It all started in junior high school. Not long after my horse phase, during which I hung out at the conveniently located Hollywood Ranch stables, drew pictures of horses, read books about horses, collected horse figurines but never actually rode a horse, I entered my ballerina stage. I didn’t want to be a ballerina, but I wanted to look like one. For a while I wore my hair in a high bun and feigned a relaxed third position when standing in line at the cafeteria. At the Capezio store on Hollywood Boulevard, I bought a pair of their dance slippers with a matching leotard. Although I didn’t wear the slippers to school because the soles were too soft, I did wear them, with the leotard, on the weekends and while hanging out with friends.
Slightly offbeat (as in beatnik), evocative of ‘50s cinema — think Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot — they still look great with skirts of just about any length and style, and with shorts, capris, athleisure wear, and boyfriend or skinny jeans.
By high school I was over “the look” as, now worldly, I scoffed at it as being too prim — until it popped up again when I was in my 20s and I thought it was cool, in my 40s when I decided it was classic, and then again in my 60s when I deemed it retro. Along the way, leotards morphed into bodysuits, and ballet slippers evolved into streetwear with a more substantial sole. Today, I have four pairs in my closet, and now I know the look is timeless.
Slightly offbeat (as in beatnik), evocative of ‘50s cinema — think Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot — they still look great with skirts of just about any length and style, and with shorts, capris, athleisure wear, and boyfriend or skinny jeans. And here’s a fun bit of trivia: In Paris, in 1956, at the request of Brigitte Bardot, Rose Repetto, renowned ballet shoe designer, created the Cendrillon Ballerinas. Repetto’s “Cinderella slippers” are now in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.
Louboutin stilettos? Even if I could walk in them, I wouldn’t. Nope, not my style. I’m more about casual but chic comfort, easy elegance, simple sophistication, even a kittenish sexiness, and I think it’s all there in the ballet flat. Originally and sometimes still with a string at the top to cinch and tighten, I prefer mine sans string. I’ve sported pairs in soft, supple basic black leather, of course, but also in snakeskin, animal print, metallic bronze, with cut-outs, embroidered, in red patent leather, blue suede, in a rainbow of colors but never ever white or … ballerina pink.
And finally, just a couple more words about ballet flats: toe cleavage. When the front of the shoe — called the vamp, serendipitously in this case — is low, you get a glimpse of toe cleavage. Clearly intentional yet hotly debated, some people hate it while others, like me, love it. But just a smidge … it’s nice to leave something to the imagination.
Artist, writer, storyteller, spy. Okay, not a spy…I was just going for the rhythm.
I call myself “an inveterate dabbler.” (And my husband calls me “an invertebrate babbler.”) I just love to create one way or another. My latest passion is telling true stories live, on stage. Because it scares the hell out of me.
As a memoirist, I focus on the undercurrents. Drawing from memory, diaries, notes, letters and photographs, I never ever lie, but I do claim creative license when fleshing out actual events in order to enhance the literary quality, i.e., what I might have been wearing, what might have been on the table, what season it might have been. By virtue of its genre, memoir also adds a patina of introspection and insight that most probably did not exist in real time.