As far as fashion stalwarts that stand the test of time go, beautifully crafted handbags are a common favorite — as are classically tailored overcoats and cashmere separates. For me, it’s a good pair of shoes; handmade, hand-stitched, buttery-soft shoes. After spending far too much time over the past year perusing the upcoming season’s selection of fine footwear, it’s clear to me that ballet flats are not only making a comeback but also have a whole new look.
I first caught wind of the shoe’s makeover via Catherine Holstein, creative director of womenswear label Khaite. Originally designed for the brand’s Pre-Fall ‘20 collection, the Ashland Ballet Flat covered more of the foot than a regular ballet flat, had a squared-off toe, and was threaded with a delicate string bow. I immediately wanted a pair. And, given that the silhouette has now become a year-round signature offering for the brand, I evidently wasn’t alone. With a newfound love for this fresh and elegant take, I started seeking out this classic shoe everywhere. “Ballet flats with a higher topline are what feels modern right now,” explains Zou Xou designer Katherine Theobalds, whose best-selling Inia Flat boasts a similar glove-like fit. “It’s that little detail that keeps it from looking basic, because I think for a little while ballet flats were kind of cast into boring territory.”
For someone like myself, whose collection of footwear consists of lug-sole loafers and heeled sandals in the summer and a very tall pair of black boots in the winter, craving the simplicity of a ballet flat came as a surprise. However, when shoes as good as these come along — especially with the promise of transitional weather just around the corner — you embrace them with open arms. See for yourself by shopping the ballet flats ahead.
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