Tag Archives: pointe shoes made in France

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.

Merlet Of France

The Marvels Of French Pointe Shoes

I found a treasure trove of beautiful Merlet pointe shoes today. The reason I call them treasures is because I found them unexpectedly while I was searching for something else.

These particular pointe shoe models are not the ones that can be found on the Merlet U.S.A. website.  Other than the Kaliste model, the pointe shoes sold in the U.S. are sold as Merlet-Pietra models. I will go into more detail about the Merlet-Pietra models in my next post.

These pointe shoes are strictly Merlet and are available in France :

Merlet Melissa

Melissa

Melissa

Merlet created the Melissa model for beginners. The shoes are soft for flexibility and easy demi-pointe. They mold quickly to the foot and are available in 3 different shank strengths.

Merlet Kaliste

Kaliste

Kaliste

The Kaliste is a very unique model as far as pointe shoe design is concerned. Dancers can order this model entirely of canvas, or order a satin/canvas combination. The last half of the Kaliste is constructed with elasticized canvas which clings to the heel for a more secure fit. The satin/ canvas combination has satin material in the front portion of the shoe from the side seam up through the toe box. The back portion from the side seam to the heel is stretch canvas. The Kaliste is available in narrow to wide widths and comes with 3 different shank strengths. The Kaliste is suitable for beginners to advanced dancers.

Merlet Etude

Etude

Etude

The Etude model is designed with a cushioned liner that provides exceptional comfort. The boxes are tapered and the shoes come with *polycarbonate shanks. The Etude model is available in narrow, medium, and wide widths. This pointe shoe is suitable for beginners.

Merlet Etoile

Etoile

Etoile

The Etoile is for professional or advanced dancers. The hard shanks and sole are made with *polycarbonate materials for superior strength and flexibility. The Etoile model has a lower vamp for easier demi-pointe. Shanks are available in 6 different strengths from supple to hard.

Merlet Elisa

Elisa

Elissa

The Elissa is another model for advanced dancers that has a unique 3/4 *polycarbonate shank for flexibility through demi-pointe.

Merlet of France has created these models with what they describe as “thermoform” technology. This allows for easy molding to the dancers foot shape making the Merlet pointe shoe comfortable and easy to break in.

It will take a little more research on my part to find how a U.S. based customer might be able to order one of these beautiful pointe shoe models.

* Polycarbonate is a tough, versatile plastic that is virtually unbreakable. The positive qualities of polycarbonate materials are  lightness combined with superior strength