The history of the ballet flat is an interesting one. A similar shoe known as the pompe was worn by men as early as the 16th century, only to be kicked out of fashion by its more uncomfortable cousin, the high heel, when Catherine de Medici ordered that her wedding shoes be made two inches higher. However, when Marie Antoinette shuffled to the guillotine in heels, people feared the same fate. Choosing not to walk in her shoes, flats came back into favour again.
These days, thanks in part to the iconic 1950s image of Audrey Hepburn in black capris and ballet flats in the film Funny Face, such shoes have become a modern wardrobe staple. The question now is not: ‘Should I wear ballet flats?’ but ‘Where can I find the best?’ Our answer: Porselli ballet slippers at My Chameleon.
Much like the lineage of the ballet flat, the Porselli company is steeped in history. It finds its origins in Milan in 1919 when founder Eugenio Porselli opened one of the first ballet shoe factories. Still owned by the Porselli family today, the brand is considered among the finest manufacturers of ballet slippers by ballerinas and fashion insiders alike. Its Milanese boutique is close to the famed La Scala theatre, so the ballerinas who attend its ballet company (one of the oldest and most renowned in the world) jet in every Wednesday to snap up the new stock. Because each pair is made by hand in a variety of hues and leathers, by Thursday most of their styles have sold out.
With My Chameleon being the first Australian stockist of Porselli and one of the few worldwide carrying the label online, with a click of a button we can now beat those Italian ballerinas to it. And by wearing those shoes, we can hopefully gain a gait that is nothing less then graceful.