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What Is Balletcore Fashion?

by 顺之 聂 06 Nov 2023

We marvel at the aerial ballerinas that fly across the stage with ease, revel in the aesthetics of "Black Swan", admire Tilda Swinton in the remake of "Suspiria". However, we forget that balletcore style not only influenced other trends and cinematography, but also gave fashion designers room for creativity.

In a world where everyday fashion tends to equalize, we must constantly look for ways to stand out. When the majority began to favor minimalism and sports chic, images with a beige trench coat, jeans or tracksuit no longer looked special and fresh in some way.

This forced fashionistas from all over the world to look for new ideas and so a whole range of styles emerged, united and inspired by some aesthetic or lifestyle. That's how "witch-core," "cottage-core," "dark academia," "preppy," "glamorous," "Y2K," and of course, "ballet-core," which we're going to talk about today, became viral on TikTok and Pinterest.

Balletcore, barbiecore, normcore – just recently the fashion world has been taken over by all sorts of 'core', which means the base and core of something. These are the foundation and key elements of a certain aesthetic and style that have made their way into fashion weeks and therefore into our closets.

The term itself has been so influential that it seems every day a new trend gets the word "core" in its name. The friendship between ballet and fashion has lasted a long time since the 1920s. And they will never let you down. This is how ballet style came to be, inspired by dance lessons and ballet costumes. Dancers not only perform on stage, but also spend time in the halls in training. It seems that very soon tulle, silk skirts, tight knitwear, boleros, gaiters and ballet flats will flood the store shelves.

And it is quite understandable: one of the most beautiful art forms has always delighted the public with its elegance, lightness and technicality. What is the trick of this style trend and how to dress in its cool, modern and stylish aesthetics? I will tell you in the article below.

What Is Balletcore?

One of the biggest trends of the year was balletcore. Fashion Week's street style and bloggers' feeds are full of elements of ballet aesthetics, from accessories to shoes. And it is quite understandable: one of the most beautiful art forms has always delighted the public with its elegance, lightness and technicality.

Although at first ballet was considered either just another pampering for rulers or a comedy genre, it was later taken seriously. If in the 16th century in the foreground came "low" genres, accompanied by farce, buffoonery, general absurdity of situations, then in the 17th direction ennobled, giving it a dramaturgical component. Thus, at the suggestion of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Moliere , opera-ballet appeared, in which there was a place with serious subjects, and colorful scenery. At the same time, Russian Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich liked the direction, under which the first ballet performance was held in Preobrazhensky on February 17, 1672.

However, as a separate art worthy of attention and veneration, dance only came to prominence a century later: the French choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre published the work Notes on Dance and Ballet, where he rethought all his colleagues' experiences. It was thanks to him that the direction became more graceful – the effect was achieved through more plastic movements of dancers, as well as getting rid of masks covering their faces.

Ballet "fashion" changed century after century: first artists were inspired by images of modern girls, and then designers from major houses adopted their work. There is a symbiosis of two components of culture: dance and fashion. In 1932, artist Christian Berard created a collection of tulle skirts for the ballet Cotillion.

Later, in the 1930s, Coco Chanel was inspired by ballet. Her brand released a dark blue evening dress made of tulle called Etoiles. In keeping with the name, it was embroidered with stars in gold thread. The design of the dress refers to Cotillion's 1932 production, for which artist Christian Berard and costumer Varvara Karinskaya had previously created a similar costume. By the way, it was reviewed by Vogue – the performance material was published on eight pages.

In the 1960s, ballet flats were worn by all young people and even socialites like Twiggy and Jackie Kennedy. Vivienne Westwood created costumes for the Vienna State Ballet in 2013, pairing tartans with ballet wear. There started balletcore fashion trend.

Their attitude, coupled with the cyclical nature of fashion, has brought emotions back to dancers' costumes on the runways, and at the same time, into the closets of people far away from dance. In the 90's Carrie Bradshaw fought the audience of "Sex and the City" with a combination of Manolo Blahnik shoes and a puffy skirt, made in the manner of a tutu. Now we admire Villanelle in "Killing Eve," dressed in a lush tulle dress. Every girl's wardrobe at least once had ballet flats inspired by the dance of the same name, a cozy bodysuit or a sophisticated outfit made of thin, barely visible fabrics. Ballet has not only influenced balletcore fashion – it has become an integral part of it.

Key Elements of Balletcore Fashion

For a long time ballet was an element of elitist culture, inaccessible to the simple majority, and ballerinas were trendsetters, celebrities, dedicated to paintings and poems, admired. Therefore, when ballet penetrated the masses, including through fashion, images inspired by its aesthetics became extremely popular.

Now the fashion trend has its own name – balletcore. The word was formed by analogy with other similar words, such as cottagecore. Everything is simple – you just need to refer to the aesthetics of the ballerina images.

There are elements of balletcore clothing that are essentially timeless. From tiered skirts and leggings to cashmere knitwear, it's no wonder ballet and fashion are closely linked. All outfits can be divided into two types: stage outfits and those suitable for rehearsals. The former are characterized by tutus, corsets, feminine dresses and wrap tops made of thin flying materials. For the second, loose sweatshirts, leggings with stripes, knit T-shirts. The main thing that unites them is a restrained color palette.

We use pastel colors, elastic, light, transparent fabrics as the basis. We are inspired by ballerinas and see what we can take into our closet. There are some basic components by which you can guess that you are in this trend:

Shoes that resemble rehearsal shoes (like ballet flats) or dance shoes (like flamenco shoes): According to the analysis portal Lyst, Miu Miu ballet flats have become the most desirable footwear by the end of 2022. They are worn by celebrities and supermodels. If you're tired of bulky loafers or brogues, now is the time to add ballet flats to your shoe closet.

Bodysuits; nowadays, the elastic bodysuit is a base in the wardrobe of both ordinary people and ballerinas. And all because it is comfortable. It perfectly completes the image, acts as a neutral "carpet pad". Combine the body with a pantsuit or wide jeans, balloon skirts, shorts. Body in black, white, beige shades – a wand in the everyday closet. Thanks to the elasticity, the smooth fabric adds elegance and gloss to the image.

Leg warmers: recent fashion weeks have shown that gaiters are dominating, so let's wait for them to hit the streets.

The goal of balletcore style is not to exactly replicate a ballet costume, but to adorn yourself with elements from the dancers' wardrobe in order to touch a bit of their aesthetic and culture. Naturally, it is not necessary to repeat all the elements in the image at once, it will be enough one or two to create an association, a slight hint, mood.

Balletcore Styling Tips

Admit it, did you also dream of trying on a real ballerina outfit as a child? The desire to look as graceful and weightless as a feather is close to every girl, which is why balletcore is a trend that has instantly won the hearts of fashionistas all over the world.

From puffy dresses, skirts and see-through tights to ballet flats, sweaters, cardigans and hair bows, now, thanks to social media, balletcore fashion trend has a way of making its way into our lives. It is worth noting that there are two strands to the trend. While some choose stage outfits – tutus and corsets, others are suitable for rehearsals – oversized sweatshirts and leggings with drawstrings. Therefore, in order to create an image in balletcore style, you need to decide what kind of ballerina you want to become today.

Are you ready to become a ballerina? Let's start with your closet. You probably have a lot of useful things…

Basic ballet colors
Choosing the right colors for your balletcore outfit is key to creating the look. Basic pieces should be chosen from a soft palette of blush, lilac, blue and dusty rose colors. Don't forget to add neutral shades such as cream, melange gray and beige. Assemble the look of such a fashionable white corset and wide pants, gather your hair in a bun…

Bodysuits with flare and short-sleeved sweaters
If you've been looking for an opportunity to wear a bodysuit, now's your chance. There is nothing more balletic than a simple bodysuit. It is perfect for creating a beautiful and sophisticated ballet look. Wear it with jeans or a skirt. In true ballerina fashion, wear a short sweater that covers only your chest and arms. If you have a long torso, choose a short, collared top to pair with a high-waisted bottom. Wear a knit sweater and corset for a flirty atmosphere, pair it with a long flowing tutu skirt and you are sure to win the hearts of others.

Skirts and leggings
A flared skirt is probably the most important thing in a ballerina's closet. Don't be afraid to push the boundaries of this classic.

There are so many types of dresses and skirts that will help you achieve the balletcore look you want. Curtsy in various lengths from micro to midi and add tiered silhouettes for an added twist. Don't like skirts? No worries!!! Your favorite leggings that you wear for sports or at home will work just as well. Bonus: paired with a sports bra and cropped sweater, you can easily get from Class Barre to brunch.

Try ballet flats
Ballet flats are timeless and look chic with everything from workwear to casual jeans and a t-shirt. Unlike the painful-toed shoes worn by real ballerinas, ballet flats are known for being comfortable and easy to walk in.They come in patent, knit, suede and satin. Also, mules and sleek sneakers fit perfectly into balletcore style. If you're planning a picnic outfit and want to look summery, wear espadrille sandals. Extra points for a pair that tie around the ankle like ballet flats.

Leg warmers
This comfortable piece of clothing goes great with sneakers, loafers and boots. Ballerinas wear leg warmers to warm their muscles faster and prevent sprains and injuries, and you can wear leg warmers or socks to accentuate your feet or shoes! This trendy and warm accessory is that little detail that instantly elevates the degree of style in your balletcore aesthetic look. Another plus: all the outfits with gaiters look girlishly cute. Just what this aesthetic needs!

Balletcore is good because it helps you combine comfortable and sophisticated pieces into your everyday look, so you can go for a walk, a date, or a workout. Again, you do not have to wear all the above clothes, you can stop at the combination of "ribbons in the hair+ body+ sports pants" or "ballet flats+ headband". And it will already look super!
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