250 Shades of Happiness

250 Shades of Happiness

>> I've emerged from a weekend of mind busting work of epic proportions which should hopefully yield results this week.  Apologies if posting has been erratic.  That's erratic by my weird standards by the by.  A sure fire way to remedy wee little tired eyes is to be faced with as many shades of colour as possible.  Repetto's L'Atelier service at Selfridges in London, a near replication of the same service they offer in their Rue de la Paix store in Paris, was the perfect opportunity for this rainbow confrontation.  A rainbow of 250 shades to be exact, available for you to choose the perfect combination for your Repetto ballet flats.   

You'd have to be extremely adverse to colour if you DON'T like the sight of things placed in rainbow order in manner of a box of colouring pencils or paint swatches.  Repetto's famous ballet flats are not the exception to this rule.  A circle of them with contrasting coloured grosgrain trims and lace ties  looks delicious enough… 





… but then you hit me with this.  The woodwork appreciator in me loves this whole 'L'Atelier' as a beautiful object in itself.  I was about to attack it Antiques Roadshow stylee and start testing hinges and lifting up panels to see whether it would indeed live up to its veneer.  In this instance though, what's in the box is far more important as it houses all 250 shades of lambskin leather swatches which gradiated from the palest of pastels to the deepest of dulls.  That's not 'dull' as in 'blah' by the way.  I found the dark navy, grey and deep tan just as alluring as the powder puff candy shades.  



I'm sure the Repetto staff at Selfridges have to tidy up this swatch house everyday because annoying people like myself feel compelled to go about pulling every swatch out jut to have a feel of it.  Even as I was standing there pulling out the shades, a gaggle of people surrounded the L'Atelier expecting the wooden box to do some sort of a magic trick or something…   



On the side were the selection of grosgrain ribbon that would be stitched onto the edge of the shoe… again more instant colour gratification…. 



The laces… 


I first tried on the base shoe just to check my size, something that is annoyingly not finite.  I'm anything from a 37 to a 40 but in Repetto land I'm the halfway house between that with an exact 38.5.  They can also take into any consideration that one foot might be bigger than the other.  Crystal from Repetto who was guiding me through the process asked me "How well do you know my feet?", a question that stumped me.  Now I feel somewhat deficient because I don't know my own feet very well at all.  Another thing to needlessly obsess over.  

The order is then sent to Repetto's workshop in Saint-M√©dard-d'Excideuil where the shoe is made up with the exacting techniques pioneered by Madame Repetto in the 50s – the 'stitch and return' technique where the stitching is done under the sole and then turned inside out so that the shoe is sturdy, comfy and flexible.  Despite the lightness of a Repetto, I've always marvelled how 'weighty' they feel on the ground.  You don't feel like you're wearing a flimsy piece of cardboard that might break any minute.  I've been through one too many cheapie ballet flats (erm… 15?) to know.  


I was feeling decisive and didn't want to dither about so I picked out a trio of colours (you didn't think I'd do matchy matchy right?) which unfortunately don't photograph well here but it's a shade of blue called 'myosotis', after the Latin name for Forget Me Not, a bright neon pink and a turquoise blue that incidentally matched the nails of Crystal.

Three weeks from now and I'll have a pair of shoes that won't match anything I own.  Yay!     



L'Atelier Repetto service available at Selfrides in The Shoe Galleries until September 12th.  It may live on at the store elsewhere though beyond that… 

**EDIT** Forgot to add the small matter of pricing.  Yes, it's ¬£345.  It is the upper crust of ballet flats.  I don't want to get haughty and breezily say "But you're paying for the creme de la creme…".  I don't know whether they are the 'best of the best'.  They are damn lush though and I suppose the level of customisation is a good chunk of where the money's gone… 


Leave a comment
  1. Cassandrahsieh

    2011-08-30 at 6:47 PM

    I just died a little. This is amazing. You just gave me a glimpse of a magical cobbler’s workshop. Thank you.
    die hard Repetto fan

  2. Kit

    2011-08-30 at 6:58 PM

    Goodness me I must have one, two, three, five, ten. This is pure bliss!
    P.s I’m exact 38.5 too.

  3. BeLighter

    2011-08-30 at 7:28 PM

    The colours are simply Beautiful!

  4. bravegrrl

    2011-08-30 at 8:09 PM

    how fun!

  5. thefashionguitar

    2011-08-30 at 8:38 PM

    Ohh wow love it!!
    XO Charlotte

  6. babylovesfashion

    2011-08-30 at 8:40 PM
  7. Taylor Lewis

    2011-08-30 at 8:52 PM

    woah! im left speechless

  8. Kate

    2011-08-30 at 8:54 PM

    What an amazing idea! I want!

  9. Style Souk

    2011-08-30 at 9:17 PM

    This is agony for an indecisive AND cash-starved girl, like me… I want them all!
    Sarah x

  10. Dani

    2011-08-30 at 9:43 PM

    Wow….how cool is that!!!
    Such a great idea! Love it…

  11. Inês

    2011-08-30 at 10:12 PM

    hmm a rainbow of ballet flats! Now that’s my heaven!

  12. Mathilde

    2011-08-30 at 10:12 PM

    Repetto ballet flats are the bestest of the best. their shape is perfect, and, though they do fall apart after about a year of (somewhat intense) wearing, the leather and the shape and everything about them is so nice and pretty that you’ll go straight back to the store and buy another pair
    this coming from a french person

  13. Brigadeiro

    2011-08-31 at 12:10 AM

    How incredible! I would have trouble deciding, so many gorgeous colours!

  14. Anieblu

    2011-08-31 at 12:53 AM

    I want a pair of two od those ones…..XD
    hugs from barcelona!

  15. Pip

    2011-08-31 at 5:47 AM

    amazing amazing amazing MY SHOE MECCA!!!!!!! i have 5 pairs of repetto’s and they are worth EVERY PENNY! they are so comfy and last a lifetime if looked after 😀

  16. Steph

    2011-08-31 at 6:03 AM

    That is just freakin’ awesome!!!!

  17. rooth

    2011-08-31 at 6:24 AM

    Gorg – you’re making me want to pick up a pair in bright orange. Who cares if they clash with everything?!

  18. Vani

    2011-08-31 at 7:23 AM

    Oh… Absolute eye candy! Can’t wait to see the final result of your pumps.

  19. loubehr

    2011-08-31 at 7:55 AM

    Ouahhhh I’ve always been waiting for them to do it !!!!
    It is too perfect to be true !!!!!!!!!!!
    Very very nice colors …..

  20. Julia

    2011-08-31 at 7:58 AM

    beautiful colours!

  21. Shan @ Orchira

    2011-08-31 at 10:08 AM

    It looks like B&Q’s paint shade board!
    Shan @ Orchira

  22. Elisa Eymery

    2011-08-31 at 10:11 AM

    Repetto flats are divine, and so comfortable. Would love to get some custom-made ones, but £345..blimey. I shall stick to my usual black ones with the 1-inch heel, they look exactly like the ones Cinderella wear in the Disney movie, so cool.

  23. Michelle Goldie

    2011-08-31 at 10:14 AM

    i do love them.. but i can get a new pair of jimmy choo’s for almost the same price.
    i do need some new pumps in my life though.. argh decisions.

  24. susie_bubble

    2011-08-31 at 10:36 AM

    This is in reply to both Michelle and Elisa!
    I know I know…. the price is eye-watering… but my other bit of deranged reasoning is that you might get a lot of wear out of a pair of flats. I’m a compulsive flat/heel swapper and I like the fact that there’s a constant pair of flats that you can fall back on rather than buying cheapie new ones every so often from Topshop or the like….
    I actually added up that in a year, I bought 5 pairs of ¬£30 ballet flats from TS…. that’s already ¬£150…
    This is crazy reasoning I know!

  25. clarity enhanced diamonds

    2011-08-31 at 11:26 AM

    My wife loves your shoes!

  26. olive

    2011-08-31 at 11:47 AM

    Your reasoning isn’t crazy at all- impulse buying Topshop pumps at ¬£30 a pair ends up more expensive, for me at least. I think of them as almost disposable and they’ll end up getting worn in the rain and destroyed within a few months. My Repettos on the other hand are looked after, re-soled and heeled when necessary and last ages. Not to mention they fit my feet perfectly and are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever tried- cheapie pumps usually end up digging in and being uncomfortable after a few hours, which rather defeats the purpose of wearing ballet pumps in the first place. If I were in London, I’d be sorely tempted by the customisation service…

  27. susie_bubble

    2011-08-31 at 1:08 PM

    You’re right but it’s all relative and sometimes high prices can blinker people into thinking that it’s not WORTH it without them really thinking about how many times they’ve worn things and how things have broken down….
    I’m very excited to get my pair of pumps and even more excited to go into a shop and get them re-soled and heeled…. that’s the sort of service that needs to really be built into most high-end designer label goods but you’d be surprised how many don’t give a crap after you’ve spent a bloody fortune…

  28. Sage.

    2011-08-31 at 1:10 PM

    so many colours!! way to amazing!

  29. thestreetfashion5xpro

    2011-08-31 at 1:58 PM

    wonderful colors!!!

  30. Clothes Love

    2011-08-31 at 4:50 PM

    Those shoes are stunning! Love love love them. http://www.loveclothesshopping.co.uk/

  31. Liz

    2011-09-01 at 3:02 PM

    beautiful colorways, can’t take my eyes off them

  32. Fashion Addict

    2011-09-02 at 1:12 AM

    I keep staring at the colors… they make me happy!!! I love your reasoning too BTW, it makes sense to me.

  33. kristina@beancakes ‚òÖ

    2011-09-22 at 6:11 PM

    i really would like to be able to buy repetto ballerines in the U.S. i used to be able to, but now i can’t seem to find an online store that carries them!!! LOVE these rainbow hues!!
    xo ~ ks

  34. y

    2011-10-19 at 10:39 AM

    I have a few pairs of Repetto, and they are indeed incredibly comfy and good looking but they fall apart very quickly…

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