Ever since Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova snapped up Capezio slippers for herself and her entire company during their first U.S. tour in 1910, the leap from stage to runway to street has been swift for dance shoes: Consider the quintessential ballet flat, that essence of casual chic that enjoyed a fashion renaissance in the late Fifties (merci, Audrey Hepburn, and your skinny pants in Funny Face!). In more recent years, everyone from Lanvin to Nine West has sent forth variations on the slip-ons, from the former’s elastic-structured style to the suedeand feather-covered designs at London Sole.
It was inevitable, then, that another hot-stepper’s footwear of choice—the jazz shoe—would assume its place as a fashion muse, first in the Eighties (remember Fame?) and then in 2006, when Dior Homme put the delicate lace-ups on its models. Fast-forward to spring 2008, and the jazz shoe is most certainly getting its due. More sturdy than the ballet flat—some variations include a stacked heel, while the sneakerlike lace-up design offers ankle support—the jazz shoe possesses an androgynous quality, its rounded toe and cross-stitching lending the effect of a men’s dress shoe.
Repetto’s line, which launched in the Sixties, was inspired by ballerina Zizi Jeanmarie, who had married Rose Repetto’s son, Roland Petit (subsequently, Serge Gainsbourg reportedly wore only Repetto during the last part of his life). These days, “the shoes come in 18 different combinations of various colors and materials,” according to general manager Michael Flanagan. While Repetto long has been a favored producer of the style, there are a few unexpected names getting into the mix: Christian Louboutin, better known for sleek stilettos, has done up his design in sunburst yellow, while Max Kibardin has a festive bead-embossed look. David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, the designers behind Rag & Bone, took a more classic approach, crafting a shoe that hews closely to the dancer’s prototype, while Jonathan Kelsey—the man behind the shoe lines for Mulberry and Emilio Pucci—did a sleek white one with a considerably pointed toe. As day-to-evening accessories go, these numbers give new meaning to the request: “Put your dancing shoes on.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast