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Pikke Allen

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ARTIFICE began as an accidental blog in Paris and has grown into a point of view that is decidedly ...Read More

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The Ballet Flat: Portable Luxury in a bag
By: Pikke Allen   |    July 21, 2012   |   1 Comments (0) (0)

The perfect Ballet Flat:  "Baglerina"

                     
 One traveler's Ode to the Ballet Flat

                                     
By Pikke Allen

I have not stopped being a ballerina for the past 2 weeks. Ever since I put on the pale pink kid leather ballet flats from "Baglerina", my life has changed for the better. Well, almost.  Let's just say my feet, are better off than ever.  

Having just returned from traveling abroad,  I think we can all agree that US airport floors, leave alot to be desired. Nevermind the hideous junk food at every turn…it's difficult to find a comfortable shoe you can wear in an airport and not look like you just left the gym. And, when you get onto an international flight, where you need to slip your shoes off, you need a shoe that is easy, and practically weightless. 

Enter, the "Baglerina" ballet flat. Sure, you've seen them, in a variety of shapes, sizes, prices and colors. You may think they are all the same, but no.  I am a veteran of the ballet flat, having been a stylist who worked on my feet for over 15 years.  Near impossible, to look like you're not in pain (when standing behind a camera) or without looking "un-stylish" is a fashion challenge.  I really don't know how "ZOE" does it, teetering on her platforms as she directs her style empire 6 inches off the ground.   Personally, I need to have some flats nearby just in case. Designer ballet flats, the ones that begin with an "L" or "C" have changed their construction; they're no longer soft, they're terribly uncomfortable and they are also expensive. 

I discovered these flats (as previously confessed) which have been on my feet for a week, while in Paris. These chic little shoes were invented by Christine Natkin, of Natkin Paris who has not only put the entire "myth" of the ultra chic Ballet Flat to rest, but improved on it.  Her version far exceeds the designer flats for comfort and quality and has introduced color and style options that appeal to the "little ballerina" in all of us or the "obsessed fashion diva" (I am a dangerous mix of the two). 

How did she do it?  

First of all, she's engineered every flat in soft kid leather and created a variety of cuts; low cut, for those of us who prefer toe cleavage, or a higher cut version. There is even a version that has that soft crinkled elastic look fashionistas adore, complete with padded insoles for home wear. There is soft kid leather with a matte finish, shiny metallics,  suede, patent leather, neoprene, and yes, even satin, each with its own matching bag.  It's love at first sight for your feet.  But, I forgot the most important thing: they fold and fit into a tiny drawstring bag made to match (sigh). I was wandering in Paris, having attended a meeting and took them out and Voila: Total comfort.  I walked from Palais Royal gardens all the way to the Republique. The leather is divine and each shoe when "deployed" on your feet mold with the soft leather construction. The collapsable sole is engineered to "merge" into one soft leather surface so you don't even remember that they fold up.  I had them on during my return trip through several time zones and didn't feel any foot fatigue at all. 

Christine's words for her company say it all:  "Quality",  "Well being" "Comfort" and "Design". She's dedicted to taking the ballet flat to the next level. For fashionistas, they come in a variety of colors from citron green to metallics like gold, silver and bronze.  For the beach lifestyle, she's made them in NEOPRENE. These are the waterproof version, so you can leave the pool or boat, with some style.  NO more ugly "scuba" shoes…that resemble alien moon boots. They come in Black with contrast trim, or a variety of solid colors with their own little neoprene bags to match.  Very "Colette", if you ask me. 

I can't wait to get them in gold or silver, or hot pink, or,  suede, black shiny patent leather or...well, you get the idea. Its like wanting to have that large box of crayons: you can never have too many colors. These aren't for sale yet in the US.  But, they'll be here next year…so you heard it here, first.   You can go to the website and pick out your favorites and you can purchase some of the styles online.  

www.natkinparis.com  

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1 Comments on this Article

Pikke Allen commented on July 23, 2012

As an update, the website is having a sale...so you can purchase these directly from the company in Europe. I will update as to when they will be here in the US!

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