Category Archives: French Brands

Pas De Deux Pointe Shoes- A Green Approach To Ballet Waste

Do you hate waste?  Apparently, this very new French brand, Pas De Deux, does  too. Inspired by the mountains of used pointe shoes that are tossed away by The Paris Opera Ballet, they decided to offer an alternative choice for dancers; pointe shoes constructed of organic recycled materials.

I stumbled upon this brand by accident on Facebook and find their Eco-friendly, green approach to pointe shoe making as contemporary and futuristic as using  high-tech materials.  The truth is, all of those tossed out pointe shoes from professional companies have to go somewhere.

This company is so new, they don’t have a website yet.  The company debuted in early April 2019 on Facebook.  At the moment, they are using a Google Form to take orders. Because of this, I will hold off adding them to the sidebar.

Finding Pas De Deux and their concept made me think about something I rarely consider; just how long does it take for a pointe shoe to decompose at the landfill? It makes you think, doesn’t it?

I really look forward to a fully designed website ( if they are planning one) with an About Page and detailed specifications on the shoe models. I want  to learn more about the man in the video, the model names, and the location in Paris where they are made.

How do you feel about the subject of waste when it comes to pointe shoes? Should we even try to make a dent in how the planet is affected by the vast amounts of used shoes dance theaters have to throw away?

Pas de Deux Pointes on Facebook

UPDATE  FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2019 – The video that was posted above went blank, so it was removed. Their Facebook page has also vanished. They may be blocking viewers, restyling their brand, or have already gone out of business.

Perros Louis Vintage Pointe Shoes From France

Am I a collector’s item? Oui! Oui!

Long ago and far away in the romantic city of Paris, there was a dance shop named Perros.

It was located in a busy section of the city that to this day is still a major  thoroughfare for pedestrians and vehicle traffic.

One day, the shop closed its doors and the precious inventory of dance shoes would become a part of ballet history instead.

French Ballet Shoe Memorabilia With A Bit Of Provenance

vintage Perros pointe shoes

Its unusual to see a pointe shoe sole imprinted with an address.

If you have an eye for dance shoe collectibles, it’s always wonderful when you can get a full, interesting “provenance” with your purchase.

One very obvious place to start digging for some provenance is the address imprinted on the sole.

It was thrilling to discover that the storefront of 61 Rue Monge still exists today.

It is now an upscale beauty spa called Mani Kua.  Okay, I admit that I went through the picture gallery of the salon trying to imagine it filled with cobbler benches and tools and glue and satin fabric. Unfortunately, time  ( and an interior redo) has erased all traces of ballet-coated  D.N.A..

Surely I am not so far gone as to think there could have been an old, dusty  pointe ribbon hanging from the rafters in a back room? Maybe I  thought I would see the faint outline of a pink toe box peeking out from a cobweb under a lobby chair.

Coming Back To Reality And The Findings Of My Research:

  1. There is nothing available online about the closing date of the business.
  2.  The only page  on the web that mentions Perros,  shoe making and Paris altogether is located on this outdated business listing @ https://www.societe.com/societe/perros-louis-bottier-784247983.html
  3. It is unknown whether Perros is his first name or last name. The Bottier name may be a title of occupation.   Translated from French to English, bottier means boot maker.

How lucky is the person that may own a pair of this rare brand! If I had a pair of these pointe shoes, would I sell them? As they say in French…… non, jamais!

 

 

The Repetto Alicia-Jolie Chaussure Pointe

What’s very expensive, but beautiful nonetheless? Shoes made by the classically French company Repetto. From their cute ballerina flats to their lovely satin pointe shoes, Repetto is a well-known brand for dancers and non-dancers alike.

Repetto Alicia

Repetto Alicia. A beautiful hug to the arch with 3/4 shank construction.

For many years, the only pointe shoe models that were advertised on their official website were the Juliet and the Carlotta. I almost gave up hope of finding anything new on their site.

Although Repetto came out with the Alicia in 2015, they are new to me, and possibly to you as well. According to Repetto, the Alicia model is for intermediate or advanced dancers with several years of training. It is a 3/4 shank shoe with long vamps and a medium profile.

As they say in French, these are jolie (pretty) pointe shoes.

Aux Fleurons De La Danse Of Paris

aux fleurons de la danse shop paris

Aux Fleurons De La Danse Paris shop front

In my world, few things ballet-related tug at my heartstrings more than the image of a solitary cobbler working quietly at his bench constructing a pointe shoe. Even though many reputable manufacturers employ large numbers of cobblers, there is something really beautiful about the lone pointe shoe maker who runs his own little shop servicing the individual needs of one dancer at a time.

Somewhere in the heart of downtown Paris, France is ( or was) such a shop. Here, a dancer could come in and have her pointe shoes made especially for her by Monsieur Dimitri Angelakov .

Who Is Dimitri Angelakov ?

From my hours researching the background of Monsieur Angelakov, I found only  bits and pieces of  his legacy online. There is a patent for the business name from the 1970’s. He is mentioned fondly on a French dance forum and on Facebook.

I don’t know his nationality or the journey he took to learn the craft of pointe shoe making. What I do know is that he was a very special man to the dancers who relied on him for their custom-made pointe shoes in that section of Paris.

Aux Fleurons De La Danse Translated Means:  The Jewels Of The Dance

There is something so beautifully personal about the relationship between a pointe shoe maker and his client. The care and love that goes into making each shoe is obvious in the video.

Each layer, each pleat, every brush of glue and turn of satin is gently and patiently tended with the delicate touch of an artist.

 These precious artisans are tucked away in obscure places, yet mean so much to the traditions of ballet.

As I write this, I am not 100% sure that Monsieur Angelakov is still here.  The last activity noted for Aux Fleurons De La Danse on Facebook was in 2011.  The web domain for his business, auxfleuronsdeladanse.com, expired last month.

Monsieur Angelakov in his shop

Although custom-made pointe shoes are available online, nothing can compare to knowing and talking to the person who makes your shoes. If Monsieur Angelakov has indeed gone to that big cobbler shop in the sky, somewhere on the streets of Paris walks many a broken-hearted dancer.

 

Merlet’s Newest Model; The Diva

Merlet DivaWhen you hear the word Diva, you can either imagine something negative or something positive. You may imagine a high maintenance woman who is very difficult to please. In the artistic realm, the definition of a diva is one of outstanding theatrical talent.

This past June, Merlet of France decided to name the latest addition to their pointe shoe collection Diva. The Diva is an aesthetically balanced shoe with several high-tech components.

The Diva Is Supposed To Be A Ready-To-Dance-In Model

Besides the non-slip platform, it comes with removable gel toe pads inside. This is a 3/4 shank shoe where the shank is made of polycarbonate materials; a tough, flexible substance similar to acrylic.

No matter how you view photographs of the model, it is obvious that a lot of care went into creating sleek lines for the shoe. So what is so Diva-like about it?

Did you notice those purple linings? Purple is the color of royalty. Ballet comes from royal lineage. A Diva, or a dancer of outstanding talent, may feel right at home in pointe shoes with a little hidden ” royal secret”.

Isn’t it interesting to find relevant innuendos in the world of pointe shoe marketing?

You can learn more about the Diva on the UK MerletDance website. The Diva isn’t featured on the Merlet USA website.

Pointe Relevé by Domyos Of France

In one of my earlier posts from 2010, I spoke about the French Domyos pointe shoe model Renaissance. After visiting the website, I noticed that the Renaissance model is sadly no more. However, there is another interesting shoe in its place; the Relevé.

According to Domyos, this model was created to alleviate pain on pointe. The inner toe is lined with an award-winning elastomer insert material for shock absorption and comfort. You can also see the traction tip on the platforms.

The wide metatarsal area reminds me of the Capezio Aerial. It isn’t going to work for every foot shape, but pointe shoes constructed with extra width in this area are a blessing for dancers that need the room.

With all the other athletic products and shoes that this gargantuan company manufactures, it’s wonderful to see a highly promoted specialized pointe model in their collection.

Another feature of this model is a 2-year guarantee. (!) Only time will tell if that is true. This model has only been on the market since Spring. If there is no paste to break down, a reinforced tip and strong polyester fabric used, it may outlast a traditional pointe shoe.

You can read details about the Relevé in English here.

Can This Model Survive?

DOMYOS-RELEVE

The built-in elastomer padding

As I was writing this, I couldn’t help but remember the demise of a similar silicone-pad-built-in idea; the Capulet Juliet D30. After the novelty wore off and the negative reviews started spreading online, both the shoe and eventually the Capulet brand bit the dust.

It appears that Sansha bought them out. You can see that the poor shoe lives permanently in the clearance department. Here are the biggest dancer complaints about built-in padding:

  1. With frequent use, pads shred, break into pieces or move round inside the toe box.
  2. Odor. With the heat and sweat that builds up during class, pads that you can’t take out and replace with fresh ones turn pointe shoes into stink bombs.
  3. Feeling bulky, can’t feel the floor as well, no room to add additional toe protection.

On a positive note, I wish Domyos the very best success with the Relevé. I would love to hear your opinion about pointe shoes with built-in padding.

The Domyos official website offers a choice of many languages, but you can choose the UK link for English. You can find many more photos of their products on their Facebook page.

The Repetto Julietta-A Beautiful Shoe For Beginners

Repetto JuliettaIn a post I made way back in March of 2011, I  wrote about visiting the Repetto website and only finding one model in various forms for sale; the La Carlotta.

Today, I find another model for sale on the Repetto website; the Julietta. Not only does the name conjure up images of romantic pas de duex variations that could involve Shakespearean balcony love scenes, the design concept and advertising is interesting too.

According to Repetto, this lovely shoe is designed for beginners that need a low-vamped, flexible soft-sole style that allows for easier demi-pointe work. Repetto offers this model with either a large box or a medium box and the sides are cut higher to stay on better.

The online advertisement comes with a strong warning to potential buyers; they don’t want anyone to buy the shoe unless they have been fitted in person first. Did someone buy a pair of pointes without trying them on and end up in a French hospital in toe slings blaming Repetto?

Since getting fitted for pointe shoes is very important and taken for granted as law in the ballet world, this passionate message is very curious from a business view-point. Collectors like me neither care about  proper fit nor do we fly from country to country checking in with manufacturers and fitters. However, we have money to spend and all pointe shoe companies need profit.

In light of this requirement, how would you enforce this policy online? Alarm bells? Police sirens? A fitter  security guard that jumps out of the screen and grabs you by your tutu spewing French obscenities?

There is only one thing that my rebellious spirit wants to do; click the order button to see if I get a warning pop-up message from Repetto stating that my IP address is on file as belonging to unfitted, undesirable  feet.

Merlet Of France Pointe Shoe Collection Adds New Models

When you visit the Merlet website link here on the sidebar, you will see the familiar names of popular Merlet models like the Prelude, Pulsion, Kaliste and Empriente. What you won’t find are the newest models recently added to the Merlet collection. Why? Because this company has an American market and a French market that apparently keeps their product lines separated.

Merlet Of France Has Two New Pointe Shoe Models; One Modern And One Traditional

Merlet N2 pointe shoe

Merlet N2

Merlet has introduced the new N2  model as a half-shank pointe shoe for advanced dancers.  This is a contemporary shoe design made with high-tech performance in mind. Of course, the name N2 is another  example of those futuristic-sounding names that boggle the mind and somehow “kill the romance” of feminine shoe names. Oh well. You can read more about the N2 on this U.K. dance supply company website, Dancia; one of the few places that offers details in English.

Merlet Adagio

Merlet Adagio

The new Adagio by Merlet has a pretty name and an equally lovely aesthetic. The Adagio is described as a traditionally-made pointe shoe that has a medium strength shank appropriate for advanced dancers. You can also find this shoe on the Dancia U.K. website mentioned above. In discovering these new Merlet models that originate from France, I also found two more that may or may not be established models by Merlet of France; the Elista and the Mira.

The Merlet Mira And Elista

For starters, I have to say that the name Elista and the name Kaliste are very similar-sounding to each other (in my ears). Both of these shoes are salmon-colored canvas pointe shoes with the mid-foot-to-heel section made of stretch materials. They look the same to me when compared side by side. This really deflated my excitement balloon and makes me question why manufacturers give different names to the same shoe; a real peeve for pointe shoe detectives!

What About The Merlet Mira?

The Mira model was an accidental discovery for me.  From  what I can translate from French to English, the Mira is a traditional model recommended for advanced dancers. It comes with three choices of shank strengths and the shanks can be ordered three ways; full-shank, 3/4 shank or 1/2 shank. The video below shows the beauty and form of the Mira pointe shoe.

The Mira from Eric Johnston on Vimeo.

Merlet Of France Is Planning Great Things For Next Year

What I love about Facebook is being able to keep updated on any new products a pointe shoe manufacturer introduces to the market. You can see more photos and descriptions ( in French) of what this company is up to on their Facebook page;  MERLET On Facebook.

The Merlet Company has a brand new website under construction that will hopefully consolidate all of their French-based pointe shoe models onto one site. For now, dancers have to go through suppliers in Europe. Hopefully, the site will be up soon. Visit the new web address here at Merlet Dance.

FR Duvall Of Sansha Creates A Namesake Pointe Shoe

Sansha-brand pointe shoes are well-known in the dance world for creating affordable, yet functional models that are popular with students and professionals alike. The Sansha Recital comes to mind as a best-selling beginner model. The shoes are known for having replaceable shanks which makes them versatile and a favorite with many dancers.

Franck Duval And The Sansha Name

As far as the correct history on the nationality of Mr. Duval, we do know that he was born in France. However, in my online research I found different reasons for the name Sansha in relation to Mr. Duval. Some say the name was given to him as a nickname when he lived in Russia. Others say that he first began production of his pointe shoes in a small Chinese village by the name of Sansha. Yes, there is a Sansha, China! I will save that investigation for a later date.

The New F.R. Duvall Pointe Shoe Is So Pretty

FR Duvall Pointe Shoes

FR Duvall Pointe Shoes Have Lovely Aesthetics

This discovery was accidental as many of my brands are when I am hunting for information about another shoe. I can thank webpage interlinking for this. As you can see by the photo, the model has a crown logo and the name FR Duval on both the outer sole and inner liner. It is hard to tell from the photo if the model has a drawstring or not.

The model style appears to have beautiful Russian-style v-cut vamps. The shoe is advertised as having qualities that make it last longer with slower breakdown time. Dancers can choose from 4 shank variations : Flexible, Regular, Strong and Extra Strong.   I did not see any choice for profile size or vamp length at this time.

FR Duval Pointe Shoes Are Not Sold Through Sansha

I searched the official Sansha website high and low for this new addition, but did not find it. The shoe is not in the new collections catalog for 2012 nor on the products listing anywhere on site. For now, the only place to order these pretty pointe shoes is through a distributor company like Dancex.com.

I am amazed at the low price of these shoes; less than $34 dollars a pair at the time of this post. Unlike  the Sansha-brand models, this shoe is Franck Duval’s actual namesake model.  I love the crown logo, color and shape of the shoe and wish the FR Duval model much success .

La Pointe-The Latest Addition To The Wear Moi Collection

Wear Moi La Pointe

Wear Moi La Pointe

When it comes to the brand name Wear Moi, must of us are already familiar with the various beautiful dance garments and accessories they sell. The Wear Moi name means good-quality leotards, tights and ballet slippers. Now they  have their very own pointe shoe model called , very simply, La Pointe. At this time, I was unable to find up-close and detailed images of this shoe.

The Design Features Of The La Pointe Shoe

Wear Moi has an interesting way of designing how their models are made and fitted. They base the length of the vamps on how strong the shank is. If the shoe comes with a soft to medium shank strength, the shoe is given a regular vamp. If the shank is hard or extra hard, the vamp will be longer. Interesting, isn’t it?

La Pointes also come with a selection of platform sizes and profiles to fit each individual foot. They can be ordered with v-cut vamps or with u-cut vamps. Either way you look at them, they are very pretty and very French, oui?

My Visit To The Wear Moi La Pointe Website

Heading over to the Wear Moi website to check out the La Pointe model was a thrill for me. The website is fresh and modern-looking. Readers can enjoy a wonderful video and check out the latest in ballet photography in the gallery section.

La Pointe by Wear Moi has gorgeous aesthetics and a very smooth, flattering shape. To find out more about these pretty French pointe shoes, visit their official website, Lapointe.wearmoi.com., which comes in both French and English for readers. Viva la France!

*Many thanks to the reader who  alerted me to this new shoe model*