What a beautiful sight – row upon row of pale pink satin ballet shoes. When I look at these I can smell them as much as I can see them and no doubt that’s the same for many others too.
There’s an amazing article in Spitalfields Life about Freed of London, the ballet shoe company which was founded by Frederick Freed in 1920 – and is a name which is no doubt familiar to many who spent happy hours in pink leotards and pointe shoes during their formative years – and who may still do so today.
In the article are fantastic photographs taken from the archives, showing how the ballet shoes were made, together with picture of the inside of the shop in St Martin’s Lane, with ballet shoes in glass cases, and Frederick Freed himself.
Receiving an email from the brand development manager of Freed asking me whether I would like to try a pair of their ballet flats is up there with some of the best emails I have received. Nostalgia, happy memories, an affinity with a brand from the age of 6 – call it what you will, I was over the moon.
Knowing that I would photographing the shoes during the warmer weather, I chose a pair that could be worn across the seasons and with a variety of different colours. I really liked the combination of the patent and the snake skin, which really added texture and shine to the shoes.
I have to be a little bit careful when wearing ballet flats in terms of the whole cankle issue but the cut of these shoes at the front, together with the defined (as opposed to moulded) heel, makes them more flattering than other brands I have tried.
Here I am wearing them with an H&M t-shirt, Gap jeans, the White Company sequin cardigan that I bought from Bicester a couple of weeks ago and an Orla Kiely bag. I really like the way that the patent reflects the light and stops them from being too flat in terms of finish. They are also really comfortable too and the draw string around the top allows them to be pulled in (or let out), so the fit can be adjusted.
Here is a closer shot of the shoes – for those who want to see how far down the front of the foot they come. I should add at this stage that, like the shoes, these feet were borrowed!
There’s a whole variety of shoes from which to choose, so I’ve included a link to Freed’s ballet flat collection, which also includes plain colours, snake print and leopard print, together with the shoes that I have shown below and they come in sizes 3 to 8, with half sizes too. Theyare priced between £49.95 and £59.95
Checks are going to be huge next season, in all different sizes and colour ways. Think kilts and you won’t be far wrong. I know, kilts – when were we last wearing them?!
If black is the order of the day, you can’t go wrong with a bit of patent mock croc!
The ballet flats come in lots of plain colours but I thought that this was a really pretty colour, which would look lovely with navy/grey/aubergine as we head into the autumn.
In addition to a pair of shoes which are completely leopard print, there’s just a nod to it on this pair, which again would be nice for the autumn when it’s just that little bit too cold for sandals but when we’re not quite ready to head into boots territory.
Finally, you can never go far wrong with a Chanel inspired ballet pump can you?!
From now on, when searching for a pair of ballet flats, Freed will definitely be on my radar. With such an amazing history in making ballet shoes, I think that it’s safe to say that they probably know a thing or two about making ballet flats as well.