If there was a curious note about Balenciaga’s Spring Summer 2023 collection, it was the inclusion of ballet flats – after all, the footwear style is historically associated with all things prim and proper and well, the Demna-led maison, with its irony-laden, hyper exaggerated silhouettes, is anything but.
And while Balenciaga’s version comes with the typical Demna twist (they’re intentionally distressed), it’s yet another indicator that “balletcore” – TikTok’s term for the ballet-inspired garb – is resolutely here to stay. It’s been slowly percolating ever since industry leaders like Miuccia Prada re-introduced ballet flats in Miu Miu’s Fall/Winter 2022 show and folks like Harry Styles wore Molly Goddard’s version on his Harry’s House album cover.
Miu Miu has been a key proponent of the #balletcore trend.
Over on TikTok, the term has since garnered over 460 million views and counting. Designers such as Dries Van Noten, Loewe, MM6, Marine Serre and more have nodded to the trend for the SS23 season, alongside names like Cecilie Bahnsen and Simone Rocha, who have had elements of balletcore in their work all along.
Think cosy knitwear, ribbons, bows, delicate pastel and neutral hues, tights and of course, the genre’s signature footwear. Essentially things that have traditionally been regarded as hyper feminine, though FYI, contrary to popular perception, the dance form itself was actually male-dominated (with men performing both roles) up until the French Revolution in the 19th century.
Below, some starter pieces to get your #balletcore game on pointe.