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Ballet pumps are in hot contention for being the shoe of the summer, with everyone from Katie Holmes to the Princess of Wales on board with the trend. And despite the soggy weather at Copenhagen Fashion Week, the flats were everywhere–further evidence of their popularity among the fashion set right now.
The new breed of pumps isn’t the classic ballerinas that were popular in the Noughties, though. This time around, they come with a twist – whether it’s Alaïa’s crystal-embellished flats beloved by Vogue editors or Margiela’s split-toe Tabis. “At a time where the fashion mood consists of minimal silhouettes and ultra-wearable clothes, it’s fun to add playfulness and personality through accessories, particularly footwear,” Madeline Fass, Vogue.com’s fashion market editor, explains. “Alaïa’s crystal-covered Mary-Janes, while embellished, is totally flat. They make a statement but are great for all-day, everyday wear. In a cobblestone-heavy Copenhagen, I was so happy to have them—not to mention, they added a little sparkle to an otherwise dreary forecast.”
When worn with tailoring or a maxi skirt, ballet shoes enter the realm of “the wrong shoe theory” posited by stylist and author of Wear It Well Allison Bornstein—when an outfit is given an edge by pairing it with the least obvious footwear option. It’s an approach that journalist Sophia Li takes with her Prada mesh ballet flats. “It’s the ultimate transition shoe from the city to the beach, from swimwear to a power suit,” she says. “I’ve been looking for an updated take on the classic black ballet flat for years, and these check all the boxes. They’ll last for years to come; they transcend trends and seasons.”
Ballet pumps weren’t just seen on street stylers in Copenhagen. At The Garment, models wore Gia Borghini flats with bows on the back, while at Ganni, its signature studded pumps made an appearance—suggesting that these trending shoes aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Below, see how five show-goers styled their cool-girl ballet flats during Copenhagen Fashion Week.