An interview with the statuesque and still beautiful Barrie Chase spurred a conversation on Facebook about the hip-looking Grecian-style sandals the cool sixties dancer wears in these photos.
Chase has not only gorgeous long limbs, but beautiful ballet-trained feet.
First to comment was longtime ballet master and presenter Don Hewitt,
“I have called them Hermes sandals. I thought Bologna’s famous bronze of Mercury/Hermes “en attitude” was wearing them. But he isn’t actually. (And it wasn’t because of Hermes Pan either). Wonder where it comes from too. Maybe another rendition of the mythical Hermes.”
Thank you, Don Hewitt.
Next coming to the rescue, also on Facebook, from afar in London to illuminate this great dance-shoe mystery, the wonderful former Joffrey Ballet dancer Christian Holder.
Writes Christian: “In the ’50s and ’60s Capezio put out a line of dance shoes called Hermes Sandals. They gave a barefoot, ethnic look while still supporting the sole of the foot. Other dance-shoe makers also had versions, but to “gypsies” they were all known as Hermes Sandals (after Hermes/Pan – the Greek god, not the choreographer).”
Holder continues: “Later there were similar sandals, reduced in size. These were made of suede, had a thong between the big toe and the second toe, and a sort of sling-back strap. Hermes were made of plastic, if I remember correctly, with ties that crisscrossed up the ankle, and left deep tell-tale marks where they cut into your flesh!!
Trip down memory lane!”
Thank you Don and Christian!
I wore them in the 70’s. They were quite supportive. Now that I’m 60, I wear the sneaker-style Capizeo
Love getting this from an Empress of Jazz Dance!
Hermes sandals… memories! As a dancer, I wore them in the 80’s and 90’s. One choreographer I worked with required that we wear them in performance. I recall the laces being plasticky, but we would swap those out with elastic that we had tea-stained and then we could just simply pull our hermes on and off. I’d also have a very, very thin rubber sole put on the bottom on the heel and metatarsal area for more traction.
Loved them; but mine were leather, not plastic.