A fashion trend established on TikTok in the spring of 2023 is called balletcore. This fashion trend is a mixture of various influences, which is nevertheless dominated by one traditional style – the classical ballet aesthetic. The trend mainly takes the romantic side of ballet and expands it with elements of contemporary, modern dance (Contemporary).
Just like classical dance, the Balletcore fashion trend is diverse and broad-based. In addition to the typical ballet elements of tutu and swinging skirts, it uses a figurative language that sometimes has a mystical effect. It can come along with dark tones in the typical gothic look (see „Black Swan“ with Natalie Portman), or ethereal-light as in the piece „An American in Paris“. He likes to use mythological references, preferring symbols like wings and swans, for example. Black and white contrasts with ethereal aesthetics are also often used.
Balletcore: Trend developed after the film „Black Swan“
The trendy aesthetic, which began with the psychological thriller „Black Swan“ (USA 2010), relies on glamorous yet comfortable clothing and appealing, rather natural makeup. This suitability for everyday life has led to the fact that balletcore spread very quickly and became one of the most popular fashion trends in 2022.
In the movie „Black Swan“ is told the story of an ambitious ballet dancer who breaks from the pressure to succeed that she puts on herself. Gorgeous costumes, beautiful dance scenes and expressive, very natural make-up attracted quite a few enthusiastic viewers to the cinema halls. It is the elegance and aesthetic beauty of classical ballet that magically attracts us to this day. Soon famous personalities also carried the appealing fashion style to the public, strengthening the trend. Famous representatives are, for example, the singer Ariane Grande and the daughter of actor icon Johnny Depp, Lily-Rose Depp.
Fashion and ballet have always had a lot in common
Whether trendsetters or established fashion designers, the links between fashion and ballet are unmistakable in 2022. Greta Garbo already became a style icon through her role in the film „People in a Hotel“ (1932), which every woman wanted to emulate in terms of elegance and luxury. Balletcore of 2022 is also a successor trend of casual sports fashion, shows elegant, but at the same time comfortable. Soft, flowing fabrics, comfortable cuts and contrasts such as narrow – wide, white – black as well as smooth – structured characterize the high-quality look.
Materials typical for ballet are used, for example tulle, ruffles, organza and lace. Leggings and ballerinas are worn with it. Pastel colors are essential to express the ballet core. These also refer to classical ballet. Discreet blush is used at most to lightly contour the cheekbones. Only the lips may be emphasized more strongly, gladly also unconventionally.
What makes ballet core so successful?
To this day, ballet is a strong form of expression for femininity, but balletcore stands more for gender-neutral fashion. The sensual fashion concept is heavily fueled by the fashion industry, and tight silhouettes are also becoming more prevalent in street style. Through this mix, both classic dance and street style are getting an upgrade. Tight silhouettes and short tops allow a lot of skin to show through, enhancing the contrast between comfort and delicacy. Balletcore can be understood as a „flirtation“ between fashion and ballet, between art and runway aesthetics.
One of the best-known representatives of balletcore is fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who fused elegance and romance as early as 2020, bringing typical balletcore elements to the catwalk. Molly Goddard interpreted the look even more artistically in 2022, playing with many layers of ruffles on the skirts. Whether semi-transparent, long skirts or tulle mini skirts, sneakers can definitely be worn as an alternative to ballerina.