Although now retired, Michele Attfield was the main pointe shoe fitter at Freed of London for many years, she even had the honour of fitting Dame Margot Fonteyn herself. Luckily for us, we had the pleasure of hearing what Michele had to say about the brilliant Fonteyn in dedication of her centenary this year. .
Margot Fonteyn was the president of the Royal Academy of Dance during the time that Michele Attfield was a scholar at the school in the mid-1950’s, and she still remembers the day her and her fellow students were taken on stage to meet with the legend herself.
It is difficult to put into words how beautiful and gracious she was. To be in her presence was almost spellbinding
Not only was she beautiful and ‘spellbinding’, but she was also kind and understood the influence she had towards aspiring ballet dancers. Michele remembers how Margot Fonteyn took the time to talk to the students about their dancing and says that what Fonteyn told them stayed with her through all her years of teaching and fitting.
Mr. Freed, the founder of Freed of London, was Margot Fonteyn’s original pointe shoe maker, and once he retired she began to use M maker and then H maker – Fonteyn chose to use Freed of London pointe shoes throughout her professional career.
Mr and Mrs Freed took care of Margot Fonteyn through the early stages of her career, however, as Michele progressed in Freed of London and became their main fitter, she also became the person in charge of Fonteyn’s shoe orders.
Fonteyn was blessed with perfect proportions and great strength, which meant that she could dance one what was considered to be a very lightweight shoe even for her generation.”
Margot Fonteyn was constantly trying to perfect her craft to ensure that her performances were outstanding for her audiences. So much so, that Mr. Freed created a unique pointe shoe in custom colour ‘silk satin’ so Fonteyn’s pointe shoes could truly blend in with her tights and feet.
Freed of London are incredibly proud to have been so closely associated with the iconic, powerful and influential Margot Fonteyn for so many years. As a special thank you, Fonteyn gifted a signed picture of herself in costume to Mr. Freed, it still hangs in our London store to this day.