Are you still allowed to think that way at 25? I suppose that's already "grown-up" age really and certainly old enough to know that I will never, never be a ballerina- my default answer to the "what do you want to be when you grow up?' question. They say Darcey Bussell was unfathomably old when she took up ballet but actually she was 13 and already an accomplished dancer. Sigh. Nevertheless, the fact my ballerina dreams will never realistically go beyond the occasional barre class doesn't mean I can't pretend does it? This is why I have several tutu skirts in my wardrobe, the most recent being a Topshop dress which required absolutely zero um-ing and ah-ing and a few of them snatched from the wardrobes of friends when they were clearing out post- grade 8 exams and were bored stiff of ballerina garb. I never got beyond my first class, aged 4, and was completely disgusted by the thought of being a graceful Margot Fonteyn type until a complete u-turn during my teens. Ever since, what I wouldn't give for a day of being able to go en pointe at the Royal Opera House.
I know I'm not the only one, as evidenced by the ever present gaggle of tourists who congregate at the Repetto shop just off Place Vendome in Paris, having their photo taken outside the always beautifully decorated windows while dangling their bags of ballerinas. I haven't had time to go in for ages but always look wistfully at the ballet slippers in every size and colour, wrapover cardigans and delicate net tutus and wish I had some need for them. What I didn't properly realise is that Repetto does cater to dreamy types like me with their ready-to-wear collection which has just become available online in the UK. Designed by Emilie Luc-Duc, formerly at Dior Girl and Vanessa Bruno, there are beautiful jumpers which echo the pretty shapes worn by dancers during practise and skirts which are perfectly poised between dress-up and wearable. At way for us ballet-dreaming grown-ups to dress the part, even if we cannot dance it.