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Zuzana Gaľová
October 13, 2022, 11:00am
Reading time: 4:40

You Love Them Or Hate Them. Ballet Flats Are Back, Balenciaga Made Them Look Dirty And Made Them Even For Men

While ballet flats were once a matter of elegant "doll" looks, top model Bella Hadid can match them with a sports outfit. The legendary shoe trend is back.

Zuzana Gaľová
October 13, 2022, 11:00am
Reading time: 4:40
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You Love Them Or Hate Them. Ballet Flats Are Back, Balenciaga Made Them Look Dirty And Made Them Even For Men
Zdroj: Getty Images/Jacopo Raule
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If you are a lover of high-heeled boots, you may have to rethink your choice of footwear for next year. While, if you are a supporter of a more comfortable variation, then the following message will definitely please you. The hottest trend is the low and the comfortable... ballet flats! Footwear inspired by the ballet sport and the aesthetics of ballerinas' wardrobes, which you may also know as "balletcore", is definitely not just for women. Ballet flat shoes are worn by everyone.


Source: Youtube/Just Fashion & Celebrities


Despite the fact that when you hear the word ballerina you probably imagine a pink "bodysuit" and a tulle skirt, generation Z proves that ballet flats are a unisex model and will fit perfectly into your wardrobe, both in the streets and on TikTok. In autumn, we could see them as one of the main trends on the streets of Copenhagen Fashion Week or at the spring/summer 2023 shows in Paris, London, Milan and New York.


It was there, that several brands such as Sandy Liang, Molly Goddard, MM6 Maison Margiela, Sunnei, Tod's and Balenciaga presented them in their collections. The trend also found its fans in celebrity circles, even Bella Hadid succumbed to ballet flats.


Source: Getty Images/Robert Kamau


Trained during the era Gossip Girl, worn by Kate Moss and Rihanna

At the beginning of the 21st century, ballet flats were an integral part of the wardrobe of Kate Moss and the British actress Sienna Miller. They were worn with a denim miniskirt and a simple tank top. They were also worn by Rihanna and presenter and designer Alexa Chung, who at one time dated Alex Turner from the band Arctic Monkeys.

In 2004, the Lanvin brand also put its models in ballet flats, three years later they were trending in Gossip Girl, where they were the shoe of the modern Cinderella, but also the favorite shoe of the famous Manhattan "it girl" Blair Waldorf. In the same year, an entire article was dedicated to ballerinas in Vogue, where model Agyness Deyn posed in a Comme des Garçons model. But then they took a break for a few years, or actually a whole decade.


It all started with Miu Miu, but the trend was helped by Chanel

The Miu Miu brand brought them out of oblivion. When they sent their models down the catwalk for the spring/summer 2022 collection in elegant ballet flats with knitted knee-high leg-warmers, the style went viral again.


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Miu Miu managed to present one similar collection in 2016, but it was definitely not as successful as this year's. The footwear for the new generation has been improved by elegant and simpler silhouettes, is available in unadorned leather and satin and has a simple rubber strap with the inscription: Miu Miu. Plus, that romantic color palette! There is no shortage of powder, pink, pale blue or white. The Chanel brand also followed in the "footsteps of ballerinas", giving its models a Parisian chic, achieved by a delicate chain fastening.


Street style or romance according to Bella

Bella Hadid, currently the busiest muse of the fashion industry, not only loves the ballet flat trend, but also creates a completely new dimension for it. While ballet flats used to be combined with an elegant outfit, the top model also matches them with sports models.


Source: Instagram/Bella Hadid


After the Paris fashion week, she showed off one pale pink pair, which she matched with a gray tracksuit, a gray headband, a silver scrunchy rubber band, Chanel and sunglasses. In a different style, she combined a pair of leather ballerinas with leggings, a low-key sweatshirt and a black "boyish" cap with red lettering. It is a Liang shoe model and its price tag is a considerable sum of $495.


Bella couldn't forgive herself for a little romance in Malibu. She enhanced the knitted light pink socks and gray striped dress with a light blue pair of shoes. Their distinctive detail was a white bow on each tip. In this case, however, the aesthetics of the ballet wardrobe were not only carried away by the shoes, but especially by the already mentioned stilettos, which were a trend of the 80s and today rule TikTok.


Source: Instagram/Bella Hadid


For women and men... says Balenciaga

Ballet flats are the exact opposite of what we'd expect from Balenciaga creative director Demnu Gvasalia, who makes no secret of his love of chunky sneakers, boots, and everything oversized. Of course, they were also present at the presentation of the new collection in Paris, but it was mainly ballet flats that came to prominence.


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We also saw a few pairs of satin and other shiny materials with a bow (blue dominated among them) on the catwalk covered in mud and puddles. They were combined with predominantly black denim and military clothing. Each pair of shoes was "refreshed"  with the so-called used and dirty effect. Some looked like they were worn by a whole ballet company.


Source: Instagram/myfacewheno_o


According to the High Snobiety portal, the ballet flats presented at the show in Paris should be similar to the Leopold flats model, which was worn by Demnu Gvasalia's creative consultant Leopold Duchemin in the summer. He put on a black model of woven ballet flats. Whether it's Duchemin or the plethora of models at the show, they all prove that ballet flats are a unisex product. Demna Gvasalia continues to break down gender stereotypes and proves that ballerinas can be worn by everyone.


Ballet flats with a romantic story

At Milan Fashion Week, you could see the comeback of a specific type of ballet flats. The name Mary Janes is familiar to many. This year, for example, the singer Dua Lipa fell in love with them. Miuccia Prada, as well as Raf Simons, incorporated them into collections in bright colors at the spring/summer 2023 shows. There was orange, yellow, but also classic black. They had a pointed toe and a slight platform.

The difference between Mary Janes and a classic strappy ballet flat is that Mary Janes are much simpler and only have a minimalist strap or a simple buckle across the foot. They are ideal for any occasion. Due to their shape, they are also known as doll shoes.


Source: Getty Images/Arnold Jerocki/


But why are Mary Janes called Mary Janes? There is no science behind it, but a classic romantic story. The shoes are associated with Queen Marie Louise of Orleans, who was married to the cousin of Alfonso XII, the king of Spain in the 19th century. The couple fell madly in love with each other, but they only enjoyed marriage for a short five months.


After the king died untimely, a famous song was written about the most popular pair of shoes. They were supposed to be shiny, luxurious, and Maria Lujza received them as a wedding gift from her beloved husband. They remained a precious souvenir. Thanks to a love story with a sad ending, we still know ballet flats à la Mary Janes today.


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