking for a lingerie shop in the shadow of L'Opera Garnier in Paris, we stumbled upon the Repetto store. I was standing under the choreography muse at the the opera so that must have been a good omen. Now Rachel and I were under the mistaken illusion that Repetto only sold shoes until we saw the shop window. Ballet heaven! We were welcomed by the doorman. The Flower Song from Lakme drifted through the music system. We watched ballet dancers being fitted for their pointe shoes and elderly Japanese ladies trying delicate pumps in all colours. Rachel spied a pair of apricot spangly tango shoes.
I could not justify the price of my coveted jazz shoes as they could not have been worn outdoors. They were softer than a kitten and weighed nothing. When I start dance classes (oh yeah?), I will treat myself.
I did allow myself an indulgance in the dance practice wear section. A wrap ballet top and a pair of hugely wide, soft and flappy jazz pants. They were worn to dinner that evening and I am wearing them both in the office today. Teamed with a pair of pointy brouge shoes, I am channeling Fred Astaire.
The fitting room at Repetto was curtained with swags of crimson velvet. Along one wall was a barre. That is barre with an 're' not a cocktail bar! I allowed myself a nostalgic dip into childhood memories as I practised my port de bras exercise and indulged in a few plies in front of the vast mirror. Not entirely ungraceful, but I was no Margot Fonteyn either.
We emerged into the Paris heat an hour or two later. My aunt teased us that evening for being shopapholics. Not true! The experience is as important as the purchase when one is having a treat. We both agreed that this was one for the memory files. The lingerie will have to wait for another visit. Helen.
Photo credit. Ballet shoes and shop window picture from the Repetto catalogue.