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Balletcore is an aesthetic and fashion trend that originated in the early 2020s on Tiktok, but started to attract mainstream attention in late 2022. The aesthetic is strongly associated with Coquette, a hyper-feminine aesthetic among teenaged girls. Balletcore itself may have started from Princesscore and other feminine aesthetics gaining popularity during the pandemic.[1]

The aesthetic also gained popularity in South Korea and other nations.[2] The style is based on either the practice outfits or the performance costumes of professional ballet dancers, which includes very specific trends and textiles that developed separately from mainstream fashion. Throughout fashion trends, ballet has always had some influence, but with this trend, the trend was more explicit, with the entire outfit being ballet-inspired, as well as the name being prominent.

History[]

Balletcore is largely based on pre-existing fashion that has always existed within the ballet-dancing community and in performances. The beginnings of ballet as people know it today began in the Romantic period during the early 19th century in Western Europe. The lasting influence from that period in fashion is the use of long, calf-length sheer skirts and the introduction of pointe shoes, which are specialized shoes that allow dancers to stand and move on the tips of their toes.

As the dance continued into the 20th century, the use of sportswear was vital for this activity. Leotards, knit jersey, and other modern inventions became commonplace within the studio. As many fashion designers took inspiration from the performances, as well as other people looking to dancers as a symbol of grace, people mimicked their fashion in everyday clothing. For a more comprehensive history on ballet's influence on fashion, see the Wikipedia article. The rest of the section will now focus on Balletcore as a modern trend related to the internet and virality.

Like in the past, designer fashion brands included ballet elements in recent collections. Simone Rocha is a designer known for contributing to the aesthetic due to her consistent use of tulle, pearls, and satin. Specific designer garments also led to the rise of the aesthetic. Miu Miu's ballet flats, with the same satin material and bows as a pointe shoe, debuted in the F/W 2022 collection.[3] (Note that F/W collections are always shown in summer.)

Part of this trend is also the return of early to mid 2000s fashion; ballet flats, legwarmers, bolero cardigans, and ruffled skirts were incredibly popular among teenagers during this time, and a more preppy and feminine aesthetic was generally popular.

Balletcore also became known in South Korea because of the incredibly famous K-pop group Red Velvet basing their March 2022 EP Feel My Rhythm's aesthetic on ballet. In their music video and promotional pictures, they wear pink satin high heels and corsets with white chiffon dresses.

Many popular co-existing aesthetics contributes to the popularity of Balletcore among internet teens. The Coquette community, which has a pink, frilly aesthetic that includes ribbons and tulle, often crosses over.

Another link with the Balletcore community and its popularity is the emergence of the online "female rage" fandom/community, which is incredibly linked with Waif. The online community focuses on discussing media with mentally ill female characters; this includes the film Black Swan as a major inspiration, and its distinctive costume design was aspirational to many young women.

Visuals[]

Balletcore is largely a fashion aesthetic. However, the framing of many photos is often tied to the setting of a ballet studio, which is very specific with its mirrored wall, rubber or hardwood floors, and barres (horizontal poles for practicing dance.) Often, the models/influencers would also pose as if they were dancing ballet, such as turning out their feet, looking off to the side, or mimicking the hand position of dancers.

Fashion[]

Ballet has had a large influence on textiles, as clothes for active movement or the expectations in design for ballet performances require them.

Mainstream fashion takes influence from ballet with flowy dresses or tutus, light and breezy layers, leg warmers, and ballet shoes. On the performance side, satin, lace, and tulle are common, while on the practice side, soft knitwear, spandex, lycra, and chiffon are worn.

Criticism[]

The popularity of Balletcore can be related to the rising concern that the skinny body trend is coming back. Ballet as a profession has long been associated with anorexia and other eating disorders. Because the aspirational image and motifs of the fashion are associated with people who are thin, there is concern that teenaged girls would gain eating disorders in pursuit of the aesthetic. Many pro-Ana and thinspo blogs have already posted or reposted content relating to Balletcore.

Many ballet dancers also dislike the aesthetic because it is essentially cosplaying ballet dancers who wear this in their day-to-day profession, often with little accuracy. There does not appear to be political or social criticism. But rather, some consider it cringe, but do appreciate that it makes the public excited about the dance.[4]

Resources[]

External links to help get a better understanding of this aesthetic.

Vendors[]

Music[]

Spotify[]

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